As an eCommerce business owner in today’s environment, the opportunities for success are boundless. At the same time, however, they can be overwhelming. Not only is the market becoming more competitive, but customer expectations are also rising. It’s no longer enough to have a sufficient supply of the right products – you also need to satisfy customers, fulfill orders fast and in the most affordable way possible.
A big part of the success formula is having the right framework that enables your enterprise. To thrive in today’s market, you need to rely on an eCommerce model that allows you to deliver the best shopping experience possible. Choosing the right model, however, requires careful consideration and strategy. Simply choosing to adopt an Amazon business model, for example, won’t bring you success unless it’s suitable for your business needs.
So how can you select an enterprise eCommerce model that meets your needs and helps your company grow in the future? Here are a few things to consider and questions to ask yourself when making that decision.
Are You B2B, B2C, or D2C?
All eCommerce businesses cater to a different customer base, so when choosing a model, you should look at whether they make sense for B2B, B2C, or D2C. Alternatively, you could also decide on a model or solution that works well with all three, but you will need to consider all elements of the business to plan that successfully.
The differences between these models shouldn’t be underestimated. For instance, in the B2B sphere, transactions take longer and will often require managed company accounts and more communication with the seller before an order is placed. With B2C and D2C eCommerce, on the other hand, this process is faster and doesn’t require extensive communication. As a result, many B2C models lack the necessary features for fostering long-term B2B relationships.
Ask the Right Questions
Businesses rely on many systems these days, which is why an enterprise eCommerce model needs to take into account different aspects of the business. That means that every stakeholder should have their questions answered before you arrive at a model that’s suitable for the enterprise.
You can start by thinking about how you’re going to set up and market your business. That requires asking how you can create a customer experience that reflects your brand while fulfilling your customers’ expectations. Tracking purchases, recommending products based on purchase history, and increasing your online visibility are all part of this process. Ultimately, the model should be able to have all desired capabilities and be profitable in the long run.
To have a successful model, you also need to think about the technology you’re going to employ. To make the right decision in this area, you need to consider how you’re going to import your data, how the software can be integrated with all your other tools, and how it’s going to work with your payment processor. All in all, your technology solution should meet your present and future needs and allow for scaling to meet future demand.
Consider Inventory and Shipping
Another thing you will need to think about is how you’re going to handle your inventory management, shipping, delivery, and product sourcing. Here are a few popular models you can consider.
Shipping carriers and services are probably the simplest forms of eCommerce. All you need to do is receive the order through the online store, assign and pack the boxes, and hand them over to shipping carriers like FedEx or UPS.
Dropshipping lets you set up your online store and simply channel your customers’ money. The rest, however, is up to the supplier who will manage the inventory, warehousing stock, and dealing with packaging.
Wholesaling and warehousing will require you to manage your inventory and stock, keep track of orders and shipping information, and invest in the warehouse space yourself. That is why this model requires a big investment from the start.
Private labeling and manufacturing is the perfect model if you have an idea for the perfect product but don’t have the financials to build your factory. You can send the plans to a contracted manufacturer so they can produce the product and either ship directly to customers or through a third party like Amazon.
Choosing and deploying a new eCommerce model is not a small undertaking and will likely take a lot of time and investment. However, picking the right solution will allow you to improve your operations, increase sales, and scale your business – which makes the process worthwhile.
If you’re unsure what the right eCommerce enterprise model is for you, you should start with:
exploring B2B, B2C, or D2C models; asking the right questions about your marketing, business, and technology needs; and choosing an appropriate inventory management model.