E-Commerce Website Solutions

smart office e-commerce

What is E-Commerce?


It is important to explain what e-commerce is when discussing e-commerce website solutions. E-Commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. E-Commerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.

Whereas e-business refers to all aspects of operating an online business, E-Commerce refers specifically to the transaction of goods and services.

E-Commerce has evolved to make products easier to discover and purchase through online retailers and marketplaces.  Independent freelancers, small businesses, and large corporations have all benefited from E-Commerce, which enables them to sell their goods and services at a scale that was not possible with traditional offline retail.

E-Commerce Website Solutions – Types of E-Commerce Models


There are four main types of E-Commerce models that can describe most transactions that take place between consumers and businesses.

e-commerce website solutions b2c

Business to Consumer (B2C)


When a business sells goods or services to an individual consumer (e.g. You buy a pair of shoes from an online retailer).

e-commerce website solutions b2b

Business to Business (B2B)


When a business sells goods or services to another business (e.g. A business sells software-as-a-service for other businesses to use) 

e-commerce website solutions c2c

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)


When a consumer sells goods or services to another consumer (e.g. You sell your old furniture on eBay to another consumer).

e-commerce website solutions c2b

Consumer to Business (C2B)


When a consumer sells their own products or services to a business or organization (e.g. An influencer offers exposure to their online audience in exchange for a fee, or a photographer licenses their photo for a business to use).

We take a look at the best E-Commerce platforms and how to evaluate which is best for your business needs. Highly Secure

Examples of E-Commerce


E-Commerce can take on a variety of forms involving different transactional relationships between businesses and consumers, as well as different objects being exchanged as part of these transactions.

e-commerce

Retail


The sale of a product by a business directly to a customer without any intermediary.

e-commerce website

Wholesale


The sale of products in bulk, often to a retailer that then sells them directly to consumers.

e-commerce dropshipping

Dropshipping


The sale of a product, which is manufactured and shipped to the consumer by a third party.

e-commerce crowdfunding

Crowdfunding


The collection of money from consumers in advance of a product being available in order to raise the startup capital necessary to bring it to market.

website sales

Subscription


The automatic recurring purchase of a product or service on a regular basis until the subscriber chooses to cancel.

online products

Physical Products


Any tangible good that requires inventory to be replenished and orders to be physically shipped to customers as sales are made.

digital sales

Digital Products


Downloadable digital goods, templates, courses, or media that must be purchased for consumption or licensed for use.

e-commerce services

Services


A skill or set of skills provided in exchange for compensation. The service providers’ time can be purchased for a fee.

Starting an e-commerce business is exciting. You get to choose your business name, create your logo and branding, and build your website. And while it’s easy to consider your needs now, it’s also important to think about where your business is heading and what other tools you’ll need.

Today, it’s not enough to simply choose the best online store builder. Savvy entrepreneurs look for the best ecommerce platform: an ecosystem of tools that seamlessly integrate, giving you complete control over every aspect of your business and the ability to scale as you grow.

What are E-Commerce Website Solutions?


An E-Commerce website solution is a way to build and create an online experience that allows you to make sales and fulfil orders—no matter where your customers are or where they like to shop.

While most people think their E-Commerce platform is just a tool that lets them list products and accept payments online, a true E-Commerce platform is much more than that. Your E-Commerce platform should be a complete business command centre from where you control everything from inventory to marketing. It should allow you to process payments, but should also give you seamless access to all of the tools you need to sell online, including (but not limited to!) your own online store.

In order to make your online store accessible to the public, you have to have a hosting solution. Hosting stores your information on a server, which allows internet users to visit your site and view all of the content. Every website is hosted somewhere, meaning it has dedicated server space from a provider. Some E-Commerce platforms have hosting built in, while others require you use self-hosting or open-source hosting.

Some ecommerce website builders offer a hosted platform. In this case, you don’t need to worry about the mess of self or third-party hosting and the additional fees attached. Shopify stores, for example, include website hosting in every plan. All Shopify updates are automatic and hassle-free, so your site will always be up to date. Building on a hosted ecommerce platform gives you more freedom to focus on running your business—not on putting out fires caused by downtime and the need to fix bugs.

Self-hosted, or non-hosted, ecommerce platforms require merchants to use their own server space or pay to rent space from a hosting provider. This makes ongoing website management complex, as you’re responsible for updates, maintenance, and bug fixes. This requires a lot of internal resources that you could otherwise allocate elsewhere.

Self-hosted platforms are typically open source, and you use a third party to host your website data. Third-party sourcing options charge fees for their services, and these costs quickly add up. Many times, these hosting services use tiered pricing structures, so those on the lowest plans don’t get much in the way of customer support. This can leave you hanging at really important times, like traffic boosts after unexpected press coverage.

There are four types of ecommerce: B2C (business-to-consumer), B2B (business-to-business), C2B (consumer-to-business), and C2C (consumer-to-consumer).

  1. B2C. This refers to online selling from a business to an individual consumer. You might also hear people refer to B2C ecommerce as DTC, or direct-to-consumer.
  2. B2B. When one business sells to another business online, it’s B2B ecommerce. These transactions include wholesale buying, when the purchasing business intends to resell at a profit, as well as for business use—things like office supplies and equipment.
  3. C2B. Consumers also have selling power, as seen when they sell to businesses. Typically, these transactions are less traditional. A consumer might sell their influence in the form of a featured social post, or they might offer a five-star review in exchange for money.
  4. C2C. Consumers can also sell to one another, a trend that has emerged with the popularity of the sharing economy. Platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay offer a place to facilitate C2C ecommerce.

Ultimately, the type of ecommerce business you run will help you dictate which site is best for that business.

e-commerce business

What does great E-Commerce Website Solutions mean to you?


When you’re deep into E-Commerce comparison shopping, it’s easy to forget why you’re picking an E-Commerce platform at all. Do you really need to find the best E-Commerce platform? At the end of the day, there is no best choice for everyone. Instead, look for the right E-Commerce platform that allows you to serve your customers with the best E-Commerce experience that makes shopping online feel easy.

Beyond simply the best online store builder, think about the other business tools those platforms offer. It’s often beneficial to use a seamlessly integrated ecosystem, consisting of your online store, payment processor, POS, marketing automation and even small business lender. Shopify, for example, has an entire suite of tools that help you manage every aspect of your business, and an App Store with over 4,000 apps to help you customize the experience for your customers and your team. 

SmartOffice Technology

SmartOffice Technology caters for the growing requirements of document automation and workflow solutions within the modern office. Effective automation software has become critical to thriving in business. 

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