E-commerce stands for electronic commerce and is associated with online transactions. Entities can sell products or services online, using eCommerce. E-Business and online shopping are some other terms that refer to eCommerce. eCommerce websites can be of different types:
Business to Consumer (B2C eCommerce)
B2C eCommerce signifies a transaction that takes place between a business and individuals. An example of a B2C eCommerce transaction is buying a phone from an online retailer.
Business to Business (B2B eCommerce)
A B2B eCommerce transaction takes place among two businesses, wherein one entity sells services or products to the other. The key focus area of B2B eCommerce transactions is goods or raw materials that need to be repackaged before they are sold to customers.
Consumer to Business (C2B eCommerce)
C2BeCommerce works in an exactly opposite way when compared to traditional eCommerce. Herein, the consumer sells goods or services to a business. Alternately, the consumer may collaborate over projects for boosting profits.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C eCommerce)
C2C eCommerce was one of the most initial formats of eCommerce. It refers to the sale of services and goods among individuals. EBay is one of the websites where people can buy or sell goods.
Business to Administration (B2A eCommerce)
A transaction that takes place among government agencies and online businesses is covered under B2A eCommerce. The products and services most frequently bought and sold under this category include social security and legal documents.
Administration to Business (B2A eCommerce)
When the administration makes goods and services available for businesses, they are covered under B2A eCommerce. A few of the top examples of the same include e-learning, data centers, and government procurement.
Different kinds of eCommerce platforms
When a business owner intends to come up with a winning, one-of-a-kind custom eCommerce website, he will typically have a range of options to choose from at his disposal in terms of platforms. It is over these eCommerce platforms that the eCommerce website will be built over. A few of the prime considerations that go behind choosing the best-suited eCommerce platform for one’s online mall include corporate requirements, preferences, and budget. Let’s take a look at the finest eCommerce platforms currently available:
Shopify was launched in 2004 and is currently used by over 1 million users from across industries. A few of the top features of Shopify include scores of themes, an intuitive UI/UX, ease of use, more than 150 payment channels, automatic taxes, and variable shipping rates. Shopify is 100% self-hosted and supports social network integrations. It also offers a team of Shopify Experts for troubleshooting or meeting any development, marketing, or design requirements. Small businesses on the lookout for a comprehensive eCommerce solution can benefit the most by using the Shopify eCommerce platform.
Magento is an eCommerce platform characterized by its flexibility and is the ideal alternative for growing medium-sized businesses. The platform features a content management system (CMS), consumer segmentation tools, and a range of advanced eCommerce features. The key feature of Magento is that it offers 100% customizability.
BigCommerce and Shopify, both have similarities in their functionality, which are exceedingly good. But BigCommerce has more advanced features. It also makes a 24/7 customer support team available for merchants migrating from other platforms. BigCommerce features multi-channel eCommerce capabilities, and merchants can also sell over channels such as Amazon and eBay when they create their web mall over BigCommerce.
WooCommerce is among the most preferred open-source platforms. The high theme availability over WooCommerce simplifies creating a unique web mall. A merchant furthermore gets access to an unlimited benefits, such as free shipping, order management, 100% customization, and an unlimited number of products. If a small business runs a website based on WordPress, it can benefit the maximum by using WooCommerce.
Steps involved with eCommerce website development
1. Determining the service offerings or products
This creates a foundation for the entire development process of your eCommerce store.
2. Finalize upon the business model
You could go for any of the business models mentioned in this article, such as B2C or B2B, or also go for a multi-seller C2C store, such as eBay. Combining the B2C and C2C functionality is also possible.
3. Deciding upon the website builder that is the best match for your requirements
Affordability is an important parameter for centering down upon the best-suited website builder. But the platform should also provide all functionalities for running your eCommerce mall.
4. Go for the best-suited plan for your business
All pricing models will come with unique functionalities and features. A merchant has to consider what works the best for his business.
5. Buy a domain
A merchant will need to buy a domain name for his website. A good domain name makes the website come by as reliable and builds customer trust.
6. Finalize a template for your website
A template is a pre-designed resource and displays the structure of a website’s display features and comprehensive layout. Another option at a merchant’s disposal is to have a custom theme or template made for his website.
7. Add the products
Adding the products is typically easy, wherein a merchant adds the product name, HD images, product description, categorizations and subcategorization, tags, and parameters such as weight and number of items in a package, as and when required.
8. Payment methods
The more payment gateways that a merchant adds to his website, the higher sales he is likely to clock because more payment gateways add to customer delight. Ease of use and security are some important parameters associated with payment gateways.
9. Shipping strategy
Here, a merchant will add pin codes for all areas where he intends to make deliveries. He may also devise a formula for calculating shipping charges based on the delivery distance.
10. Configure your web mall
A merchant should add in the maximum number of functionalities that make his website user-friendly, such as multi-language options, multiple currency options, and ease of navigation.
If your website is a high performer in terms of SEO, it delivers a competitive edge for your business. The website is then accessible for more customers.
12. Quality analysis
An end-to-end quality analysis lets a business identify the flaws in the website before it goes Live.
13. Go Live!
Go Live, and you are all set to make sales online. A merchant can also launch his website in phases, by progressively limiting the deliveries to a certain geographic area in each phase.