The sale and purchase of products and services online are E-commerce. E-commerce is an electronic means to execute almost all business activities like sales or purchase of goods and services, supply chain, online banking, management, electronic data interchange, electronic data interchange, internet marketing, inventory management, and automated data collection systems online.
Do you need more telling? Then let me tell you that your business is not just worth it if you spend long months trying to market a single unit of your product that only draws in less than a $1 profit.
That is not the only headache you contend with when you conduct your marketing using conventional means, there are the advertising costs when you market with conventional advertising outlets, the prices are ridiculously insane but you are forced to deal with it.
Those will still not be your only source of worry, how about the uphill task of finding winning products?
And then getting good suppliers is another herculean task.
As in you basically have to deal with excessive rants and abuses from angry customers.
Good thing is, you can market products that you can set up once and market even for years to come with Ecommerce advertising.
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Types of Ecommerce Advertising
Ecommerce advertising occurs either with a business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer (C2C), or consumer-to-business (C2B). The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also used in the transactional processes for internet shopping.
There are many different types of eCommerce advertising, but which one(s) should your business adopt? Let’s dig in deep.
#1. Business to Business(B2B)
Business to Business e-commerce refers to the electronic exchange of products, services, or information between businesses instead of between businesses and consumers.
Examples include product and supply exchange websites and online directories that allow businesses to search for products, services, and information and to commence transactions through e-procurement connections.
#2. Business to consumer(B2C)
Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce advertising deals with the retail part of e-commerce on the internet where business deal with end customers rather than other businesses.
B2C is when businesses sell products, information, or services directly to consumers.
Today, there are countless virtual stores and malls online selling all types of consumer goods. The most popular example of these sites is the popular Amazon, which dominates the B2C market.
#3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is a type of e-commerce advertising in which consumers trade services, products, and information with each other online.
These transactions are usually conducted through a third party that offers an online platform on which the transactions are carried out.
Online auctions and classified advertisements are two good examples of C2C platforms, with eBay and Craigslist being two of the most recognized of these platforms.
Because eBay is a business, this form of e-commerce could also be called C2B2C (consumer-to-business-to-consumer)
#4. Consumer to Business (C2B)
Consumer to Business (C2B) eCommerce advertising is a type of e-commerce in which consumers make their products and services available online for companies to bid on and make a purchase.
This is the opposite of the conventional commerce model of B2C.
A recognized example of a C2B platform is a market that sells royalty-free photographs, media, design elements, and images, such as iStock. Another good example would be a job board.
#5. Business to Administration (B2A)
Business to Administration (B2A) eCommerce refers to transactions conducted on the internet between companies and government bodies or public administration.
Many branches of government bodies are dependent on e-services or products in one way or another, especially when it comes to legal documents, social security, registers, fiscals, and employment.
Businesses can supply these electronically via the internet. B2A services have grown considerably in the last few years as investments have been made in e-government capabilities.
#6. Consumer to Administration (C2A)
Consumer to Administration (C2A) refers to transactions conducted on the internet between individual consumers and government bodies or public administration.
Here, the government hardly buys products or services from citizens, but individuals frequently use electronic channels in the following areas:
#1. Education: distributing information, online lectures/ distance learning, and more.
#2. Social security: disseminating information, making payments, and more.
#3. Taxes: making payments, filing tax returns, and more.
#4. Health: making appointments, making health services payments, providing information about illnesses, and more.
How Does Ecommerce Advertising work?
This business approach is a completely different version from the traditional pattern of running marketing, you should know that first.
Here, a computer system and an internet connection are required in this. Once you have electronic items such as mobile phones, laptops, or PC which are used in making purchases or sales of items and also make payments, you are ready to climb with your business to the top where all shoppers prefer to gather for their marketing transactions.
Ecommerce as already established above refers to transactions conducted via the internet. Every time individuals and companies buy or sell products and services online, they are engaging in eCommerce.
There are many ways to group eCommerce websites. You can categorize them according to the products or services that they offer, the partners that they transact with, or even the platforms on which they host.
Shoppers can buy physical goods like clothing, furniture, tools, and accessories through online stores by visiting the stores` websites, selecting items in their shopping cart, and making a payment.
Once the shopper has made a payment, the store delivers the items right to their doorstep. Note that since Ecommerce transactions are conducted via the internet, in the eCommerce realm, products are usually referred to as e-goods.
There are also online stores that don’t make doorstep deliveries, where customers can make an online purchase but go to the store themselves to pick up the products they paid for.
Aside from physical products, services can also be bought online. Every time you contract educators, freelancers, and consultants through online platforms, you are doing business with service-based e-tailers.
The phrase digital products refer to all items that are in digital formats including ebooks, online courses, graphics, software, and virtual goods. Looking at the parties partaking in the transaction is another way in which eCommerce sites can be classified.
Shoppers are preferring to buy products online because they are either lazy or lot busy minting money and don’t have time to walk into physical stores.
Taking your business online or doing eCommerce business is as risky as offline or normal business. It has its pros and cons.
Let’s look at them.
Advantages of Ecommerce advertising
Well if we are going to talk about the advantages of eCommerce advertising, they are so many if you put some heart and soul into it.
It is easy to set up, all you need to do is to put religiously focus on your time and you will reap so much from it.
If you ask me, I believe strongly that every business has reaped bountifully from eCommerce especially post covid.
So believe it or not eCommerce is the present and future of profitable marketing with so many advantages as listed below:
#1. Faster buying process
Shoppers spend less time shopping for what they want when they use the online platform. They just easily browse through many items at a time and buy what they like without travelling an inch from their comfort zone.
For instance – Franklin is a customer who goes to a store to buy a washing machine. After moving from one store to the other, he is not able to find what he is looking for.
He recalls that there is a popular eCommerce marketplace and logs online to search for the washing machine and here, he finds it without breaking a sweat.
What is even better is that there is a special offer price and it would be delivered to his home.
This is where eCommerce comes to the rescue for many shoppers thereby crushing the head of physical marketing. All a customer needs to do is go online, search for an item, get a speedy response and buy it just as quickly.
#2. Store & product listing creation.
A product listing is what the customer sees when they search for an item on eCommerce stores. This is one advantage of eCommerce meant for the salesperson.
This online business plus point is that you can customize your product listing after creating them. Note that creating a listing takes very little time, all you require is your product name or codes like EAN, ISBN, UPC, or ASIN.
Merchants can include many images, a description, price, product category, shipping fee, and delivery date.
So, in just one breath the seller can tell the customer many things about the item. Creating your listing shows the buyers what you have.
Rules for product listing
#1. Use good quality resolution images: Blurry images don’t do you any good, at best they confuse customers.
#2. Maintain image dimensions: Normally eCommerce marketplaces recommend a resolution format.
#3. Provide several product views: Some sites even let you add a 360-degree view of items.
#4. When including product variants such as lipsticks in different shades ensure each variant has its specific image.
Customizing listings makes them not only attractive but also appealing. Here the merchant has full control over customization; he can list offers available, discounts if any, and more. Other benefits of e-business product listing are that it is free to upload and fast.
How this is different from offline stores? Offline retailers can provide only a few details about the product.
This can be an uphill task as they have to keep repeating the same data to every customer who is coming to patronize their store.
On the other hand, an online marketplace offers you space to the product description – just once and interested people will read it without involving your time.
One can include even more details like reviews, demo videos, offers available, and expected delivery timing.
Lastly, the listing stays online 24/7 so the customer can see the item when he wishes. Merchants do have the option to add multiple listings or remove items that are sold out.
#3. Cost reduction
One of the biggest benefits of eCommerce to businesses that keep sellers interested in online marketing is cost reduction. Many sellers have to pay lots of money for rent and maintenance of their physical store.
They may need to pay extra upfront costs like rent, repairs, store design, inventory, and more. In many cases, even after investing in services, stock, maintenance, and workforce, they still hardly receive corresponding profits and ROI.
How this is different from online stores? With an eCommerce store, a seller can reduce the amount spent on store upkeep. An eCommerce store is affordable and requires less investment when weighed up with a physical store.
This is also a bright opportunity for individual and small-scale sellers who want to earn an income but don’t have the required start-up capital to launch their businesses.
#4. Affordable advertising and marketing
Sellers do not have to spend a lot of money to promote their items because they are already in the open visibly located online where all shoppers like to gather and transact.
The realm of eCommerce has multiple affordable, quick ways to market online. For instance, Amazon merchants can utilize Advertising tools to include videos, infographics, and high-quality resolution images.
One can infuse life into plain, boring text using DIY features to create customized deals, A+ content, coupons, and sponsored ads.
Many eCommerce marketplaces provide customer insight tools that can be used to analyze customers. Usually, this is a page that shows all orders pending, unshipped, canceled, sent, and returned.
#5. Flexibility for customers.
An important benefit of eCommerce to business is that sellers can offer flexibility to customers and customers are known to worship the ground where flexibility in their shopping experience is given a thought by the sellers.
One highlight is that the product and services are ready 24/7. The result is that a seller can offer his item any place, any time and customers love such arrangements.
Shoppers are always present in an eCommerce marketplace, they are presumably going to return for repeat purchases online because of the conveniences they get.
These conveniences include free shipping, express order delivery, subscription advantages, deals, and discounts.
They also share reviews on the things they purchase. Good reviews draw in two extra benefits for eCommerce. One is that buyers get to trust your store based on the number of positive reviews from your current customers. The other is that it can help you take note of your best-selling items.
Sellers can leverage this customer flexibility to boost their revenue. They can sell on an online marketplace boldly knowing that there are plenty of buyers to sell to.
#7. Product and price comparison
In eCommerce, merchants can compare the products using relevant tools. This gives them a good idea of product options available, and the standard rates, if a product need is not met.
Comparison is faster online and covers many products; it saves time when making this comparison, as all details are available on the shopping website.
In a physical store, sellers may not get access to so many details, they only have better knowledge about their inventory.
#8. Faster response to market demands
Every interaction is faster when you take your business online. Ecommerce marketplaces provide you with a smooth and streamlined logistics or delivery system.
What this means is that the buyers’ order gets delivered efficiently without hassles. Product returns management is one more plus point that can be handled speedily, you either make a refund or give a replacement.
Speedy actions can even be practiced when responding to market demands. Think of this eCommerce example, when a buyer sees that an item is out of stock, he can click on the ‘Notify Me button`.
This notifies him when that item is back on the shelves again. It also notifies sellers that they need to restock that item so they can get more buyers.
#9. Ease to exports
E-commerce exports help sellers directly sell to international customers in global marketplaces, allowing them to go beyond national boundaries and expand abroad.
With e-commerce, sellers do not have to invest in a physical store to reach customers. Instead, they can utilize attractive product listings and gain new customers internationally with ease.
#10. Multiple payment options
Buyers like personalization, and the same goes for paying for their orders. The eCommerce marketplace permits multiple payment options that include UPI, card on delivery, cash on delivery, EMIs on credit or debit card net banking, and pay-later credit facility.
Cart recovery – This is one huge advantage of eCommerce. Sometimes a buyer reaches the bottom of the sales funnel but doesn’t complete the purchase.
Here, you can notify customers through phone messages, or email to finish buying.
There is a catch – Customers can only use one type of payment option per order. This choice is affected by ease of payment, the order value, or the availability of cash or a card. In some cases, payment options can be merged with a dedicated wallet amount.
What this means for sellers is that they no longer have to miss a potential sale opportunity due to a lack of available payment options.
Disadvantages of E-commerce Advertising
#1. Lack of personal touch
It is a kind of consumer feeling that they can’t feel and touch the product they are about to make payment for.
Sometimes no matter how good a product is explained it doesn’t strike the trust chords in a buyer. This makes eCommerce sometime difficult where the customer holds some trust issues over products.
#2. Unsure of the quality
One of the biggest challenges with buying items online is that you will have no guarantee of a product’s quality.
Reviews are not always helpful as they are not always truthful.
They so many times mislead customers into paying for bad products online.
#3. Late Delivery
When someone plans to order a product online they are never completely sure when they are taking deliveries as per time and date of delivery.
This puts customers in a very tight and confusing situation when their products are taking forever to get to them.
#4. Security issues/ Cart Abandonment
E-commerce sites record all the crucial details about the customers which are to be kept secured because it includes details like name, phone no, address, and bank details.
Handling this sensitive information into the hands of strangers online causes a lot of shoppers to abandon the cart at the points of payment.
#5. Some products are difficult to purchase online
It is not that easy to trust every product online because of the beautiful images explaining the looks of the product, for example, gold is not a product that can be easily trusted and purchased online.
One has to verify physically to be sure of what one is paying for.
You can say that eCommerce shoppers will not have the opportunity to inspect items physically in eCommerce advertising.
#6. Site Crash issues
Back in 2013, Amazon.com lost $66,240 a minute when it crashed. That was nine years ago.
Today, it’s a well-known fact that you can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for every hour your e-commerce site is down.
So site crashing is another huge disadvantage that comes with eCommerce advertising
E-commerce advertising has massively distracted offline retailing and continues to grow at 14–15%, it has its obvious benefits and a carefully tailored online presence across platforms is crucial for the success of the today’s business owner.
However, drawing from the ugly e-commerce experience Amazon had and other shortfalls with the platform, it is fair to say that eCommerce advertising is not a heaven for business owners
90% of consumers still make their shopping in physical stores. Customers interact with brands on one basis and they seem to trust physical stores more
Physical spaces act as brand gateways, offering the physical experience of products, personalized interaction, and the instant benefits that shoppers crave.
E-commerce advertising offers less in these areas, so this would be a major limitation.
However, with e-commerce advertising experiencing such high growth and physical stores in decline (8000 shut their stores in the US alone in a year) retailers must consider carefully what a physical offering looks like.