eCommerce has now become a familiar and integral part of everyone. A few years recently, we witnessed an increase in both eCommerce stores and online shoppers over the world. Whether you are a customer or a business owner, eCommerce is somehow affecting your daily life significantly.
So… does eCommerce brings out positive changes to both customers and businesses? This article will be about the advantages of eCommerce to customers & businesses that you should know.
Table of Contents
- What is eCommerce?
- Common types of eCommerce
- Advantages of eCommerce to customers
- Advantages of eCommerce to businesses
- Final words
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce refers to buying and selling products online via multiple digital channels such as mobile apps, websites, social media, etc. Every customer interaction from browsing products to adding them to the cart and eventually checkout is implemented online, with no physical touch. In eCommerce, you can purchase nearly anything like food, clothes, appliances, electronics, and much more.
You may be familiar with popular online marketplaces like Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, eBay, and Tiki where businesses sell their products through platforms. However, many brands choose to develop their eCommerce website and turn it into a major sales channel.
Common types of eCommerce
eCommerce is massive. It includes many types of eCommerce that serve different people.
Below are the 3 most common types of eCommerce that you should know.
- Business to Consumer (B2C): B2C refers to the sales transactions between customers and businesses. For example, if you order a pair of shoes on the Nike website, you just made an eCommerce purchase.
- Business to Business (B2B): B2B refers to transactions between businesses and businesses. It typically involves the exchange of raw materials, produced goods, or very long sales cycle services.
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C): C2C means consumers use online selling platforms to market products to other consumers. Some popular online C2C platforms include Etsy, eBay, Facebook marketplace, etc
Advantages of eCommerce to customers
According to eMarketer, online retail sales will reach $6.17 trillion by 2023, and eCommerce websites take up 22.3% of total retail sales. With the fast-paced growth of eCommerce, it comes along with a lot of advantages to customers.
Let’s see what customers can benefit from eCommerce in the following.
Lower product price
Buying the same product in a brick-and-mortar store is often much more expensive than shopping online. It is because the merchants have to pay a lot of upfront costs such as renting, repairs, decoration, inventory, etc., which contribute to the product price. Meanwhile, eCommerce stores require less investment and cut off the middlemen.
As such, online merchants have lower costs than classic merchants which is the main reason why they can offer lower prices of goods and services for their buyers with low shipping costs.
A wide range of goods and services
In comparison with traditional stores, eCommerce sites can show a broader range of products or services with a wide range of characteristics. You can select from a variety of products since there is no space limitation with e-commerce.
E-commerce also allows customers to choose a product or service they want, from any supplier, anywhere in the world. You have a much wider choice than in traditional stores and the freedom to browse without any stress or hurry is priceless.
Ease and convenience
One of the best things for customers is that customers can easily approach any e-commerce site at any time of the day and order anything they want. In a few clicks, you can order any product online without having to leave your workplace or home. All you need to do is chill out and wait for the order shipped directly to your address.
Without being restricted by just a few geographical locations, you can shop online at any time. Whether it’s midnight or early morning, you can still browse products, search for information, and place an order from your end.
Make more informed and better decision
eCommerce enables the availability and accessibility of information everywhere on the Internet. It’s no hassle to find information about a product like product description, reviews, usage videos, etc. They are all at the customer’s fingertips and help customers to make more informed decisions.
Compared to shopping in physical stores, shopping online enables people to easily compare products, brands, and websites with even side-by-side comparisons possible. If having further questions or need help, they can easily contact the brand via live chat or send messages via social media to get prompt support.
Advantages of eCommerce to businesses
eCommerce offers new opportunities for businesses to transition or expand their sales channels to online stores. Almost any product or service can be sold in eCommerce stores and quickly approached by people from all over the world.
So what specific benefits that businesses gain from eCommerce? Let’s find out more below
Running an online store saves you much more costs compared to a physical store. As your business runs on a digital platform, you can cut off a significant amount of money for rent and insurance expenses, security or maintenance personnel, utility expenses, etc
Flexibility and availability
As eCommerce store opens all day, customers can shop online anytime at their fingertips. It means your business can get profits while you sleep.
Besides, you can even support customers and answer their frequently asked questions by using a chatbot. The technology makes it simple and flexible for organizations to run smoothly on digital platforms.
Reach out to more customers
A seller with a brick-and-mortar store may only be able to reach a certain number of buyers. They can deliver to the customers’ living places but there can be distance limitations. Meanwhile, many e-commerce marketplaces have their own logistics system which is not limited by geography.
Sellers need to expand their reach to find new customers to grow their business. This does not only applies to online-only sellers but also to those with a physical store. Online-only sellers can save on logistics costs and be recommended by customers. Meanwhile, sellers with a physical store begin selling their goods to local customers.
Faster response to buyer’s demands
Ecommerce marketplaces offer you a smooth-running logistics or delivery system. It means that the buyer’s order gets delivered efficiently and more quickly. Product returns management is an advantage point that can be handled quickly – you either refund the payments or give a replacement.
Speedy actions can even be applied when responding to market demands. For example, when a buyer sees that an item is out of stock, he can click on the “Notify Me” option. This will inform him when that item is available for sale again. It also informs merchants that they need to restock that item to satisfy their customers
eCommerce is developing at an unprecedented speed and making many changes to both customers and businesses. Customers now can shop online for nearly everything from anywhere in the world at a cheaper price than shopping in physical stores. Meanwhile, online businesses save a huge amount of cost compared to brick-and-mortar stores and better reach out to customers across the globe.
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