The advancement of communication technologies and the internet represents a great opportunity for companies like yours, which seek to stand out from the competition and be chosen by customers. In this sense, service and product provider companies have had a place on the internet for several years now.
Having an institutional website is no longer enough. Companies must have an e-commerce site to reach more people and boost their business. Many companies have abandoned physical stores to establish their operation 100%. Products, services, info products, are some examples of what companies and people market on the internet. Practically whatever you want, you can sell through e-Commerce.
What is e-Commerce?
We understand e-Commerce as the use of the internet to do business. These are different business models or characterizations that allow different kinds of digital commercial transactions between firms and individuals.
In recent years companies are focusing not only on online sales but also on taking advantage of mobile devices to reach potential buyers. In this sense, M-Commerce allows the realization of transactions and e-Commerce activities conducted in a wireless environment, such as online banking. Approaches such as the famous Mobile First are increasingly important for your organization’s strategy.
Is it difficult to build your business around e-Commerce? Not at all! Strategy is an essential part, and we will talk about that below. It is necessary to understand the value of e-Commerce and what modality is indicated for your company. But it is also key to have a platform that allows you to launch your strategy. The choice of the platform is extremely important, and that is why at Huenei we have been working for many years offering our clients high-quality advice and developments. We know what is important and we want to help you achieve the best results.
What type of e-Commerce should I use?
You need to understand which e-Commerce model is the right one for your company and how you can benefit from the digital interactions of your customers. Let’s analyze some of them…
Business to consumer (B2C). In this model, a company sells products or services to consumers through the internet, with or without intermediaries. Regardless of the company’s sector (retail, entertainment, hospitality, services, etc.), the B2C model brings several advantages, among which we can highlight a greater scope, better management of costs and stocks, and the geographic expansion of the market. Some common examples are apparel companies that sell online, such as Nike or Adidas, and supermarkets, such as Walmart.
Business to business (B2B). In this case, companies sell to other companies through e-Commerce. The aim is to automate the supply chain by electronic means. Companies with B2B models benefit from the reduction of procurement times, the integration of control and marketing systems, as well as the reduction of inventories and manufacturing cycles. The focus is on automating and optimizing the operation through the use of electronic platforms and e-Commerce. Companies such as Salesforce, Hootsuite, Skype, and Qualtrics are examples of B2B e-businesses.
Other e-Commerce models. Although B2C and B2B are the most common business models, there are a wide variety of alternatives that companies and individuals can adopt. The selection of the right model for your company will depend on your needs, the characteristics of the clients, and the product or service itself. But it is important to understand them to make the right decision. Other common e-Commerce models are:
Business to government (B2G). These are companies that standardize and automate the services and products offered to the government or public administration through e-Commerce.
Business to investors (B2I). It consists of platforms that focus on capturing projects, analyzing them, correcting them, standardizing them, and thus, with a unique and previously tested format, making them available to potential investors.
Consumer to consumer (C2C). The C2C models are characterized by the interaction of consumers. People organize or take advantage of the nexus generated by a company to market products and services among themselves. The bidder is an individual, as is the buyer. Sites like MercadoLibre are a clear example of this e-Commerce model.
What are its characteristics?
Regardless of the e-Commerce model that your company uses, there are many important characteristics to take into account, which also represent the value of e-Commerce for your organization and your customers.
The time and place no longer matter, and e-Commerce can always be available.
We can take advantage of e-Commerce to expand our geographic borders. The sky’s the limit!
Don’t worry, a set of standards ensure that your information will be safeguarded and that your website will be secure.
We can combine messages, storytelling, videos, images and photographs, audio, and other multimedia content that enrich the experience.
The user interacts with the technology.
Communication, feedback, and customer follow-up become much easier and more personalized.
What do you think of everything we discussed today? As you can see, the internet has been a great opportunity for many years for companies like yours. It is important that you can determine the appropriate e-Commerce model to offer more value to your customers and, consequently, enhance the results of your company.
Does your business have an eCommerce? You still don’t have an online store? If you sell products and services to a public of end consumers (even industrial segments on many occasions) you cannot miss the great opportunities that online stores bring to your organization.
The eCommerce business model has been around for many years now and most companies have already joined this wave. But… is it enough to have a website? Is it enough to have an online store?
The digital business model, which we like to call the eCommerce model, is much more than just that. It is a strategy, often integrated with an offline business approach, that ensures the development of opportunities and the realization of relevant conversions for the company.
Let’s go step by step… What is my digital model?
Depending on the characteristics of your organization’s online presence, you could fit into one of the following broad categories:
Corporate web model. These are simple websites, with little content and limited functionality. The main function is to serve as a virtual business card, an online “shop window”. But the user can make few interactions, which is why it is generally used by companies with a great focus on traditional, offline channels. The classic example of this model is Coca-Cola’s website.
eBranding model. If your brand has a website with a great presence of visual design, whose objective is to enhance the image of the company, it may be marked in this category. This model is characterized by offering valuable content to consumers, such as contests, games, blog articles, among others. The brand’s online presence is strong, but revenue and financial benefit come from offline activities. Huenei’s website represents an eBranding model.
eCommerce model. If we think of a classic definition of this business model, we should say that it is about companies that have an online store. This store can be the only means of income or it can be combined with offline channels such as physical stores. However, at Huenei we believe that an eCommerce business model implies much more than this. In fact, we like to understand this model as an extension of the eBranding one.
The focus should be on offering valuable content and experiences for users, along with effective promotional communication actions, to achieve not only sporadic purchases but also customer loyalty. We understand that this model should be characterized by a digital marketing channel, added to the construction of long-term relationships with consumers. A company that represents a great implementation of the eCommerce model is Falabella. You can review our case study about our work for this brand.
What is the eCommerce client like?
Before the era of eCommerce, organizations had to serve an “anonymous” customer. Beyond consumer research, market research, and other efforts that companies made to understand the true behaviors and interests of their target audience, it was very difficult to get a specific understanding of needs, preferences, and tastes. At Huenei we’ve helped some clients understand their consumer’s needs with the development of automated survey systems, such as the project we carried out for Aeropuertos Argentinos.
With the advent of e-commerce, digital and hybrid business models, organizations began to understand more deeply not only demographic and geographic characteristics but various behavioral and psychographic drivers of the consumer. In this sense, the era of eCommerce gives rise to a “known” customer.
Online stores bring a series of distinctive functionalities that are generally valued by customers. Let us list the ones we consider to be the most important below:
Thanks to the shopping cart, your customer can “pause” their purchase moment and re-engage later. In addition, it allows them to know the status of the purchase in terms of quantity, price, discounts, taxes…
Electronic payment facilitates the sales process and shortens your customer’s purchase cycle. Thanks to this functionality, the user can pay directly from the online store and become a customer.
The internal search engine turns your customer into an indirect manager of the store’s database. The user can enter the search terms corresponding to the product they want to purchase (as a query) and find what they are looking for. This is a key functionality for the online store to be self-administered by users.
The distribution logistics functionalities allow the client to easily inform the final price, considering purchase conditions, quantity or volume, delivery, and distribution, among other relevant factors.
The registration process is one of our favorite functionalities since it brings great benefits for the user and allows us to feed the company’s database. The user benefits as they will be able to access their search history, wish list, cart, and purchases, which would be very difficult in an offline context.
Closely related to the previous point, the registration process facilitates the operation of the recommendation engine of the online store. This functionality presents the user with information about complementary products, items purchased and viewed by other users, and more.
It is also essential to understand that nowadays a greater proportion of users choose to carry out their searches and make purchases through mobile devices. You must not forget the importance of the responsiveness of your site and the concept of Mobile First.
All these functionalities require an alignment of the information and management systems of a company. Stock management must be permanently updated based on the sales made. Distribution logistics must be aligned with the demands of buyers and the possibilities of the company. The customer relationship management team must be informed of sales made. And we could provide endless examples.
At Huenei we specialize in creating software products tailored to the specific needs of your business. Now you know that the development and design of your website is only the starting point of the software developments necessary for the correct functioning of the systems. Do you want to incorporate an eCommerce strategy and business model with integration into your organization’s software systems? We would like to be able to accompany you in the process.
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