Andrew Rogencamp 26 June 2024 8 min read

What is Ecommerce - A complete guide

What is eCommerce  

eCommerce, short for electronic commerce, is the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. In the Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) markets, it's a thriving digital marketplace where businesses and consumers interact, shop, and transact online.

In this dynamic landscape, businesses leverage ecommerce to transcend geographical boundaries and reach customers worldwide. With the ANZ markets serving as a robust hub for digital commerce, companies can harness the power of online platforms to expand their customer base, drive sales, and foster lasting relationships. 

Regardless if it's a small startup or a large enterprise, ecommerce offers unparalleled opportunities for growth and innovation, shaping the future of commerce.

 

How does eCommerce work?

eCommerce works by allowing businesses to showcase and sell their products or services online. It streamlines the buying process, making it convenient for customers to browse, select items, and make secure payments.

For traditional business owners, embracing ecommerce also means tapping into a global audience and enjoying benefits like reduced overheads and expanded reach. eCommerce does this for businesses by facilitating:

  • Online Storefronts: Businesses set up digital storefronts to showcase their products or services, providing customers with detailed information, images, and pricing.
  • Convenient Browsing: Customers can easily browse through a wide range of products or services from the comfort of their homes or on the go, eliminating the need for physical visits to brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Streamlined Purchasing Processes: Ecommerce platforms offer intuitive shopping experiences with features like product categorisation, search filters, and comparison tools, enabling customers to make informed purchasing decisions efficiently.
  • Secure Payments: Secure payment gateways ensure that transactions are processed safely and protect customer data. They also offer various payment options such as credit/debit cards, digital wallets, and bank transfers, making ecommerce a widely accessible form of business.
  • Global Reach: Embracing ecommerce opens doors to a global audience, allowing businesses to transcend geographical boundaries and target customers worldwide. In turn, this leads to increased sales opportunities and business growth.

Discover Commerce Visions's B2B eCommerce platform: CV eCommerce

 

eCommerce vs Commerce

While both ecommerce and commerce aim to facilitate transactions, ecommerce is primarily about selling. In contrast, digital commerce emphasises engaging customers throughout their purchasing journey. However, despite not being aligned with ecommerce, content and mobile devices still play crucial roles in driving digital commerce forward.

In this digital era, the distinction between ecommerce and traditional commerce becomes increasingly blurred, with businesses integrating online and offline channels to create seamless "omnichannel" experiences for their customers. Thus, while ecommerce and commerce may have been more clearly defined in the past, that distinction is becoming increasingly muddled.

Additionally, ecommerce platforms not only facilitate transactions but also serve as hubs for brand engagement. They offer valuable content, personalised recommendations, and interactive features that enhance the overall customer journey. By embracing digital commerce strategies, businesses can cultivate deeper connections with their audience, driving loyalty and long-term success in the competitive marketplace.

 

Types of eCommerce

In the realm of ecommerce, a diverse array of models cater to specific industry demands, each designed to facilitate transactions and cater to unique business dynamics. Let's explore the various types of ecommerce and their distinct characteristics:

Business to Consumer (B2C)

B2C ecommerce involves transactions between businesses and individual consumers. This model is perhaps the most familiar, encompassing online retail platforms where consumers purchase goods or services directly from businesses. 

Business to Government (B2G)

B2G ecommerce refers to transactions between businesses and governmental entities. In this model, businesses provide goods or services to government agencies or departments. This can include procurement of office supplies, equipment, or contracted services like construction and infrastructure development.

Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)

B2B2C ecommerce involves businesses selling products or services to other businesses, which are then resold to consumers. This model often entails manufacturers or wholesalers supplying goods to retailers who, in turn, sell them to end consumers. An example is a manufacturer supplying products to a retailer for resale in their stores or online platforms.

Consumer to Consumer (C2C)

C2C ecommerce facilitates transactions between individual consumers, often through online marketplaces or auction sites where individuals can buy and sell directly to each other. Examples include individuals who sell handmade crafts, vintage items, or used goods to other consumers.

Consumer to Business (C2B)

C2B ecommerce reverses the traditional business-consumer relationship, allowing individuals to offer products or services to businesses. This model is prevalent in freelance platforms, where individuals provide services like graphic design, writing, or consulting to businesses on a contract basis. 

Commonly, this model is seen in websites where freelancers can market their skills directly to businesses seeking specific services and skills. There, the businesses can bid and quote for jobs, passing the power of job confirmation over to the consumer.

Business to Business (B2B)

B2B ecommerce involves transactions between businesses, where one business sells products or services to another for operational use, resale, or further production. This model is prevalent in industries such as manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution, where businesses procure raw materials, components, or finished goods from other businesses. 

B2B ecommerce platforms streamline these procurement processes, foster relationships between suppliers and buyers, and enable efficient supply chain management. 

 

Advantages of B2B eCommerce for Businesses

Commerce Vision’s B2B ecommerce solutions cater to ecommerce businesses seeking growth in their total retail sales, efficiency, and enhanced market positioning. 

Businesses benefit from technical enhancements that improve the shopping experience, such as intuitive shopping carts, secure payment gateways, and efficient Content Delivery Networks (CDNs). These elements also ensure smooth online retail sales transactions and seamless customer interactions, which are critical for maintaining strong client relationships and driving profit growth.

By integrating Commerce Vision’s solutions, businesses can achieve greater transparency and understanding of field operations, which is crucial for measuring performance in terms of profit growth, business expansion, and positive feedback.

The LUCY platform automates sales order processing with AI-driven efficiency, freeing up valuable time for strategic tasks and ensuring order accuracy.

Meanwhile, OPMETRIX enhances field sales management by providing real-time tracking of sales performance, enabling businesses to monitor and optimise field activities effectively.

Utilising these advanced tools, businesses can drive online sales, foster stronger internal and external relationships, support business acquisition, and ensure key staff retention, all contributing to sustained growth and success.

 

Case Studies and Examples

Commerce Vision boasts a strong track record of success, with numerous case studies highlighting positive ecommerce company customer experiences. Here are some examples of how our unique features benefit a range of business models:

BAT Industrial

BAT Industrial launched their new ecommerce website in early 2019, overcoming initial customer resistance to the business online ordering by providing hands-on guidance.

The new Commerce Vision platform seamlessly integrates with their ERP system, significantly streamlining order fulfilment. Orders now arrive at any time, improving customer convenience and reducing phone orders.

The sales team has shifted focus from order-taking to promoting the brand and services, contributing to a monthly growth rate of 12%. Additionally, the new ecommerce platform has facilitated career growth within the company, with employees taking on new roles in digital design, marketing, and analytics.

Better Food Distribution Co.

The Better Food Distribution Co., driven by a passion for quality products, faced the challenge of maintaining high service standards amidst rapid growth across Australia and Singapore.

Transitioning to Opmetrix in 2017 provided the solution they needed, offering an integrated CRM with ordering platforms and a suite of features including instant reporting, photo capture, and B2B ecommerce functionality.

Opmetrix's user-friendly interface and seamless integration have empowered field teams to stay on top of performance while facilitating constructive conversations around improvement. Continuous innovation based on customer feedback ensures Opmetrix remains a reliable partner in meeting evolving business demands.

See how other businesses have succeeded with Commerce Vision's solutions: Case Studies.

 

The Future of eCommerce

The future of the online shopping experience is evolving rapidly, driven by trends such as voice commerce, augmented reality (AR) integration, and the increasing influence of social channels on online shopping strategies.

As consumers increasingly turn to social channels for product discovery and engagement, ecommerce strategies must adapt to meet evolving preferences and behaviours, emphasising the importance of building strong online communities and fostering meaningful customer relationships.

In addition to these technological advancements, the future of ecommerce business also sees the rise of personalised shopping experiences driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms.

These technologies analyse consumer data to tailor product recommendations and offers, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. The trend towards sustainability and ethical consumption is shaping ecommerce stores' practices, with consumers increasingly seeking eco-friendly products and transparent supply chains.

As ecommerce continues to evolve, businesses must embrace these trends to stay competitive and meet the evolving demands of today's digital consumers.

 

Looking for an eCommerce Solution?

eCommerce is a vital component of the Australian and New Zealand markets, offering businesses streamlined processes, global reach, and significant growth opportunities. Its various models cater to diverse market needs, while case studies underscore its effectiveness.

Looking ahead, embracing emerging trends like voice commerce and AI-driven personalisation will be crucial for businesses to stay competitive and meet evolving consumer demands in the ever-changing landscape of ecommerce.

Ready to revolutionise your own ecommerce store? Choose Commerce Vision for tailored B2B ecommerce solutions that drive growth and profitability. Explore Now

 

Wondering what else you should look for in a B2B ecommerce platform? Download our practical guide and checklist.

Learn more about our ecommerce solution

We have a fully integrated ecommerce solution you have to see to believe. Highly configurable for both B2B and B2C, our platform delivers a seamless experience to your customers. Here's a 60 second broad overview video of the solution.