What is E-commerce?
E-commerce is the activity of buying and selling products or services online. E-commerce can simply mean the exchange of goods and services between individuals, businesses, or organizations. An individual, a brick-and-mortar retailer or even a manufacturer can sell their products on e-commerce platforms.
With the growing number of active internet users, adoption of e-commerce businesses has been on a rise since last decade. From buying smartphones to books and selling pre-owned goods to B2B goods, everything can be traded on the internet.
Types E-commerce Platforms
There are various e-commerce platforms available on the internet. B2B and B2C commerce platforms are the primary categories of the e-commerce platforms. But, categories might expand up to B2B2C category where multiple businesses would have similar end users for the products and services they are providing in the market. There are some examples of C2C e-commerce platforms as well, where users will exchange their good online.
B2C e-commerce refers to the selling of goods and services from businesses to end-consumers through an online mediator platform. This is the most common category of e-commerce business, and quite a famous example includes online retailers such as Amazon. Businesses can set up their online stores on these platforms and will pay a nominal fee when a sale is generally made.
On the other hand, B2B e-commerce refers to online transactions between businesses. This could be anything from ordering bulk supplies from a wholesaler to using an online marketplace to find new clients. B2B e-commerce platforms are often more complex than B2C e-commerce, as businesses have to take into account things like contract law and negotiation when dealing with other businesses.
Characteristics of E-commerce Platforms
Today’s consumers are buying products and services online without hesitating. And to achieve that authenticity and trust from the end users, e-commerce platforms have to have amazing features, great usability, and easy to use features. Here are some characteristics an ecommerce platform should have:
Importance of E-commerce Platforms
E-commerce platforms are important because they enable businesses to reach a larger market more easily and efficiently while targeting the right data that matters for their business. Additionally, e-commerce provides businesses an efficient way to track and manage customer relationships.
Unlike traditional brick and mortar stores, e-commerce platforms can be browsed by the end users 24×7; this simply means that you don’t have to hire real marketing reps to pull people to your stores.
E-commerce platforms ensure that your products and services are visible across the global marketplace, so that it becomes easier for you to launch the same product across the globe without having to reach the locations.
Advantages of E-commerce
This customer can purchase any product very easily. There is no such hassle in making any kind of purchase. The customer or buyer can simply go on the website and can purchase an item in just a few clicks. And there is no trouble in going to the shop physically and making a purchase.
Low time consuming
E-commerce websites reduce the time of purchase. The customer can purchase the product in just a click and the customer is not required to go to the shops physically.
The heavy discount is given by the E-commerce websites to their customers. It is possible for e-commerce websites to give such a big discount because they have low operational costs.
More sales are possible for e-commerce websites as this website can give huge discounts and along with that they also have low operation cost so they can invest more money in advertisement. And also Customers prefer purchasing this product as they can access the product in just a click.
E-commerce platforms always add convenience for the buyers as they can shop whenever they want to. Many ecommerce websites offer transparency in pricing as well, so people can make better buying decisions.
Disadvantages of E-commerce
People usually don’t trust e-commerce websites because the products available are not physical. The customer has to order the product and has to weigh it for the arrival of the product. And customers don’t know what will be the condition of the product.
Might add distractions
These sites typically have thousands of products on display for users. Thus, it becomes quite difficult to pay attention to the core items you are out to purchase. You might get distracted by the offers and content being shown on the website as well.
Can make you spend more
E-commerce platforms always try to upsell products to users. That simply means you will get pitched by a lot of other similar products while you are making a purchase on the ecommerce site. This is definitely a great option for platforms and sellers, it might make it challenging for users who are purchasing products or services.