What are E-Commerce Websites?
A staple of modern marketing & booming businesses, e-commerce appeals to all who wish to mark their presence & boost sales. It has proved an advantageous element of digital marketing, from small-scale brands to enterprise-level companies to independent freelancers. It has been estimated that, by the year 2023, global retail e-commerce sales would reach over $6 trillion.
Essentially, e-commerce is the buying & selling of products or services online, using the internet for money & data transfer to execute any type of commercial transaction. This is where it differs from the term “e-business”, as it is associated only with the transaction of services & products.
The principal example of e-commerce can be traced back to the first online sale in August of 1994. A CD was sold through a website, highlighting the basics of e-commerce: a business transaction was carried out between a consumer & seller through the internet. While it has evolved notably since then, the very foundation of its definition can be identified through this primary instance of using the World Wide Web as a selling & purchasing platform.
Alternative terms include electronic commerce & internet commerce.
Examples of various types of e-commerce transactions include wholesale, retail, crowdfunding, subscription, dropshipping, etc.
There are different types of e-commerce models that can describe transactions between seller & consumer. The four main models that can cover nearly every transaction are:
- Business to Consumer (B2C): When a brand sells a product &/or service to an individual consumer online.
- Business to Business (B2B): When products &/or services are sold by a business to another through electronic exchange.
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C): When a product &/or service is sold by one consumer to another consumer via the internet.
- Consumer to Business (C2B): When a consumer sells their own products or services to a business through electronic transaction.
Other kinds of e-commerce models include the following:
- Consumer to Administration (C2A): When a consumer sells products &/or services to public administrations using the internet.
- Business to Administration (B2A): When products &/or services are sold by organisations through electronic exchange to public administrations.
Types of E-Commerce Websites
Because e-commerce makes use of the internet, a website is required. Different kinds of e-commerce sites include the following:
- Marketplaces: A website for individual entrepreneurs to list their products &/or services for sale, like Amazon.
- Online Retailers: Mostly used by large retailers, these are bigger stores that normally wholesale other companies’ products.
- Affiliate Websites: These sites are established to earn commission by selling the products of other brands on your own website.
- Single Brand Websites: One of the most commonly used sites, which only sell the products &/or services of a single brand or individual.
The Importance of E-Commerce Websites
- 24/7 Availability
There is no restriction to how long it is open for business. This earns a brand exposure to part of the audience who would have difficulty to adjust to a time limit.
- International Audience
Because the internet is a worldwide platform, e-commerce sites can provide companies a platform to connect to consumers around the globe. Therefore, businesses can discover & communicate with an international audience.
- Show off Products
E-commerce sites can help display the most popular & in-demand products to consumers more easily. Businesses can also showcase new products with flattering photographs & persuasive descriptions to attract customers.
Websites can be customised to appeal to the key demographic & define brand identity. Nowadays, people demand not only a product &/or service but also an experience while purchasing, & the primary way to do that is to provide a certain ambience. Consequently, personalising landing pages can enhance user experience & boost customer satisfaction.
- Influencing Impulse Buys
A 2018 research suggests that 80% of younger shoppers tend to make impulse purchases. With e-commerce websites, brands can bank on impulse buys. Adding attractive images to highlight the product, & implementing a design for the site that people can best relate to may see a boost in online traffic as well. Plus, brands can make use of a variety of scarcity tactics as a catalyst for marketing strategies.
- Less Invasive Customer Experience
The atmosphere during a shopping experience is important for consumers, but with many physical markets they are faced with more invasive experiences. Whether it is to promote new products or asking questions throughout, employee interaction is markedly less subtle than an online shopping environment.
- Customer Data
With e-commerce, brands can get access to customers’ name, email address, phone number & mailing address. This gives them a wider opportunity to communicate with the consumer & build a connection with them. A relationship can be established so that the customer can repose trust in the brand, which can in turn shape user experience according to popular preference. The company can also get their audience more involved, like asking them to fill out surveys & create accounts on your site, etc.
Why E-Commerce Websites?
In the highly competitive market of today, it is important to mark your presence in each avenue. E-commerce is one of the most significant elements of digital marketing, with benefits greatly overweighing any disadvantages it might have. This makes it a must-have for any & every brand in the current business climate, ensuring they remain afloat in spite of tough competition.