With emerging trends and technologies, B2B and B2C e-commerce platforms have transformed, giving rise to new opportunities. E-commerce is also a good place of opportunities for investors as it promises an upward graph.
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E-commerce platforms: B2B and B2C
B2B e-commerce platforms refer to Business-to-Business platforms where the transaction takes place between two businesses. These platforms provide a space for various vendors, businessmen, business companies and other sellers to support each other by offering what they need to grow their business. B2B transactions are generally within industries and deal in bulk quantities, multiple stakeholders and requirements make the processes complex and longer.
B2C e-commerce platforms are Business-to-Customer platforms where the transaction takes place directly between the seller and the customer, the number of B2C e-commerce platforms are increasing rapidly around the world because of the direct involvement of paying customers in a transaction.
B2B and B2C companies offer different advantages and thus, have different audiences. B2B companies provide things that other businesses require to grow and expand while B2C companies deal with individual buyers. The market has seen a drastic shift in online businesses since e-commerce companies have decided to target both B2B and B2C audiences. According to reports, most of the world’s customers would prefer shopping directly from Direct to Consumer (DTC) brands in the near future. DTC brands do not involve any middlemen, and hence it becomes a cost-effective business model.
Most popular e-commerce platforms
E-commerce platforms that have boomed in the pandemic:
- Shopify and Shopify Plus
- SalesForce B2B Commerce
- Oracle Commerce
- OpenCart B2B Marketplace
- Magento Commerce
- Insite Commerce
- 3D Cart
- Core Commerce
- X Cart
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Evolution of e-commerce platforms and their features
With the discovery of the internet and the various opportunities it brought for every industry, today’s e-commerce automation platforms are compatible with e-mails, marketing, Inventory/Supply, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). They have benefitsthat offer good user interfaces, multiple product integrations and customer support capabilities. Brands like Motorola, Tesla, Adidas use Shopify Plus, which is a popular e-commerce platform supporting numerous online shops.
There is a drastic shift in the e-commerce sector as the profiles of buyers have changed in the recent years. Today’s buyers are tech-savvy and constantly connected to the online world. Businesses and sellers have to match these changes by making it convenient to buy their services and products via smartphones, websites, online shopping networks and more. The need to strengthen online sales with multichannel and multidevice approaches and utilizing the power of cloud technology to create 24*7 services are important factors today.
The rise of e-commerce can be seen through direct shopping apps like Amazon, Flipkart, OYO Rooms and many other online businesses, including clothing, shoes, accessories, and art as well. A few decades ago, local artists wouldn’t have had a way of selling their artwork across the world. Etsy is a popular example of online shops which supports artists and provides them with a medium of getting their artwork noticed by millions. Over the years, e-commerce has made transactions more transparent in the eyes of the buyers as compared to traditional transactions. E-commerce has made returns more convenient for buyers and offers excellent after-sale services along with customer-friendly policies.
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Few of the latest trends shaping e-commerce are:
- Improved Infrastructure
Innovations in both front-end and back-end infrastructure have made building e-commerce platforms easier for improving user experiences.
Businesses are moving from the printed catalogues to their mobile-friendly versions. The aim here is to increase customer convenience.
The procurement processes which were either managed on paper or through teleservices, now have a Web-option too.
The domain of e-commerce has grown and is continuing to expand further with new advanced technologies every day.