As any smart entrepreneur can tell you, there is much more to running your own eCommerce business than opening a website, coming up with a few clever social media messages, and waiting for the orders to come rolling in.
Finding your niche in the vast Internet-based global economy is a delicate balance of offering a solution to someone’s problem and replicating that solution enough times to earn repeat with best eCommerce model for business. It doesn’t matter if you have the best idea in the world if you don’t know who to market it to.
So many online business owners don’t come to the market from a traditional business school environment, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t continue adding to their knowledge base on the way towards success.
In this article, we’ll break down the four traditional types of best eCommerce business models to help you discern the correct environment for your business to succeed.
#1 Business to Consumer (B2C):
The most familiar form of any business is at the front of this list because it is the most common, online or off. Consumers have needs and want, they seek out businesses who can supply their needs and wants, and the businesses charge them enough of a margin over the price of the actual item or service to turn a profit.
It’s been going on since Blarg the Caveman first visited Krond the Caveman and exchanged three pieces of copper for a new club to go out and smash saber-toothed tigers with. If your offering is something that will appeal exclusively to individuals and comes in a physical, digital, or service form, B2C is your way forward.
The challenge then becomes how you turn those customers into repeat customers, or even better, into word-of-mouth advertisers who enjoy your product or service so much that they advise their social circle to also purchase from you.
#2 Business to Business (B2B):
It’s great serving individual customers, but when other businesses are your clients, you are typically dealing in bigger orders with a higher likelihood of getting into a repeat business arrangement or officially becoming listed as a supplier.
This form of eCommerce business model can have a lot of different looks, from a company making components for a larger machine to a distributor who purchases food and beverage items from another country wholesale. Then turns them around and sells them to individual retailers, who sell them again to end-use consumers.
The ability to network, deliver on time and budget, and be consistently reliable are huge keys to success in the B2B environment. Individual customers might forgive when you don’t deliver on time, but other businesses will be much less forgiving. If you don’t make good on your guarantees, they’ll quickly kick you to the curb and look for someone else to fit the bill.
#3 Consumer to Business (C2B):
The freelancer movement has been strong for the past 10-15 years. So much of our business landscape has moved online. The convenience of finding people to do work online has led to the rise of the eCommerce business model. Individuals are selling their goods and services directly to businesses that either doesn’t have the time for one of their staff members to take on the responsibility or lack the specialized skills to do so.
Freelancer hubs like Fiverr and Upwork are now filled with individuals who offer everything from writing to translation to graphic design, building websites, customer service, and acting as social media managers. They only rarely do they ever engage face to face with the people who hired them in the first place! It allows these eCommerce business owners to set their prices and hours and have virtually no limits, at least geographically, on who they offer their services.
#4 Consumer to Consumer:
Bartering goods and services to one another for things we believe are alike in value goes back to the beginning of time. eCommerce allows these transactions to go on in the virtual realm with increased security measures – both in the way funds are secured and in knowing more about the person, you’re doing business with via online reviews and profiles.
eBay and Craigslist are the pioneers of this best eCommerce model for business, making garage sales and estate sales hot commodities for intrepid entrepreneurs two decades ago. They’ve been joined by the likes of Mercari, Poshmark, and Etsy, where people turn each other’s trash into treasures from around the globe. While individuals can operate individually, most are still giving a further cut to the services themselves for listing and transactional fees.
Which of these four best eCommerce model for businesses suits you and what you want to accomplish for your online business? Ensure you understand what you’re selling and your target audience to lock in on the business model that will guide you towards a profitable future.