Have you ever purchased physical products using the Internet! Or, maybe you’ve sold your old electronic items using your computer or mobile devices! If this is the case, then you are a part of Electronic commerce or commonly known as the E-commerce sector. E-commerce refers to buying and selling of goods or services through an electronic medium. Having an online presence to conduct business has become a necessity. Everything from food and clothes to entertainment and furniture can be purchased online. Money transfers and data executions for these transactions are facilitated through the Internet. E-commerce deals with various media, data, text, video, web pages, and internet telephony. These media helps in products and services exchange. The products may be physical like cars, computers, books, or services like news or consulting.
The information and transaction exchange can be classified into four main e-commerce models: B2B, B2C, C2C and C2B.
- Business to Consumer (B2C): Business sells products or services directly to consumers over the Internet. Ex: buying a pair of shoes through an online retailer.
- Business to Business (B2B): Business sells goods or services to another business. eg: business selling software-as-a-service for other businesses.
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C): Consumer sells goods or services to another consumer. eg: consumer selling something that he or she no longer needs or wants to another consumer via a site like Flipkart or Amazon.
- Consumer to Business (C2B): Consumer sells its products or services to a business or an organization. eg: completing a paid online survey to give an opinion about a product.
E-commerce delivers a comprehensive range of benefits to consumers, organizations, and society. We will see the benefits of each sector. Consumers: E-commerce enables customers to do transactions round the clock from any location with preferable choices of products and that allows quick delivery. The customers can get relevant information about the products in seconds. E-commerce facilitates competition, which results in substantial discounts.
Organizations: The national and international market that e-commerce provides helps organizations in locating the best suppliers and more customers suitable for their business. E-commerce reduces the paperwork involved in marketing the product. Other benefits include improved customer service, simplified processes, compressed delivery time, increased productivity, eliminating paper, expediting access to information, and increased flexibility.
Society: Work from home probably would have come from the introduction of e-commerce as it allows shopping from home resulting in reduced traveling time and becoming prey to diseases. The cost of the products will be customer-friendly thereby increasing their standard of living. E-commerce enables people in third world countries and rural areas to enjoy products and services that otherwise are not available to them. Technological trends in e-commerce Technology is the backbone of e-commerce. It helps connect sellers and customers and allows them to effectively manage the orders, payments, deliveries, and returns on mobile and web platforms. E-commerce draws on technologies such as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
Mobile is the king. While mobile optimization will be a prime concern for e-commerce businesses going forward, integrating mobile apps and mobile wallet functionality to mobile phones is the need of the hour. E-commerce vendors are focusing on providing a superior customer experience with unique solutions using AI-powered personalization methods. Recent technological advances in 3D and virtual reality are hovering to change the way products are visualized.
Conclusion The E-commerce industry has become much exciting than in the past. The way products are marketed and showcased is about to take a major leap soon. People are embracing digital technologies and companies are betting on innovative technologies. With this, e-commerce is attracting more customers as change is fast becoming an indispensable part of modern lives.