What is eCommerce?
eCommerce means the activity of buying or selling of services or products through the electronic medium.
What is an eCommerce Website?
If you’re familiar with online shopping, then you will easily understand what an eCommerce Website is. eCommerce websites merely mean those websites which are engaged in buying and selling goods and services online.
If you have bought anything online, you have bought it from a website that lists products and prices them. These websites or these service providers are known as eCommerce sites.
In eCommerce websites, not just goods and services are being sold – it could be anything, ranging from commodities to software.
If you’re exchanging money online to complete a work, then that transaction or that website would be considered a part of the eCommerce ecosystem.
Types of eCommerce Websites
There are four types of eCommerce sites. These eCommerce sites cover almost all levels of eCommerce transactions online. Below I have listed them one by one.
(B2B) Business to Business
B2B eCommerce sites are those websites that sell products to another business to facilitate them to accomplish a task.
If you have read the B2B acronym several times online and still don’t understand it completely, then for your knowledge, I’m explaining it here.
A B2B website is merely a website that focuses on selling products or services to a fellow business house.
B2B merely means Business to Business. In the B2B model, a business provides a finished product or a raw material or a service to a business house to facilitate them to accomplish a job more efficiently than they are doing now.
(B2C) Business to Consumer:
B2C websites are those websites that sell products to the end-user directly. When you buy a product from amazon’s site, you’re buying it from a B2C website.
B2C is immensely popular on the internet. Several websites are engaged in this model. B2C websites target a specific customer group to sell their service or products.
As I have mentioned earlier, a popular example of a B2C site is Amazon’s website.
(C2B) Consumer to Business:
In the C2B model, a customer or a consumer sells a product or shares his views to influence a buyer’s buying decision.
To explain it in simple words, if you’re buying a product online and leaving a review on your blog site, you’re a C2B business site. You’re facilitating the business to sell their products, and you’re spreading awareness among the customers.
A popular example of a C2B website would be affiliate websites. In affiliates sites, a product user writes a review of a product based on which a buyer might buy the product.
C2B (Consumer to Business) also assists business owners in improving their products. Input from consumers helps to make a better version of the product.
(C2C) Consumer to Consumer:
In the C2C model, a consumer sells products to a consumer. If you’re familiar with the Olx website or eBay website, then you will understand it clearly.
In these websites, a consumer uploads a product and sell that product to a potential buyer. These transactions are known as C2C transactions.
Here a consumer uses a product and later on-sell it to someone for further use, and by selling the product, they try to earn a profit.
The C2C model has been on the rise after the dotcom boom in the world. In India, websites such as Olx are a well-known example of the C2C platform provider.
Various examples of eCommerce websites
eCommerce websites go through various types of transitions and serve customers from all platforms of the world. Below I have listed them all one by one.
In today’s time, the most profitable business are those businesses that sell digital products. Digital products are often one time products.
It doesn’t require factories to manufacture and can be used anywhere in the world. And it can serve anyone requisites without the delivery cost.
All these factors make it the most profitable business model in the eCommerce business right now.
Digital products are often sold on eCommerce websites. These eCommerce websites provide a license to their end-users to use their product.
An example of digital products is antivirus software, e-books, and music files.
Service selling is a new medium of an online eCommerce transaction. These day’s several such eCommerce websites are available where you can hire experts to accomplish a specific task.
These are service orientated websites. In today’s world, competition is higher; therefore, you require experts to do a task.
In service eCommerce websites, you can hire them. A perfect example of this would be Upwork and Fiverr. In these websites, service sellers are available in various categories, starting from writing to software developments. If you can accomplish the work online, you will find your match there.
Dropshipping has become a popular term in recent years. Several new marketers are using this model to earn a myriad of money online.
So, what is dropshipping? In dropshipping, you don’t obtain a stock that you sell on your eCommerce website. Instead, when a potential buyer buys the advertised or displayed product on your site, you shift the product to your customer from a third-party website.
A well-known example of this model is the AliExpress website. Marketers use the AliExpress site to choose drop shipping products and then rebrand it and sell it to their potential customers.
Dropshipping business has its pros and cons; however, today, I am not discussing it here.
This is another model of an eCommerce website that helps the site owner to earn money from its users.
In this model, you buy a product for a certain period to access the premium service offered by an eCommerce website.
Payment on this model is on a recurring basis, which means you consume the product as long as you pay the price.
Well known subscription base services are Netflix and Amazon Prime. In the subscription model, you’re maintaining the relationship with your customer, and in the future, this customer will surely buy your products.
The subscription-based model is currently the most popular model among streaming services and membership-based products.
The retail model is merely the same old brick and mortar model, but with a small change to attract the customers.
Retail Ecommerce website operates online, where the company establishes a website and sells their products. In this model, companies are maintaining their inventories and shifting to their customers.
The Retail model doesn’t require online payment. You can also use cash on delivery option. Retails model is the most trusted model online since several people don’t feel comfortable paying online.
In this model, a vast delivery network is required, and robust storage would also require. Amazon and Flipkart’s eCommerce websites are the biggest retail websites.
How to Start an eCommerce Website
As of now, you have learned about eCommerce and its basics. Now here, I will tell you how you can start an eCommerce website by yourself without spending a fortune.
To start an eCommerce website, at first, you require to select the type of eCommerce you’re going to be. At the beginning of the article, I have shared with you all the types of eCommerce sites available online. Select the one that suits your needs.
For reference purposes, in this article, I will be guiding you to start a C2B business online.
Starting a C2B business online
To start a C2B business, at first, you will require to buy a hosting service provider. Make sure that the hosting service provider you’re selecting has a good reputation and provides a reliable service to its users. Below I have listed some of the leading website hosting providers. Each of these hosting providers is providing low price hosting with a fast and reliable uptime.
Currently, Hostinger is the best light and fast and low priced web hosting service provider in India. I prefer it and found it to be reliable than the others. Yes, there are other better options available online, but that service provider will charge you a higher amount per month.
In the initial days, it would be better to start with a budget hosting provider. Hostinger charges you a very low price but doesn’t compromise on their uptime.
Another fast and reliable hosting provider is A2Hosting. It is also providing you a free SSL certificate with its starting plans. It has an SSD storage option. If you know SSD properly, you will know that the SSD storage is 17 times faster than the HDD storage.
A2hosting focuses on the speed of the site. If you have visited a slow website before, you know the pain. A2Hosting helps you to host a fast website so that you don’t lose your potential customers.
Bluehost is the most popular hosting provider in India. Internet’s several major websites started their journey with Bluehost hosting. It is a budget hosting service provider and has a good uptime ratio.
However, unlike the USA Bluehost service provider, the Indian version of Bluehost is slow. It may not load as fast as the above two hosting providers.
Bluehost shared hosting comes with a budget price that assists you in launching new eCommerce websites and helps you in experimenting with it.
If you had asked me which website is the best hosting provider a year ago, I would have suggested to you the Godday’s name. But now, I am extremely skeptical about it.
Godaddy’s plans are cheap for the first year, but from the second year onwards, it charges you higher than the service it provides.
Other than this, I have found Godaddy’s websites are extremely slow. Therefore, if you have a limited budget, you can choose Godaddy as your hosting provider, but in the upcoming days, it will be a painful experience for you.
However, I would like to mention here that one positive aspect of Godaddy is its customer care.
Till now, I guess you have got an idea about hosting sites. Select the hosting provider that fits your site. Now in the next step, I will be writing here the ways to start a C2B business website online.
Install a CMS Software
I love WordPress and always prefer WordPress for new users. It is the best CMS (Content Management System) in the world.
Since we are talking about the C2B business model here, you will require a place to post your reviews and thoughts to influence the buyers. For this reason, a WordPress site would be your perfect choice.
Once you select your hosting provider, select the WordPress hosting option, and install it.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about the domain. One should buy a domain that sounds professional and has some relevant words in it, similar to the blogging subject.
It will help others to remember it, and it will also help you rank faster on Google.
Post Articles and Do Keyword Research
Once your website is live, then start posting articles and help others to find valuable products. It will assist your users and will add value to their life.
By posting valuable content on your site, you will attract readers, and it will help you boost your business further.
Do Keyword Research
In the B2C model, your main aim is to reach the buyers; therefore, always look for new ways to reach new customers.
Google keyword research is a great tool to reach new customers. What does it mean?
It means you find the exact words through which a customer searches on google’s website.
And then write an article around it to attract the reader to reach your blog and try to educate them about your products.
If you’re still not sure how to start earning from your B2C website, then you should know about affiliate marketing.
In affiliate marketing, you promote a specific product from a specific company and earn a decent commission from it.
In affiliate marketing, you don’t need to maintain inventory, and you don’t need to care about the delivery option as well. All these would be taken care of by the company itself. All you need is to help the customer to find the right product, and in return, you will earn money.
As of now, you know what an eCommerce website is and how to start it. In one blog, it may not be possible to cover all the aspects of the eCommerce website.
But I tried to give you a glimpse of it. For more information and more educational blogs, stick to this blog site. I will be posting similar content here.
In the meantime, read my other articles, and please don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment section. Your positive thoughts inspire me to write more.