In this information age, digital processes are slowly replacing physical ones. Nowadays, you don’t have to travel to the store to do your shopping. You can get everything you want with the click of a button or the touch of a screen.
Technological advancements have made it even easier to carry out these digital transactions. Stuff like e-wallets and 4G and the much-anticipated 5G allow faster online communication and transactions. We highlight communication because it is a crucial aspect of business.
There are many benefits of e-commerce. E-commerce is business done over digital platforms, mostly through the internet. In 2019, for instance, consumers spent close to 600 billion on online purchases. 2020 might be a good year to get a piece of the pie.
In this piece, we’ll look at how e-commerce is slowly phasing out traditional retail. We’ll highlight some of the advantages of e-commerce and why you should be embracing e-commerce in your business.
What Is E-Commerce
The definition of e-commerce is all in the name. E-commerce stands for electronic commerce, which means commercial activities carried out via electronic platforms.
You can carry out these transactions through your phone, computer, or even TV for people with smart TVs. You’ve probably done a couple of online transactions yourself.
Most people have a misplaced notion that e-commerce is only for industry giants like Amazon, BestBuy, and the likes. However, small businesses have amassed a large customer base following through the internet. Small businesses that adopted e-commerce earlier on are no longer small businesses today.
How to Get Started With E-Commerce
If you’re trying your hand at e-commerce, you may need a couple of pointers to do it right. Getting into e-commerce is not difficult, but it is very competitive, and you need to get it right the first time. However, if you don’t, you can always find your footing over time.
Fortunately, you can always get some help online or even get an e-commerce marketing agency. Here’s how to find and quality an ecommerce marketing agency.
What Are the Types of E-commerce?
Just like traditional retail, e-commerce has its various divisions. E-commerce can fall under these categories:
Business to Consumer (B2C)
This is business carried out between a company and a consumer. It’s the simplest form of business where a customer buys products or services from a business. Most online businesses fall into this category.
Business to Business (B2B)
When businesses transact with other businesses. The most common example is a wholesale business selling to another business. Examples of online B2B companies, think Alibaba and eWorldtrade.
Customer to Business (C2B)
The inverse of B2C transactions is C2B. For instance, a customer posts a need for a particular product, and it’s up to businesses to compete to be the customer’s choice.
Customer to Customer
You don’t necessarily need to be a business to carry out this type of transaction. It’s when customers sell their goods to other customers. Think along the lines of eBay.
The other types of commerce transactions are Business to Administration (B2A) or Consumer to Administration (C2A). These are basically business activities between businesses and state organs. The administration, in this case, is a collective term for these government entities.
What Are the Benefits of E-commerce Over Traditional Retail?
Undoubtedly, old is gold, but the same may not apply for retail. Business is one of those things where moving with time is the best approach.
E-commerce is for everyone and all types of businesses. Plus, it’s pretty easy to jump into the bandwagon. Here are a couple of benefits of e-commerce over your traditional business methods:
E-commerce doesn’t require physical assets that a physical store requires. Plus, if you don’t have your own place, you’ll also have to pay rent every month and the maintenance fees too.
Also, remember you have to pay your workers’ salaries. Online shops require fewer workers than your conventional retail store. For online businesses, you have your software to crunch the numbers and handle all other logistics.
Marketing costs are also significantly lower than in traditional retail. Since you have low expenditure compared to revenue, you’ll have increased profit margins.
Eliminates Location Barrier
Distance has always been a hindrance to many businesses. For physical businesses, distance limits most of their customers to only a few blocks or meters.
If customers really need a product, they’ll have to travel for long distances to purchase it. This ends up being very costly and inconvenient for the customer. It isn’t uncommon for customers to do away with the whole idea of buying your product.
With e-commerce, customers can visit your stores virtually and buy everything they want, then you’ll have a logistics company deliver the goods to them.
Better Informs Customers
Customers are the reason why you’re in business. However, at times, it can be overwhelming dealing with each customer face to face when they have questions.
When your business is online, all you need is a FAQ page and an information page. From these pages, your customers can access all the information they need. You can also keep your customers regularly updated with newsletters or through your website.
They can also check on reviews to make well-informed purchasing decisions. You can also update them on your stock and inventory.
Better Data Collection and Analysis Capabilities
Computer software can be your accountant, auditor, and financial analyst in a single package. Apart from a decreased payroll, you also get more accurate data records and data analysis with eCommerce.
This information can be valuable in engendering your business’ growth or for stakeholder meetings and other meetings. Plus you can compile this information in a presentable manner for the concerned parties.
No Closing time
Unlike traditional retail, you don’t have to close with e-commerce. Customers can still make orders late in the night or very early in the morning; thus, you don’t lose out on any profits because you were closed.
E-Commerce Is for Everyone
It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re handling. E-commerce works for you. With so many benefits of e-commerce, it makes no sense not to give e-commerce a whirl.
Getting into e-commerce isn’t rocket science, but you might need a bit of guidance to get it right. You’ll also want to learn a few online market jargon to feel at home in the digital marketplace.
For more informative reads, make sure you check out our other pieces.