More and more stores are going online with their businesses, from local shoppers to multinational retail giants. With people spending less time shopping, e-commerce will see many new players in the coming years. So what is driving this growth? How can new members and potential members influence?
E-commerce is primarily consumer-oriented, and as the consumer receives new innovations in various fields, the businesses that serve them need to grow.
Some of the factors that drive this growth:
- Mobile Devices Improve Convenience
- Product selection delights customers
- Product information readily available
- Business and customers save money
However, not everything in e-commerce is happy. As customer loyalty becomes more unstable every year, online businesses are forced to stay on top of their own to change the way shoppers feel about their store. Companies complement their pricing strategies with coupons, discounts, sales, deals, and more. They vary delivery by shortening the time or suggesting delivery times. All of this goes a long way towards making customers more open and willing to participate in the e-commerce wave.
Over the past few years, e-commerce has diversified and created markets that cater to many needs.
Some of the e-commerce business models that are being put into practice today include:
While other business models are commonplace, C2B is relatively new and unique. In C2B, clients, i.e. e. individuals who offer their services or expertise to businesses in exchange for payment. PeoplePerHour is an example of a site like this where a business can find and hire freelance writers, designers, developers and more.
There are other models that are gaining popularity, such as the G2C (government-to-citizen) model, where a local or national government offers its services through an online portal.
The variety of e-commerce businesses varies even more depending on the type of strategy they adopt in their business dealings.
Here are some of the strategies that businesses use to generate income:
- Brick-and-click: An online store here is an online store of a physical store or chain of stores. Example: Wal-Mart
- Purely online: in this case, the business is completely online, its physical presence is limited to corporate offices, warehouses and, if the business produces products, production centers. Example: Blue Nile
- Marketplace: The strategy followed by the largest e-commerce stores; they sell their own products and at the same time allow other sellers to sell through them. Example: Amazon
- Auction: This strategy assumes that buyers bid on the item on offer, and the seller decides which one to sell. Example: eBay
- Bargaining: This strategy is the opposite of an auction strategy in which the buyer expresses his willingness to pay a certain amount and the sellers compete to make the best offer for the product / service that the buyer wants. This strategy is experiencing growth due to high competition among various suppliers. Example: Priceline
Individuals and businesses looking to enter the e-commerce industry will need to choose the right business model and strategy to be successful. They also need to make sure that the path they choose complements their product with an appropriate pricing strategy, friendly shipping policy, and a responsive website.
As with any good business, members and adherents of the e-commerce industry must continually review their business model and strategy to ensure that it aligns with the goals and objectives of their organization. They must be willing to change or adapt depending on the situation. A prime example of this is Amazon, which started out as a Pure Online B2C provider, became a Marketplace, and has now conquered the B2B world with Amazon Supply as well.
An organization that learns to cope with this part of its business is already halfway to success.