In olden times, we had to visit a store or a shop, personally, to purchase items or products of our choice. Technology was limited and so were the resources. During that time, no one could ever imagine that, products could be purchased online and in turn, shopping could take place online, with the help of various online resources. As time passed by, technology got advanced and people started shopping online. One such process which made all this possible, is E-commerce. This was started keeping in mind, the day to day requirements of both business class of people as well as the commoners, who didn’t have enough time to personally visit the store or a shop, to purchase products of their choice, depending upon their requirements.
E commerce is the process of buying and selling products and services online. It refers to business over the Internet and is commonly known as E marketing.
Different types of e-commerce
- Business-to-Business (B2B)
- Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
- Consumer-to-Business (C2B)
Business to Business (B2B)
Talking about business to business type, it basically means selling of products and services between businesses, online.
In B2C type of e commerce, products are sold directly to the consumers. There is no mediator involved. Perfect example of Business to Consumer type is online shopping companies such as eBay and Amazon.
Consumer to Consumer C2C
In this type of e commerce, dealings take place between consumers, online. Products are sold by one consumer to another, online. A 3rd party is involved in C2C model of E-commerce. Best example of C2C is Auctions.
Typical e-commerce transactions include purchase of online books and music purchases, to name a few. It is supported by electronic business.
Talking about corporate companies which are into E commerce, Amazon is the best example. It is into E-commerce since many years.
Advantages of e-commerce
- It is convenient for people to purchase items online at an affordable price, by comparing the price range of the same product on different online shopping websites such as Amazon and Jabong
- Since shopping is done online, we can shop from anywhere in the world
- Unlike normal shopping in any shopping mall or a store, where we need to stand in ques and wait for our turn, there is no waiting time or ques in online shopping.
- More customers can purchase various products online.
Disadvantages of e-commerce
- No guarantee of product quality
- Online shopping websites are prone to attacks or hacking
- At times, the required product is not available on any of the shopping websites.
Talking about the future of E-commerce, given the advancement in technology and keeping in mind the requirements of people, E commerce has a bright future ahead. Customers who are online shopping freaks, will have the maximum advantage because they can purchase various products online after comparing it with different online shopping websites. All said and done, people in general, should be aware of the negative aspects of E-commerce as well, so that, they are able to shop wisely.
WHAT IS E-COMMERCE?
E-commerce or Electronic commerce refers to the commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet. It includes buying and selling goods and services, transferring funds and transmitting data.
In the age of online shopping, online food delivery systems, online cab booking facilities, and online courses, most of us with access to internet participate in e-commerce activities.
E-commerce has been classified into:
- B2C transactions: Transactions occur between the business and the consumer directly. For example, most fashion stores across the world sell their brands directly over the internet to the consumer, like Forever21 or popular footwear brand Zappo.
- B2B transactions: Transactions that occur between any two businesses. For example, software that ensures protection for websites dealing with large number of visitors. Or certain plug-ins that are created specifically for the business model of certain websites. Some fast growing B2B brands are Flexfire LED, Assurant, Selini NY, Human Solution etc.
- C2B transactions: Transactions that occur between consumer and business. Usually, crowd sourcing campaigns fall under C2B category where the consumer contributes monetary value to the business.
- C2C transactions: These transactions commonly occur between two consumers. In these transactions, consumer sells an item to another consume on a website which facilitates the transaction. A popular C2C website is eBay.
- B2A transactions: Business to administration transactions occur in the form of fiscal services, social security (AADHAR etc), registrations, online bidding etc. These transactions are gaining popularity because of the increase in transparency and freedom from corruption involved in such services.
- C2A transactions: Consumer to administration transactions occur in the form of educational services (distance learning), health (insurance), social security (AADHAR, PAN Etc), revenue (taxes) etc.
For those of you willing to make some extra rupee through e-commerce, here are some common services and products sold online by e-commerce merchants:
- Stores that sell physical goods: Stores that sell physical goods such as clothes, shoes, cars, bikes, eye wear or jewellery are the most common online. This includes retail giant Amazon. More and more stores that sell physical goods are coming up online these days, and the business is expected to boom over the coming years.
- Stores that sell services online: A lot of services are sold online. These typically include job-hunting websites, online consultation, and educators. The site Freelancer, for instance, has a vast number of talents online, which a prospective employee can gain access to if he is in need of some work-force.
- Stores that sell digital products: E-books, online education, paid messaging platforms are all examples of stores that sell digital products.
HOW DO YOU SET UP A BUSINESS ONLINE?
Start with an idea on what you want to sell. It is best to pick a product that cannot be easily found in departmental stores. Pick a niche product, and remember it is best to pick one that can be shipped with ease.
Next step is the website- the place where the selling happens. For this, you can either build a website from the scratch, or pick an existing site and add shopping cart abilities to it.
Third, set up a payment gateway. This payment gateway should have the ability to accept credit card/ debit card payments or through another merchant such as Paytm or Google Pay.
Lastly, marketing is crucial to ensure that the website attracts traffic, and that this traffic drives sales forward.
E-commerce is an excellent way to earn extra money. The digital boom and the increasing popularity and ease of online shopping are bringing forward a major change from physical to online. Be patient and be willing to learn as hitting the jackpot might take some time. Take action and earn that extra rupee!
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