A growing number of businesses are moving online. Some want to reach a global audience and increase their market share. Others see it as a way to streamline their operations and cut costs. Before jumping on the bandwagon, make sure you understand the meaning of an e-business enterprise.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
E-business is any kind of business transaction that takes place over the internet.
Definition of Electronic Business
The number of digital buyers is expected to reach 2.1 billion by 2021. In 2018, approximately 1.7 billion customers were shopping online. In the same year, more than half of consumers bought clothing items over the internet. Electronics, e-books, cosmetics and food are among the best-selling product categories worldwide.
Considering these facts, it makes sense to move your business online. After all, every entrepreneur wants to be ahead of the game when it comes to branding, advertising and customer acquisition. Web-only retailers such as eBay and Amazon make billions of dollars each year. Amazon, for example, had a total revenue of $232 billion in 2018. Furthermore, United States e-commerce sales accounted for more than 10 percent of all U.S. retail sales in the first quarter of 2019.
An e-business enterprise allows you to expand your reach and sell to a global audience. The definition of electronic business, or e-business, is any kind of business transaction that takes place over the internet. This term encompasses all forms of sharing digital information online to support and improve business processes, including email marketing, content management systems, payment processing systems, electronic order processing and more.
E-Business vs. E-Commerce
The terms "e-business" and "e-commerce" are often used interchangeably, but they're not the same thing. E-commerce, which involves selling goods and services online, is just one part of e-business. Additionally, it is limited to monetary transactions. As a seller, you're offering something that customers need or want.
E-business, on the other hand, encompasses all business processes taking place on the internet. Therefore, it's not limited to monetary transactions. Its primary components include but are not limited to:
- Enterprise resource management
- Supply chain management
- Customer relationship management
- Business intelligence
- Online collaboration
- Online recruiting and other HR processes
The definition of e-business may seem confusing, but it's actually quite simple. Think about the difference between commerce and business. Commerce is a business, but doing business involves more than trading goods and services.
E-Commerce Business Models
E-commerce is a subset of electronic business. It can be divided into several categories depending on your target audience. These may include business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), consumer to consumer (C2C), consumer to business (C2B) and more.
B2B enterprises, for example, sell products or services to other companies. Financial experts estimate that global B2B e-commerce revenue will reach a staggering $6.7 trillion by 2020. B2C companies, on the other hand, sell directly to the end customer. C2C e-commerce encompasses transactions that take place between customers – think of Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or eBay (even though businesses may use these platforms too).
C2B e-commerce encompasses the transaction of products and services between customers and organizations. If you provide copywriting or web design services on Upwork for business customers, that's an example of C2B. What these business models have in common is the use of the internet. E-business, by contrast, involves using the internet, intranet and extranet to exchange information, conduct transactions or streamline business processes.
Leverage the Power of Technology
In this digital era, customers have access to millions of goods and services with the click of a button. If your business isn't online, you're missing out on potential sales. As an entrepreneur, you can leverage the power of modern technology to save money, improve workflow and productivity, streamline employee communication and reach more customers.
An e-commerce store, for example, involves lower costs than a brick-and-mortar store. You don't have to worry about paying rent and utility bills, hiring store assistants or obtaining zoning permits. Plus, your products will be available online 24/7, allowing customers to shop day and night. Digital tools such as CRM systems, chatbots and online payment gateways can free up your time and simplify your day-to-day operations.
- Statista: Number of Digital Buyers Worldwide From 2014 to 2021 (In Billions)
- Statista: Share of Internet Users Who Have Purchased Selected Products Online in the Past 12 Months as of 2018
- Statista: Quarterly Share of E-Commerce Sales of Total U.S. Retail Sales From 1st Quarter 2010 to 1st Quarter 2019
- Macrotrends: Amazon Revenue 2006-2019
- TechTarget: E-Business (Electronic Business)
- Frost & Sullivan: Future of B2B Online Retailing
- EDUCBA: E-Commerce vs. E-Business
- GitHub: E-Business and E-Commerce: The Difference
- ecommerceCEO: 5 Types of Ecommerce Business Models That Work Right Now
Andra Picincu is a digital marketing consultant with over 10 years of experience. She works closely with small businesses and large organizations alike to help them grow and increase brand awareness. She holds a BA in Marketing and International Business and a BA in Psychology. Over the past decade, she has turned her passion for marketing and writing into a successful business with an international audience. Current and former clients include The HOTH, Bisnode Sverige, Nutracelle, CLICK - The Coffee Lover's Protein Drink, InstaCuppa, Marketgoo, GoHarvey, Internet Brands, and more. In her daily life, Ms. Picincu provides digital marketing consulting and copywriting services. Her goal is to help businesses understand and reach their target audience in new, creative ways.