E-Commerce and E-Business
The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is additionally sometimes utilized in regard to transactional processes around online retail.
Electronic commerce or e-commerce may be a term for all kinds of companies , or commercial transactions, which involve the transfer of data on the web . It covers various sorts of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges of products and services between companies. Nowadays one of the most important aspects of the internet appears. E-commerce allows consumers to exchange goods and services without time or distance. Electronic commerce has grown rapidly over the past five years and is predicted to continue at this rate, or maybe accelerate.
E-Business (electronic business) uses technology to enhance your business processes. This includes managing internal processes like human resources, financial and administrative systems also as external processes like sales and marketing, supply of products and services and customer relations.
Business to Business or B2B refers to electronic commerce between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. B2B businesses often affect hundreds or maybe thousands of other businesses, both as customers or suppliers. Carrying out this transaction electronically provides a huge competitive advantage over traditional methods. When applied correctly, e-commerce is usually faster, cheaper and easier than traditional methods of bartering goods and services.
E-commerce is carried out using various applications, such as e-mail, fax, online catalog and shopping carts, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), File Transfer Protocol, and Web services. Most of this is often business-to-business, with several companies trying to use email and fax for unsolicited advertisements (usually seen as spam) to consumers and other business prospects, as well as to send e-newsletters to customers.
Electronic transactions have been around for some time in the form of Electronic Data Interchange or EDI. EDI requires each supplier and customer to determine a special link (between them), where e-commerce provides an economical method for companies to line up multiple, ad-hoc links. Electronic commerce has also led to the event of electronic markets where potential suppliers and customers are brought together to conduct interdependent trades.
The benefits of e-commerce include around-the-clock availability, speed of access, wider choice of goods and services, accessibility, and international reach. Perceived losses include sometimes limited customer service, being unable to see or touch a product before buying, and waiting times are important for product delivery.
The benefits of e-business include: Faster and easier communication, Strengthening marketing capabilities and reach, Increased operating hours (website provides 24 hours 7 days of existing information and potential customers), Access to broader information through research, Reducing the value of doing business by lowering transaction costs and increasing efficient methods for payment, like using online banking and reducing stationery and postage costs, opportunities to adopt new business models and develop customized customer support.
Companies can reach customers all over the world. Therefore expanding their business is tantamount to increasing profits.
E-commerce offers a reduction in a number of additional costs. A company that does business on the internet will reduce additional costs because these costs are not used for buildings and customer service (customer service), when compared with traditional types of business.
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As with traditional commerce, there are four main categories of e-commerce: B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C.
B2B (Business to Business) – this involves companies doing business with one another. One example is producers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers.
B2C (Business to Consumer) – B2C consists of selling to the general public through software shopping carts, without the need for human interaction. This is what most people think of when they hear “e-commerce.” This example will be Amazon.
C2B (Consumer to Business) – In C2B e-commerce, consumers enter projects with budgets set online, and companies bid on projects. Consumers review offers and choose companies. Elance is an example of this.
C2C (Consumer to Consumer) – this takes place in online classifieds, forums or markets where individuals can buy and sell their goods. Examples of this include Craigslist, eBay and Etsy.
As in any new venture, the first step in success in e-commerce is to set goals. Do you decide to increase revenue from existing customers? Get new customers? Increase the average value of an order? Selling through new channels? Lower price? Once you know your goals, it’s time to set up a plan.
A SWOT analysis can help you assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your company’s current environment. What does the market look like? Where does your business excel, and where does it falter? Review your entire business, not just that segment. Evaluate external opportunities, because this is often the main place to invest time and money. Be honest with yourself when analyzing weaknesses and threats, or analysis will not help.
After the SWOT analysis is completed , see how it fits into your overall vision. Where have you seen your business in five years? In 10 years? This will help you set business goals for the current year, where you set goals for sales, profits, customers, traffic, new systems and new staff. After the goals are set, you can set the strategy to your own place, or hire an e-commerce consultant to help you.
Other tools that can help you determine the best way to develop your company into new segments including PEST (Politics, Economy, Social and Technology), MOST (Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics), and Five Porter’s Force analysis.