When you are looking to travel somewhere and need to arrange transport like a plane ticket, where do you go? Do you start by heading straight to your nearest airport to book a ticket or do you just go online? If you are like most consumers today, you said “book online.” What about a simpler situation, like when you run out of airtime or data, and you need to recharge. Are you still going to stop what you are doing and run to the store, or will you just recharge over the internet in a fraction of the time? Whether you are a consumer looking to buy something or a business looking for certain services, you can find and purchase anything online. That is how the world of eCommerce works.
eCommerce is short for Electronic Commerce, which just refers to the sale of goods and services through the internet. The world of eCommerce is broad as it is open for business to most existing industries and business types. Since eCommerce takes place over the internet, it can be conducted through the use of diverse devices, such as:
- Other smart devices (e.g., smartwatches)
The main element of eCommerce is in its name – commerce. An online sale is not valid unless an exchange of money for goods/services takes place. The reason for this is because the whole purpose of eCommerce is to allow for buying and selling remotely.
Types of eCommerce Businesses
Just like in the real world, there are diverse types of transactions that take place online and different parties that do business with one another. This can be dictated by the products and services rendered, but mainly it’s based on the parties involved. Some of the most popular online business models include:
Business to Consumer (B2C)
A business that delivers goods and services directly to the end user make use of the Business to Consumer business model. For instance, a business selling sports shoes to athletes falls under this category of business. B2C type of businesses are the ones we see often online as we do in brick-and-mortar businesses.
Business to Business (B2B)
B2B businesses are similar to B2C businesses in the fact that they offer goods and services directly to the intended user. However, with B2B, the goods/service provider is selling to another business. When the consumer is a big business, this usually involves higher quantities of goods and higher profits per transaction. It also commonly entails a recurring need and delivery of goods between the two businesses.
Business to Government (B2G)
As with all the other models, B2G or Business to Government organisations deal with governmental clients. Businesses that are government contractors fall under this category. This business model can get more intensive as online B2C companies have to bid for projects, meet national standards/requirements, and solicit contracts in order to secure revenue