Online Store - Coming Soon!Blogs
Exiting times are fast approaching us here at EcoLighting, as we are expanding into the world of e-commerce. It is a fantastic opportunity for our business, and a venture that we are extremely excited to begin. In the year of 2016, most people will now know what e-commerce is, or at least have a brief understanding into it. With the convenience and ease of online shopping, it is only going to become even more popular as the years go by. For those of you out there who may not be familiar with e-commerce, or would like more of an understanding into it, then carry on reading, as we will give you a breakdown as to what it is.
So, first things first. E-Commerce what is it? At its core, e-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. So as you can see, there are different types of e-commerce, but well look more into that later on! E-commerce was first introduced in the 1960s via an electronic data interchange (EDI) on value-added networks (VANs). In 1979, the American National Standards Institute developed ASC X12 (Accredited Standards Committee) as a universal standard for businesses to share documents through electronic networks. As the availability of internet access began to grow, so did the use of e-commerce. It wasnt until the 1990s that businesses such as Amazon and eBay really revolutionised the e-commerce industry. Amazon began operating as a book-shipping business, founded by Jeff Bezos, on July 5th, 1994, based in Seattle, Washington. Amazon is now a massively successful brand, and it is the largest Internet-based retailer in the world by total sales and market capitalisation. Likewise, eBay, which enables consumers to sell to each other online, introduced online auctions in 1995. It wasnt until 1997, when eBay really took off. In January 1997, the site hosted 2,000,000 auctions, compared with 250,000 during the whole of 1996. Today, it is a multi billion-dollar business with operations based in over 30 countries.
Like any digital technology or consumer-based purchasing market, e-commerce has evolved over the years. As mobile devices became more popular, mobile commerce has become its own market. With the rise of sites like Facebook and Pinterest, social media has become an important driver of e-commerce. Many websites offer Apps to download on smartphones, meaning that you can shop on the move. Before, where you would need access to a computer to take part in e-commerce transactions, you are now able to do it via the convenience of your phone.
The changing market represents a vast opportunity for businesses to improve their relevance and expand their market in the online world. By 2013, worldwide e-commerce sales reached $1.2 trillion, and U.S. mobile sales reached $38 billion. More than 40 percent of Internet users 1 billion in total have purchased goods online. These figures will continue to climb as mobile and Internet use expand throughout the world.
As we mentioned earlier on in the post, there are different types of e-commerce. There are 4 principal categories, B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C.
- B2B (Business to Business) This process involves companies doing business with each other. Examples of this would be wholesalers selling to retailers, or manufacturers selling to distributors.
- B2C (Business to Consumer) This process involves businesses selling to the general public, without the need for any human interaction. It is carried out via the customer having an online shopping cart, and can add as many items into their cart as they would like. This process is what most people generally think of when they hear the term E-Commerce. An example of a business who carries this process out, is Amazon.
- C2B (Consumer to Business) This process involves consumers posting a project with a set budget online, and companies bid on the project. The consumer reviews the bids and selects the company. Elance is an example of this.
- C2C (Consumer to Consumer) This process takes place within online classified ads, forums or marketplaces where individuals can buy and sell their goods. Examples of this include Craigslist, eBay and Etsy.
A massive advantage to e-commerce transactions, is that it offers around-the-clock availability. You arent limited by opening & closing times, so the site you are purchasing or selling from is essentially, always open. So you can shop, browse and sell at your leisure, at a time of your convenience. Its perceived downsides include not being able to physically see or touch the product. If its a product that you are familiar with, then it may not necessarily be an issue. Another downside could be waiting times. If you walked into a shop, and purchased a product, you would be able to walk out with it there and then. If you are purchasing online however, you wont be able to get instant access to your product. If a customer chooses to shop online however, then they will more than likely be aware that this is the case, so this wont be a huge issue to them.
Now that we have given an insight into what e-commerce is, we hope that you can appreciate why we feel that it will be a worthwhile avenue for us to pursue as a company. Our online shop will be up and running very soon. We are all looking very much looking forward to the launch of it, and only furthering the service that we can provide to our customers. We are very fortunate to have been able to negotiate the procurement of lamps and fittings with Osram, which we believe will provide us the platform to provide quality products to the market.. Osram is a multinational corporation, founded in 1919, in Berlin, with their headquarters now based in Munich, Germany. They have operations in over 120 countries, and they employ over 34,000 people. In the 2014 financial year, they achieved revenue of about 5.1 billion. So hopefully, that gives you an insight into how successful the Osram brand is, and you can be confident that you are purchasing the best quality products from us. Some of the products that we will be able to offer you are IP66 Damp Proofs, Linear Luminaires, Downlights, Floodlights, Panels, Spotlights, wall or ceiling mounted Surface Circulars & Tubes.
We are in the process of creating space in our warehouse, to enable us to operate efficiently upon receiving orders from our customers. We are finalising our picking & packing area, then we are good to go! The site will be up and running in January 2017, so watch this space! We will be providing updates leading up to launch, so keep an eye out for those also. Then finally, once our site is up and running, we will provide you with all of the necessary information, regarding how to access it etc.
So, as we mentioned in our opening, exciting times ahead! Thanks for reading, and well see you on the next blog!