What Is E-commerce? Definition, Types, & Benefits
Published at December 19, 2022

If you’re unfamiliar with e-commerce, it can be hard to understand where your app for business is headed. E-commerce is known as the process of selling products or services online. Sellers in e-commerce get the purchase from customers through payment gateway transactions.

In short, eCommerce is an online platform where customers can buy things. Whether it’s a new shirt or a used book, eCommerce makes it easy for you to sell what you have and make money while doing it.

According to a recent survey by BigCommerce, 55% of customers buy online at least once each week, with clothing and accessories being the most popular categories. The survey also revealed that customers are willing to provide brands with their email, gender, and name in exchange for personalised shopping experiences and targeted advertising.

Meanwhile, a survey from Ipsos on e-commerce during the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia showed that 75% of Malaysians said they browsed an e-commerce platform during the time of the survey, and 45% reported that they completed purchases, and online shopping has become commonplace.

The definition of E-commerce

According to the Dictionary, e-commerce is a business conducted primarily online and using the electronic transfer of data.

Further, e-commerce is also the process of buying and selling products online. It can be used for various purposes such as shopping, purchasing services, or making donations.

The purpose of e-commerce can be divided into two main categories: personal and business. Personal e-commerce refers to buying and selling products primarily for oneself, such as clothing, or personal needs. Business e-commerce involves buying and selling products for a company or business, such as office supplies or software.

The types of E-commerce

Before choosing what you’re going to sell, you need to know who your target audience is and what kind of type of ecommerce fits your products or service. According to Customer Think and other sources, here are the types of E-commerce based on the target audience.

  • B2B (Business to Business): B2B business model is a popular one in e-commerce. However, it often has a longer sales cycle and tends to demand a bigger upfront investment. B2B is an e-commerce model that sells to other businesses, such as accounting firms, software developers, and HR consultants.
  • B2C (Business to Consumer): B2C is a common e-commerce business type. By choosing B2C as your e-commerce, you can avoid the high cost linked to opening or leasing a physical location. B2C is also a competitive market and you need to leverage conversational commerce and other marketing strategies.
  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer): E-commerce from consumer to consumer is a more common type. On a variety of websites, such as Etsy, Amazon, and eBay, people sell products themselves rather than through a business. C2C may reach a large audience and start-up expenses are often low.
  • C2B (Consumer to Business): C2B allows consumers to sell their services to businesses. For example, Fiverr or Upwork. C2B e-commerce has much potential as more companies consider outsourcing their needs.
  • B2A/ C2A: Business to Administration or often known as B2G (Business to Government. C2A is a Consumer to Administration. This type of e-commerce is where your clients will be public administration or government.
  • D2C (Direct to Consumer): D2C is the newest type of e-commerce, and its type is always growing. It refers to a brand’s sales to the final consumer without the use of a distributor, or wholesaler. Subscription is popular D2C items, and social selling via social media like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

The benefits of E-commerce for business

1. Customer data

You can get benefits by getting customer data from e-commerce. You can sell your products more effectively by using consumer purchasing patterns, demographics, and preferences. Hence, you can predict when the demand product is higher or lower by using e-commerce data. Further, businesses can leverage this data to simplify customers’ buying experiences.

2. Potential customers

Small businesses can get the benefits of potential customers from e-commerce. Search engine rankings and keywords can also help businesses compete better by putting them in front of potential customers.

3. Save business costs

If you have an ecommerce business, you don’t need to pay rent or pay to maintain a physical location. Save business costs also means that solo entrepreneurs can handle orders on their own and may not need to hire staff.

The benefits of E-commerce for customers

1. Shopping anytime

You can shop online 24/7 day or night. Hence, you have a flexible time to shop because the store online at an e-commerce web app or mobile app can be accessible 24/7.

2. Online shopping

As customers, you can shop online from your home. It helps you to save time and energy to shop at several stores. You can buy products from anywhere and occasionally from abroad. Just wait for the products to come to your doorstep.

3. Product details

Product details are a feature you can easily find in e-commerce. You can get a description of a specific product on a site.

When making an online purchase, you can read reviews left by other customers, review comparable items to see if there are more affordable products or services and read the product description and any product information in detail.

Wrapping Up

In the future, e-commerce will be more transactional. This is an important change for two reasons. First, it makes transaction costs lower, and second, it allows businesses to sell more things at once than they would need to if they only sold products.

As technology continues to evolve, more businesses will move their products and services online. This new way of doing business will require businesses to be more efficient in order to stay competitive.

Starting an online business and making sales has never been easy. As a business owner, you must carefully plan if you want your business to thrive and expand. Your chances of success will increase as you get more knowledge about the various e-commerce business strategies you use.

Further, choose a mobile app development agency to provide solutions for your e-commerce web app and mobile app. VirtualSpirit has experts that help you give a great shopping experience for customers. Start your e-commerce business journey with us. Book a call now!

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