If you have recently set up a business or are planning to set up your own business then you’re probably considering making a website to get your business out there.
The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably and you have probably heard both terms used before but they are actually different.
If you are planning to sell a product online, it’s important to learn and understand these differences so you will know which route to go down.
12% of retail sales in the US are done through e-commerce sites which equates to more than $160 billion so there is no doubt that this is a market worth working in as it only shows signs of growth.
But what is e-commerce? The simple answer is that it is selling goods and services online. It’s full title is electronic commerce as it is solely done online. Any products you have purchased online such as Amazon is all under the e-commerce umbrella.
During the pandemic, it’s no secret that many online businesses have taken a hit and there has been a slight decrease in their profits, however, 2021 is projected to perform $765 billion globally purely from e-commerce.
If you have recently lost your job or are wanting to set up a business then e-commerce is a fantastic route to take as you can make a lot of money from it.
Delving deeper into the world of e-commerce, there are many different models that you can follow according to what kind of business you are running. Here are the different types of e-commerce business models that you should know about:
The most common e-commerce model is a Business to Consumer which is known as B2C. This is when goods are sold to an individual customer such as when a single person purchases clothes online.
There are also companies that work as Business to Business, often referred to as B2B which is when businesses only sell their products and services to other businesses.
This is usually seen within certain industries such as marketing or suppliers who sell bulk products to companies such as supermarkets.
For those who work by themselves such as people who set up stores on eBay then they run a C2C which is a Consumer to Consumer business. This is when the seller is an individual consumer selling to another consumer.
Lastly, there is a rising market for Consumer to Business models which is C2B and this is when an individual consumer will sell their services to a business. This is the case when online influencers promote businesses to their followers in exchange for a fee.
Now you know everything there is to know about e-commerce but it’s important to know everything about e-business as well.
E-business is when a business that is run offline in a brick and mortar store but has an online presence to promote their services and enhance their customer base.
The main difference between the two is that e-commerce allows the consumer to purchase goods from the website whereas e-business mainly provides information on the business and will likely have contact details should the consumer want to proceed with their purchases.
E-businesses may sell selected items on their website but the majority of their sales are done offline.
Just as there are multiple e-commerce models, there are also numerous e-business models as well. Here are the ones that you should learn about:
The main e-business model is Pure Play which is when all of the resources are directed into one specific industry such as shoes. Sales can be made on and offline but they don’t always have options to purchase online as they may wish to rely on their brick and mortar stores.
The other option you should know about is Bricks and Clicks which is when a business will sell all of their goods both on and offline equally.
They give their consumers the option to go into the store to look at their goods in person or order from the comfort of their own homes should they wish. It is a more immersive experience than the Pure Play model.
Although e-commerce and e-business have their similarities, they are clearly very different as well. Knowing these differences is important when you are applying one of the models to your own business.
This will help you to maximize your profits as well as ensuring that you are fully understanding how much you want your online presence to impact the business overall.
The likelihood is that you will have your business idea first and then conduct the online business model around that.
If this is the case, you should look into how competing businesses have laid out their online presence so you can see how this is similar or differs to your own. Perhaps you will find a niche that hasn’t been exploited yet.
On the other hand, in the unlikely event that you are looking into these models first then it’s best to check out what successful businesses have excelled in their respective models. This may help to give you inspiration into what kind of business you want to set up.