eCommerce businesses are on the rise, and thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, many have seen success they never thought possible. However, in order to see this kind of success, especially when first starting out, you’ll need to understand what an eCommerce business is and how to make sure you choose a business model that works right for your company. Then, eventually, you may even need to learn how to ship wine.
Each and every decision you make concerning your business is vital. Once you learn the basics of eCommerce you’ll then be better able to understand why it has gained so much popularity over the past couple of years, and how you can differentiate yourself from the plethora of internet businesses out there.
Keep reading to learn the variations of eCommerce businesses out there and what it takes to find the best eCommerce websites and become a top competitor in this digital world.
eCommerce Business Meaning
You might be wondering what is an eCommerce company? Well, the ecommerce business definition is fairly simple. eCommerce businesses deal with buying and selling services and products through the internet--this transaction is sealed with the transfer of money or data.
There are so many different kinds of eCommerce businesses out there, competitiveness is no stranger in this playing field.
Because of this, there is no limit to who can and can not run an eCommerce business. Some of the most common types of eCommerce businesses include retail, digital products (ebooks, courses, or media), subscription services, and wholesale products. When done right an eCommerce business can see millions of dollars in revenue.
For example, Amazon, a widely known eCommerce retailer that has everything from electronics, food, and even clothes has seen much success. eBay, which allows everyday individuals to buy or sell products online, and Wayfair which is a large furniture retailer that ships nationwide, are two additionally popular eCommerce businesses that are making headway in this arena.
However, these businesses didn't just get lucky and skyrocket, it took a lot of hard work and research to get their businesses to be what they are today. Through the use of tools like personalization, in-depth search results, and creativity they’ve been able to understand customer needs and meet them accordingly. eCommerce is highly competitive in nature and this means that there are constant fluctuations in customer behaviors.
If you’re looking to rank yourself among the top dogs then you’re going to need to learn to implement similar or better strategies.
eCommerce Business Examples
As previously mentioned, the ongoing trend right now is the uprise in online shopping. Statistics show that online retail has brought in an estimated half trillion dollars in sales over the span of a year back in 2019; 2020, and soon, 2021 growth estimates are even higher. It is guesstimated that growth percentage rates are sitting between 15%-17%.
The largest companies today are eCommerce platforms, and that is certainly no surprise. How an eCommerce business is measured varies depending on certain factors. However, the most common way to identify how big an eCommerce business is depends on its merchandise volume, or in other words, sales.
Amazon, the largest online B2C & C2C retailer, started as just a bookstore but soon bolstered into a marketplace that sells fashion, home goods, and even food. Amazon's revenue sits at about $37 billion and only grows every year.
As you can see, once you figure out what it takes to run a successful online business there's no telling what heights you can reach. All you need to start with is an idea for a product or service. Your idea can evolve from anything; maybe it’s a specific solution to an issue you feel others can benefit from. Maybe it’s a twist or unique approach on an already popular product--whatever the idea, start from the bottom and work your way up.
From there you can begin to focus on what your business offers that other businesses have yet to explore. Ask yourself what you do differently that your competitors aren’t. What has made your competitors so successful, and what can you do to double that success? This is especially important if you’re marketing a product or service that is already rich in supply.
Before starting any business make sure that you thoroughly read and review all laws and regulations for your state. In addition you'll need to ensure that you have all of the necessary business licenses before you start selling online.
eCommerce Business Models
eCommerce is classified by specific models that help distinguish the products and services they offer. By classifying eCommerce businesses by what they sell and how they sell it, companies are better equipped to meet customers needs.
Below are the four basic types of eCommerce types of online marketplaces and what they do:
1. Business to Customer (B2C). The B2C business model is a transaction between a business and an individual. This is the most common type of business model there is, and it exists between physical stores and online businesses. Stores like Walmart, Target, and Netflix. To operate a B2C business, you must also consider different shipping methods, such as expedited shipping - unless you sell digital products, of course.
2. Business to Business (B2B). On the other hand there is the business to business model. In this model both parties involved are businesses--one business will provide the other with products, services, or both. BlueCart, Slack and Hubspot are great examples of B2B eCommerce platforms.
3. Customer to Business (C2B). Next is the customer to business model. This is a model where a customer will provide services and value for the business. Instead of the reverse where the business is the entity providing value. Through this model the two parties will cooperate and work together on projects to help increase sales.
4. Consumer to Consumer (C2C). C2C eCommerce is a model where consumers, or customers, trade between one another. Craigslist and eBay are two popular examples of this type of eCommerce.
Using these types of eCommerce platforms these online businesses are able to advertise and sell their products. Online storefronts are now the most popular way to do business. With the right solutions you can find what fits within your budget and needs as a company.
Mobile eCommerce is another popular type of eCommerce that many businesses are all too aware of. Mobile eCommerce, or sometimes referred to as M-Commerce, involves shopping with a mobile phone, using a mobile bank account, or making mobile payments. This type of commerce combines functionality and ease-of-access making business storefronts accessible with the simple unlock of a phone.
The advantages of eCommerce are plenty. Not only are eCommerce platforms made to be easily accessible no matter the time of day, but there is also the speed of access that comes with using these platforms as well. With the limitations that come with a physical store, such as 9-5 business hours and spotty customer service, eCommerce eliminates these issues with fast running sites and 24/7 browsing availability.
More than this, eCommerce sites are internationally available, so no matter where you're at in the world, customers have the ability to shop with their favorite businesses. Other benefits include, lower company costs, ease of access, and most importantly--personalization.
If you’re ready to take your eCommerce business to the next level, or just starting to get your business set up, we recommend that you check out some of the best eCommerce personalization software available for your business. In addition to this, read into an eCommerce blog to learn about the best eCommerce skills you can have to make your eCommerce business successful in this upcoming year.
Frequently Asked Questions About eCommerce Business
What Is eCommerce Business?
eCommerce business involves the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. This can be done via phone, tablet, computer, and other smart devices.
What Are the Four Types of eCommerce Business?
There are four traditional types of eCommerce business, they include B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to Consumer), C2C (Consumer to Consumer), and C2B (Consumer to Business). All business models serve a different purpose and target different types of businesses. Check out our eCommerce business guide to learn more.
What Are Some examples of eCommerce Businesses?
Common eCommerce businesses include Shopify, BlueCart, BigCommerce, and Amazon. Like the business models, each eCommerce business serves a different purpose and targets specific customers.