In this budding world of the internet, smart technology, and Artificial Intelligence, everything scrolls down to the Internet. In a similar manner, commerce or marketing has also made a tremendous mark at the level of the internet. As most people are buying and selling things over the internet, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that E-commerce is the norm of the present world. Moreover, it has started to become a necessity.
E-commerce is the procedure of trading things, ideas, money, or funds over the internet. This allows people to access several things from numerous places in the world.
In addition, it is quick, easy, reliable, and user-friendly to the most extent.
The reasons for the ever-growing popularity of e-commerce are many and varied. It is something that has the intel to create significant changes throughout the world. People could not buy things from far away locations in the past. Whereas today, there is barely a thing of any place which any person could not access with the use of e-commerce.
Significantly, it is important to understand this concept of trading over the internet, its types, as well as its merits and demerits.
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What is E-commerce? Definition and meaning
E-commerce stands for Electronic Commerce, and it is also known as Internet Commerce.
Electronic Commerce or E-commerce refers to the process of buying and selling things or the transfer of funds and data over the internet. In simple words, it is commerce or business done over the internet.
Such a business does not require any human-to-human interactions and can be easily done online. It includes buying and selling all sorts of material, the transfer of data and funds (money), etc.
Several websites work to make e-commerce accessible to people. These majorly include businesses that sell products to people such as Amazon, Flipkart, Meesho, Myntra, Quikr, OLX, Shopify, and many more.
Very similar to business done offline, there are several stakeholders in e-commerce that deal with each other in its execution. Notably, this is understood in four major ways of doing business in which either a business interacts with a customer (B2C) or another business (B2B).
Conversely, a customer interacts with a business (C2B) or another customer (C2C) to form the other two types of businesses that are executed in e-commerce.
For instance, when you (a customer) buy something from an electronic commerce website (say Amazon), you are doing C2B E-commerce.
Furthermore, it is not only limited to the trading or selling and buying of products or goods over the internet. It also incorporates the trading of services over the internet. Overall there are many advantages of e-commerce.
Let us now understand in detail what are the various kind of electronic commerce in which people engage.
Types of E-commerce
Evidently, the various stakeholders in a business or commerce interact differently giving birth to several kinds of procedures. Mainly, there are six different types of electronic commerce in which people usually engage.
1. Business to Business (B2B)
A Business to Business or B2B model involves the trading/exchange of products and/or services between two or more businesses, industries, or companies.
Generally, the B2B business model incorporates conventional wholesalers, industrialists/producers, and big and small retailers.
2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
When trading over the internet (e-commerce) is done between a business and one or more consumers, it is known as the Business to Consumer or B2C model of electronic commerce.
A B2C business model of E-commerce generally involves a business, industry, wholesaler, or company which sells products and services to its customers.
For instance, when you buy a product or service from a website (say, Flipkart or UrbanCompany), you’re involved in B2C e-commerce.
3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
An e-commerce business model that operates between two or more customers is referred to as Consumer to Consumer or C2C. Generally, such transactions are done by a third-party platform such as OLX, Quikr, etc.
These third-party businesses are involved in B2C E-commerce while facilitating the engagement of two customers to interact for business/commerce (C2C).
4. Consumer to Business (C2B)
A Consumer to Business (C2B) business model is the exact opposite of the Business to Consumer (B2C) e-commerce model.
The main difference between the two business models is that in B2C, a business sells its products/services to a customer whereas in C2B, a business or company buys products and services from a consumer.
Generally, a C2B model of electronic commerce mainly involves the transaction of services over the internet. For instance, a business may hire a consumer to service (say, designing a website) over the internet.
5. Business to Administration (B2A)
A Business to Administration (B2A) model involves online transactions or trading between businesses and authorities of public administration or the Government.
This is done through information dissemination over central websites that provides a platform of online businesses to participate in activities such as auctions, tenders, etc.
With the increasing growth of e-governance, the Business to Administration model has seen immense growth as well.
6. Consumer to Administration (C2A)
Consumer to Administration or C2A model facilitates e-commerce between consumers and authorities of public administration/government.
Generally, it involves dissemination of information, distance learning, tax refund and filing, remittances, seeking appointments, etc.
Advantages of E-commerce
Similar to everything associated with technology, electronic commerce has its own benefits and fallouts. Here, we will discuss some of the many advantages of electronic commerce that make it such a popular part of the present world.
Enhanced reach to both sellers and buyers
One of the biggest advantages of e-commerce is that it facilitates enhanced reach to both businesses/companies and consumers. E-commerce brings the entire world under the reach of even a small business that could be located on the outskirts of a small town.
Sellers now have millions of people from all over the world to sell their products. This way, profit is bound to increase subject to the proper execution of service.
Similarly, consumers or buyers have access to a number of sites that have products from numerous corners of the world. The Internet has almost everything available to sell all over the world.
A convenient method of trading
Another advantage of electronic commerce is an easy, and quick method of buying and selling products.
You do not have to go through the hassle of traveling several kilometers to reach the nearest markets which do not even ensure that the product you’re looking for is available or not.
With electronic commerce, people can window-shop and trade stuff from the comfort of their beds. Placing an order, making a payment, and receiving your order in a few days. E-commerce is that easy.
Lowers transaction and maintenance costs
Businesses do not have to go through the hassle of maintaining a showroom or any shop in order to sell their products.
Through electronic commerce, companies can sell their products right from their factories. This is also one of the many advantages of electronic commerce. It cuts maintenance and transaction costs.
Access to varied and out-of-reach types of products
Significantly, e-commerce makes all sorts of products available to people. The reason is the expansion of the market which is as vast as the world now accessible on the screens of people’s cell phones or PC. .
Disadvantages of E-commerce
On one side, there are many advantages of electronic commerce and on the other there are several drawbacks to e-commerce, two of them are highly flawed.
It can be misleading and false
Products displayed on e-commerce websites may not be as good in reality as they seem on screen. Such a misleading and false representation of products limits its merits.
Cyber security issues with E-commerce
While registering for online websites and payment, a lot of personal and financial data is uploaded which can be misused. Credit card and/or identity theft are major drawbacks of electronic commerce.
Moreover, it can lead to severe financial losses in case of financial data leakage.
Structured, interconnected plans that are influential in driving business operations are termed e-commerce strategies. Basically, these are designed plans that facilitate the growth of e-commerce businesses/companies.
Usually, there are three main parts that include product strategies, customer relationships, and corporate techniques.
Also Checkout this blog for more information: All You Need To Know About Commerce
Summing up, commerce means the trading of products or goods and/or services. When commerce is done online or over the internet, it is called electronic commerce.
As evident, electronic commerce is the most popular business or commerce technique used all over the globe and has six different business types or models that facilitate trading. If implemented in the right manner, you can enjoy numerous advantages of e commerce.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What does E-commerce stand for?
Ans: E-commerce stands for Electronic commerce. It is also known as Internet commerce.
- What is an example of an e-commerce website?
Ans: Examples of E-commerce websites include Myntra, Flipkart, OLX, Uber, Meesho, etc.
- What are the strategies used for making an e-commerce business successful?
Ans: Strategies and implementation are made to enjoy several advantages of electronic commerce. E-commerce strategies involve product management, consumer relationships, and corporate techniques to grow one’s online business.
Some of the common electronic commerce strategies to make an e-commerce business successful include:
- Optimizing your e-commerce website via SEO
- Social media marketing through enhanced content creation
- Email marketing list to drive traffic to your website
- Making effective offers