What are the totally different types of e-commerce?


Do you want to start an e-commerce activity, but would like to get to know the digital environment better before you start? Keep in mind that there are different forms of e-commerce and several ways to sell products online!

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What is e-commerce?

E-commerce or online commerce is a dematerialized activity that consists of selling products and services to customers from a particular internet platform.

It can be a “proprietary” platform for which you have access rights as an administrator, but also a market that acts as an intermediary between you, the end customer.

Thus, in most cases, the platforms enable the control of logistics and order execution, either directly or through a third party. For individuals and professionals who want to optimize inventory management, there are currently interesting alternatives, such as dropshipping.

E-commerce is now well established in the environment and an increasing number of internet users appreciate it for its flexibility and efficiency. The Federation of E-Commerce and Distance Sales (FEVAD) therefore estimates the turnover of e-commerce in France at 112 billion euros for 2020. The digitalisation of retail trade has experienced a strong increase, certainly due to the context of the health crisis (1).

In other words, starting a digital business right now can have many benefits provided you choose your economic model carefully.

What are the different types of e-commerce?

Depending on the nature of your e-commerce project, it may be interesting to look at a few models below:

– B2C e-commerce: this is the most common model in the context of e-commerce, which allows the company to connect with the consumer (as in the case of online shoe retail).

– B2B e-commerce: this model primarily refers to sales between two companies, as in the case of a digital relationship between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, for example.

– C2C e-commerce: in this particular case we are talking about sales relations exclusively between two consumers. This pattern can be seen on some sites like eBay or Amazon.

At this stage, keep in mind that of course there are other online business models that can meet your logistical constraints. We are considering, for example, dropshipping, which allows you to focus exclusively on communication and marketing of your activities, without worrying too much about the stocks for which you delegate responsibility to the intermediary.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a new way of running an online business, more flexible for individuals and professionals.

In particular, it is a solution that allows the seller to delegate a number of jobs to an intermediary, most often represented by the supplier or wholesaler. The principle is simple: the customer orders on your platform. You are then responsible for ordering from your supplier, who is responsible for delivering the product to the address provided by the customer.

Here is a complete guide that offers the Dropizi solution: https://www.dropizi.fr/p/dropshipping.

If we look more closely, we see that many platforms also called “markets” have been using this type of economic model regularly for many years: we are thinking in particular of Rue du Commerce, but also of Amazon or Ebay.

In short, you will understand: as an e-merchant, your main task is to sell products. Inventory management is an essential ancillary activity, but it can significantly slow down your activity at the administrative and strategic level, especially if you are an individual. Either way, dropshipping allows you to focus on the success of your goals, namely: making sales and generating traffic.

What are the benefits of dropshipping?

Dropshipping online store has several advantages that we suggest to describe in detail below:

– Logistics optimization: as we just saw above, dropshipping is a method that allows you to focus primarily on sales. You entrust the management of inventory, preparation of packages and shipping to the wholesaler who takes care of these tasks in the service of your business.

– Extremely low financial investment: indeed, the dropshipping method allows you to create a sales page online very quickly and without generating significant costs. Inventory management is a significant expense for online merchants, while with a vendor on your side, you simply need to add the desired references from his catalog to your merchant website.

However, there are some disadvantages of this tripartite online sales system: first, the seller’s dependence on the platform, which works according to very specific rules and requirements.

Addiction to the wholesaler is also a reality: indeed, your interlocutor can stop the production of his products overnight! This can have a direct impact on your business. To prevent this type of incident, do not hesitate to establish good communication between you and your supplier.

Now you know more about forms of e-commerce and dropshipping. To fully achieve your goals and get started effectively with online sales, keep these three key tips in mind: choose a niche by focusing your attention on very specific products, create a strong brand and don’t hesitate to promote trendy products!

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