Friday, March 14, 2014

What is B2C E-commerce?

Let us first try to understand what the term E-commerce means first.  

E-commerce commonly known as electronic commerce is a type of industry which enables buying and selling of service or products over the usage of electronic systems like Internet and various other computer networks. Now B2C –commerce is a business to consumer type of e-commerce where a common, person or general public can easily purchase a product or a service that is advertised on a catalogue listed usually through a website or its links. Such catalogues also make proper usage of shopping cart software that allows person to place a number of item/items in one location or place before placing or making an order.

The business model in B2C E-commerce works on the business selling directly to the customer and most of the transactions done or conducted over the net. This ensures best leverage and uses of the unique qualities of the web and internet for business commerce purpose. In B2C E-commerce the perspective is on the roles and relationships between and among a firm’s customers, allies and suppliers and how the product flow is maintained via information and money with major benefits passes on to the participants. Therefore the ground rule being B2C refers to system of business communication with or selling to an individual rather than a company.

The co-relation being business to customers covers those e-commerce websites and transactions through which the organization sell goods to customers also known as internet retailing or E-trailing.

B2C can be put across as the exchange of services, information and/or products from a business to a consumer as opposed to between B2B or business to business.

B2C has greatly expanded from the late 1990s with more easier, wider and deeper access and penetration of the internet for the public. The B2C category also includes electronic shopping, information searching for example like in railway reservation, and also interactive games that are available over the internet. Some of the famous and popular items sold using B2C model are computers, videotapes, music and video CDs, toys, health and beauty products, airline tickets, jewellery and other items.

Let us try to understand step by step how a simple transaction happens in B2C type of ecommerce, first the customer places an order via online, then his/her product is linked via a shopping cart, then the mode of payment is noted or required like for example Visa or via credit card is charged, then an order form is flashed to the consumer and prompted to be filled and completed, later after successful completion of order form an email is sent the consumer and merchant involved, these shopping details along with catalogue number is sent to the warehouse, from here a typical shipping carrier picks up the shipment and is finally the package or product selected is sent to the user/consumer.

In general B2C ecommerce consumer shopping/transaction procedure portrayed in simpler step wise process is as shown below

1.    Basic requirement details determination.

2.    Engine search for available items that can meet these requirements.

3.    Comparing the customer items with multiple perspectives.

4.    Placing an Order.

5.    Paying the Bill.

6.    Receiving the delivered items followed by inspection.

7.    Contacting the vendor to get after-service and support, and or return if unsatisfied or disappointed.

Some of the B2C business models are the Portal, Content provider, Service provider, Community provider, E-tailer or storefront, Transaction broker and Market creator.

Portals being gateways to the internet offering powerful web searching tools with efficient and ease in approach.

Content being an integrated package of information like news, currency rates, phone and map information.

Services include chat, games, downloads, e-card, SMS service, entertainment, search and shopping auction.

Storefront being the virtual merchant i.e. online version of retail store where customers can shop 24/7 with comfort.

Transaction broker being processors of online sales transactions such as stock brokers and travel agents that increase customer’s productivity by helping them do things faster.

Community provider includes sites where individuals with particular interests, hobbies, and common experience can come together and compare.

Market creator includes web-based businesses that use internet technology to create markets that bring buyers and sellers together.

Finally B2C ecommerce beneficial factors being faster customization, increased availability, de-intermediation and collaboration.