Most of us have seen the word ‘E-commerce’ online, or in ads on TV or newspapers and magazines. And most of us have been touched by it in our recent lives. Many of us have interacted with online stores or businesses sporadically, occasionally, or even frequently. So what is E-commerce? It is the shortened version of Electronic Commerce. Simply put, it is business done on and through the web. That simple, at least the definition is.
It looks and behaves simple to the customer, and the definition is easy to understand. We know eBay, Shopify, and many other online stores or auction marts. These are all conducting business through this methodology. They are selling products that consumers want to buy and they are successful at it.
Does this model for selling a product or service really work? The answer is an emphatic ‘Yes!’. Studies over the last 10 years, since large companies, small business and entrepreneurs began conducting trade on the web, has shown statistically that businesses of all sizes moving online have benefitted profitably.
When a business opens an online avenue to revenue, the sales and marketing efforts are impacted immediately. It’s potentially taken from local to national, or international, levels as soon as it is launched. No longer is the client coming through your doors, but rather they are doing business with you remotely and instantly. This drives up profits, as the expanded virtual geographical reach increases sales and lowers administrative costs at the same time.
Another positive outcome for small businesses and sole proprietors is that a level playing field with larger companies is readily created when their online businesses become established. Larger companies will increase their visibility as well, and can also benefit from expanding their audience base.
What is striking is that, with the technology we have available to us, it costs nothing to start such a business and is relatively easy to execute. There are many companies online that offer applications to get businesses started on the web, and they offer free trials to make it even simpler to launch. There is also a plethora of online forums and discussion groups made up of people who are at various stages of their online commercial experience. To find out more click here.
Whatever your business is, there is a platform for you to settle on in the arena of online economics. Typically, there are 4 models of commerce: Subscription Services, Service Products, Drop Shipping and Wholesaling (or warehousing).
1. Subscription Services
Subscription services offer the customer an online buying experience where their individual tastes and needs are cataloged by what they purchase, and they will purchase repeatedly through updates, special sales or events, and other creative marketing techniques from the store of their choice. This gives the business a predictable and recurring revenue flow based on their customers purchasing behaviors.
The service products model sells what cannot be physically delivered to someone’s hands. Web design, online consulting, digital marketing, life and health coaching, and many more services that cannot boast a tangible product. This type of exchange is more successful through the web than any other source, as the business will reach audiences who want their service far beyond the physical confines of their global location.
3. Drop Shipping
If you have shopped online from sites like Wish, or Shopify, these businesses are using a drop shipping model to create revenue. They list products for sale on their site from established manufacturers, take online orders, and then pass the order to the manufacturer who will fulfill the sale by shipping the product to the consumer. This is the fastest-growing, most popular type of e-commerce on the web today. The site needs no physical space to store product or make a product, it is the middle man between the customer and the manufacturer.
4. Wholesaling (or Warehousing)
The final model is wholesaling, or as it is sometimes referred to, warehousing. The business will have a warehouse or storage space for a product they buy in bulk, then sell online and ship to the customer themselves. Examples of this type of online business would be specific clothing stores, handmade rugs, or perhaps furniture. There are many more examples, and all would be a more specific product line than a drop shipping online store could offer.
The world of online commerce looks really appealing and successful. And many businesses of all sizes are talking about the positive experience of launching online. It’s important to think about the size of the web and the millions of online industries that we will never know. Just bringing up this imagery tells us that there has to be more to just launching an online merchant than first meets the eye.
There is so much more. No business is built successfully overnight and not without some hard work and creative effort. Online trade is just the same. Knowing how to conduct business in the physical world is very similar to how business is managed in the virtual world of the web. These principles are not constrained to just one realm. Click here to discover more.
What seems to be several common threads in all the best selling stories and all the information available for what is the world’s fastest growing industrial community, the online world of commerce. And maybe ironically, all the threads are the same ones that run through the physical world of commerce.
A few that stand out include ‘know your customer’, ‘be visible at all times’, ‘be helpful and courteous to all who enter your establishment’, ‘provide all the information as it is needed’, ‘keep it simple’ and ‘love what you do’. All of these and more are certainly out there, and will potentially lead to a more successful business no matter where it is located.
This whole atmosphere in the community of online industry at first glance seems to be quite alien and exciting to those who want to venture in. There are a lot of new terms and areas to focus on in order to create successfully and profitably. And yet, so many of our marketing techniques and business acumens transfer to these new places quite effortlessly. Social media to get our news out instead of paper, radio and TV advertising is a prime example.
For all who are intrigued and excited about discovering the business realm on the worldwide web, there is much to discover and be inspired by. Ecommerce is an every growing and creatively expanding platform where new businesses and more established ones can compete equally. To find out to you can get started click here now.