eCommerce Business Models: Watch and Learn

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Being a constantly growing and evolving industry, eCommerce is definitely something you want to keep your eyes on. Consumers trust online purchases because they are automated and have been working with companies like PayPal for years. After the recession, shoppers also started altering their buying habits and doing more research to find the cheapest items. The typical consumer likes to research online a little before pulling the trigger and making a purchase, so give the people what they want and consider moving to eCommerce. It is the pinnacle of merging on and offline space, so you better believe it’s also heading the mobile marketing trends. If you want to keep your customers happy and stay ahead of the trends, you better start learning from some of the creative eCommerce business models out there.

Stores Model

This involves a direct online transaction just like any other purchase but without the store or the in-person interactions.  In this model, the seller is responsible for its products supply chain, and this can be broken down in a few ways:

  • Subscription Supply Model – a fixed monthly fee no matter how much is purchased.
  • Manufacturer – selling directly to consumers
  • Multi Branded Retailers – sellers offer multiple brands to consumers for variety
  • Flash sales or private sales sites – luxury brands sold at discount to help liquidate old products
  • Curated products – experts put up online sales; low variety but good quality

Brokerage Model

Consumers and sellers are brought together without having to interact with one another. Instead, a third party, the broker, organizes the transaction. This eCommerce style is evolving the most, so keep your eyes open for emerging, creative sub-models in addition to the ones that are already around:

  • Online market place – think of it like mall. Mall owners aren’t responsible for inventory or supply chain, each “store” or company is
  • Group buying – products and services are sold at reduced price with a minimum number of buyers
  • Comparison shopping – individuals see different lists of prices for products; some have mobile apps
  • Online auction – bid for products/services

Social Commerce

Social media allows online shoppers to share information about recent purchases with reviews and chats. It is like shopping with your friends, but you never have to leave the comfort of your home. You’re probably already involved in social commerce with networks like Living Social, Etsy, and Facebook.

eCommerce is still pretty new, so don’t feel like these business models are the only options. Get creative and be part of the evolution. And incorporate mobile! These are two fast growing trends that are not going away anytime soon, so jump on board.