Business to consumer (B2C) e-commerce
Individual customers purchasing goods and services from a company online is called
business-to-consumer (or B2C) e-commerce.
B2C e-commerce has in many ways defined the best practices for selling online, particularly on the level of customer experience. Many of the clear advantages of e-commerce first emerged in a B2C context, such as the ability to place orders anytime and anywhere without the need of a sales rep, or advanced filter-based search functionality that helps customers navigate large product offerings and find what they are looking for quickly.
The rise of B2C e-commerce giants like Amazon and eBay has only served to reinforce and codify many of these best practices, which are employed in B2C web stores across the Internet. Consumers have come to expect speed, convenience, and personalization when shopping online, so it’s important to look for an e-commerce solution that makes it easy to meet these expectations.
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Your customers are looking for you online
You may already be running a successful brick-and-mortar B2C business. Perhaps you’ve considered e-commerce, but don’t see the point, since you’re doing so well already.
But it’s common practice in the information age to search for things we like on the web, including brands and businesses. Which means that the more successful a company is, the more likely that its customers are trying to find it online.
An online store, a brick-and-mortar store, the telephone, and social media are all touchpoints of an omnichannel approach to customer relationships. Rather than a single point of entry—like brick-and-mortar stores were in the past—customers today have numerous ways of engaging with a company, and the most successful business strategies assume the customer uses all of them.
Neglecting any of these channels, particularly an ERP-integrated web store, amounts to missing opportunities not only for growth, but for fostering deep customer loyalty.
E-commerce doesn’t have to be time or resource-intensive
On the other hand, many companies worry about the time it will take to get a web store online—to say nothing of the demands on their staff.
Businesses with large product offerings can be intimidated by the process of uploading hundreds or even thousands of product records. Smaller companies with a limited number of employees wonder if they’ll be able to keep up with the demands of running an online channel.
ERP-integrated e-commerce for B2C eliminates all these problems by automating the most time-consuming processes companies face when doing business online. An integrated e-commerce platform literally synchronizes all the product, pricing, and customer data instantly from the company’s ERP, saving countless hours of work. Similarly, the whole order and invoicing process is automated, saving employees the trouble of copying everything back and forth.
The simple fact is that an ERP-integrated e-commerce solution for B2C makes it possible even for small companies to run a profitable online channel efficiently without burying themselves in paperwork.
Amazon, eBay, and your B2C web store
The astronomical success of sites like Amazon and eBay can be intimidating to B2C business owners, who see no way to compete with these massive e-commerce corporations.
However, the very success of Amazon and eBay actually make them a unique opportunity for enterprising B2C companies: both sites offer ways to sell goods and services through them, allowing entrepreneurs to use these platforms as additional channels for their online business.
This comes back to the concept of omnichannel we discussed earlier. The more points of contact a customer has with your business, the more engaged they are, and the more opportunities they have to buy—either on your website, on Amazon or eBay, or in your brick-and-mortar store.
What’s more, with k-eCommerce Marketplace Integration, you can integrate your Amazon and eBay channels to your k-eCommerce web store and your ERP, allowing all your online channels to function as a single, synchronized system.