B2C eCommerce is at the frontline of what people think eCommerce is. It is the main driver within the eCommerce industry. The one with the most visible big companies. Customers can list major B2C operations like Amazon, ASOS, Just Eat to name a few. These brands have become household names and really revolutionized business over the past decade and a half. So how is B2C eCommerce defined? DigiCommerce partner BigCommerce describes B2C eCommerce as ”the exchange of goods or services over the internet between online stores and individual customers”. Simple enough. This concept is more accessible to companies as the technology improves. eCommerce in general started with B2C and till this day the B2C digital shopping experience has an outside impact on the rest of eCommerce. Some might say it has an impact far beyond the confines of eCommerce.
Since its origins in the early 90s, eCommerce has come quite a long way. The events of 2020 have made this quite clear how far the industry has come. And how it has become a necessity for companies to implement. The key feature characteristic driving eCommerce is its user friendly nature. As a result, businesses express brand personality online in line with the physical stores. In this way, UX designers replace interior designers as curators of the new customer facing arm of business. Which is the digital space. BigCommerce notes the importance of the color scheme, navigation of layout of the eCommerce site.
Benefits of B2C eCommerce
The chief and most obvious benefit is that B2C eCommerce reduces the need for a physical store which reduces overhead significantly. Last year has shown this. Moreover, more large shopping chains are going online. Brick and mortar stores in malls and high traffic streets have been hollowing out. This also reduced marketing spending as customers are redirected to online stores to make their purchases.
Features of B2C eCommerce
B2C eCommerce has some standard features essential to manage smooth running operations. Admittedly, there are some variations among the major global eCommerce platforms. However, there are some key features that typify a customer focused online operation. Perhaps, the most obvious feature is the product management capabilities.
Effective product management capabilities is absolutely essential to any online store. Businesses have a wide degree of flexibility in showcasing products and comparing them side by side. The Manager can bundle and groups of products together as required. Using analytics will allow business to create different prices for different customer segments. This feature also manages back-order and pre-order status per product. As standard, any B2C digital operation must be suitably equipped. For example, SAP CX has a robust product management system with complex product types. This gives businesses great latitude in how they can shape this feature to their business needs.
Multi store capabilities also come standard on B2C eCommerce platforms. It allows businesses to run more than one store at the same time. Moreover, multiple front end stores can also be hosted from various domains. The best platforms manages admin tasks across the multiple stores from one centralized admin. Additionally, the best platforms can also enable drop shipping store with multiple vendors. DigiCommerce partner BigCommerce is one of such platforms. Multi Vendor and drop shipping ability makes the digital operation more flexible. And more competitive for that matter Stores can sell without the need to stock inventory or ship orders.
Data is arguably the most valuable weapon and important weapon in B2C eCommerce. It gives businesses the ability to track your eCommerce activity while acquiring data from customers and other visitors. Managers can target customers more directly. Several eCommerce platforms come with analytic capabilities with deep insights on demographic, psychographic information and others. This data helps create customer profiles that informs the businesses how customers can be targeted through an eCommerce website.
An Order Management System allows businesses to manage their orders and inventory. This system can automate the order-to-cash process. It starts with the customer order through payment reconciliation, fulfillment, and shipment. Order management software can work for both B2C and B2B businesses of any size. It gives B2C merchants the freedom to view, edit, create, and order fulfillment directly from a single platform. This gives businesses the tools to better manage the customer experience while benefiting from efficiency gains.
B2C eCommerce allows businesses to segment customers with targeted marketing efforts. Using marketing personalization techniques in eCommerce strategies that can help your business increase returns by up to 8 times. The advantage B2C digital businesses have on traditional brick and mortar businesses is that they can actually keep track of marketing efforts. This makes them more efficient marketers than before. eCommerce Analytics shows how customer-first comes across your website. It shows the number of visits it took for them to purchase an item for example. This data enables a more robust website that converts better than the competition.
Promotions and Discounts
The most exciting part of eCommerce to managers is marketing capabilities. During peak activity periods like the holiday season, promotion and discount features are essential in attracting customers. Data analytics helps business facilitates the creation of of varying promotions and discount based on customer journeys. This can also be a key weapon the arsenal of marketing operations. The major eCommerce platforms might have a default features for this but most companies. For B2C clients SAP CX comes fully equipped with dynamic customer profiling. Like some of its competitor, it also offers segmentation and campaign management. These feature a key for revenue maximization in a B2C operation but might not be needed in a B2B one.
The loyalty management module helps businesses encourage brand loyalty within the customer base. It allows marketers target customers with rewards and loyalty points which can be used through marketing campaigns. A popular example is gift cards. SAP CX importantly has a well equipment to manage loyalty programs. B2C Marketers can also benefit from automatic promotions as part of the marketing arsenal. BigCommerce provided allows marketers create automatic promotions . There is a promotion manager which simplifies the process for the less tech savvy marketer.
Customer service is a front facing part of eCommerce and there has been significant innovation over the years. The most popular customer service features has been the automated chatbot. Chatbots are those automated bots that interact with customers almost as soon as a web page it open. The chat interface mimics the customer service agent experience via live chat. This feature has expanded far beyond ecommerce usage. Companies ranging from logistics to online furniture have used it to good effect. However, it is for today’s online stores. It is a key too in customer retention and maintaining brand loyalty in a competitive market. Moreover, allowing customer service representatives the ability to take control of a shopping cart can also allow businesses from reducing abandon carts and increase the customer experience.
Curbside pick up
Curbside pickup is arguably the most unique 2020 eCommerce innovation. The service forced upon eCommerce by the lockdown and associated social distancing restrictions. The rise in popularity has created another opportunity for online B2C stores. Elastic Path has been one of the eCommerce leaders that recognized this potential. Their partner Object Edge has a solution called Curbspot. Crucially, it integrates with all eCommerce platforms. According to Elastic Path, the objective is to give customers and in-store staff with enhanced curbside pickup experience, where staffers can better manage curbside orders and even meet customers in their cars using GPS and SMS messaging.
In conclusion, B2C eCommerce has unlocked the possibilities for the rest of eCommerce. On a business level, opportunities are not bound to a physical presence of a brick and mortar store. This gives businesses the possibility of acquiring clients and serving clients around the world. This is a key benefit of B2C eCommerce today. The features mentioned above facilitate a business growth through the digital space. Large or small businesses operating out of anywhere can sell to customers anywhere in the world. DigiCommerce team of experts can help guide you through this digital process ensuring you leverage the best eCommerce solution as well as take advantage of the right features that will help you grow your business.