Retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately 5 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2021, according to Statista. This figure is forecast to grow by 56 percent over the next years, reaching about 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026. This staggering growth underscores the eCommerce sector’s immense potential and consumers’ increasing reliance on online shopping.
Now, imagine tapping into this booming market with your online store. It’s an exciting prospect, but it can also be daunting. You must set up a website, ensure it runs smoothly, run marketing campaigns, and sell your products and services to customers or clients. It can feel like you’re juggling a dozen balls at once.
That’s where eCommerce service providers come in. They can take some of those balls off your hands, providing assistance in various areas of your online enterprise. But with so many services out there offering different quality services, how do you choose the best one for your needs?
In this article, we’ll guide you through the maze of eCommerce services. We’ll explore the different types of eCommerce business models, eCommerce service providers’ roles, and how to vet the best eCommerce services for your needs. We’ll also delve into the benefits of accepting crypto payments, a growing trend that can give your business a competitive edge.
Whether you’re a start-up or a scale-up looking to sell online, choosing the best eCommerce services is a strategic decision that can shape the future of your business. After reading this article, you’ll clearly understand the core factors to consider when choosing eCommerce platforms. With our expert insights, you’ll be well-equipped to make the right choice for your business, regardless of its stage.
There are different models for practically all types of eCommerce businesses. Different services are specialized for those businesses’ unique needs, goals, and limitations.
Before we go over how you can find a the best eCommerce service provider for your brand, let’s break down the different types of eCommerce. You’ll be able to identify which your business belongs to easily.
Business-to-business or B2B eCommerce focuses on transactions between two different businesses, rather than one business providing products and services to customers or end-users. B2B eCommerce is any electronic transaction between two enterprises for goods and services.
Some of the most common practitioners of B2B eCommerce businesses are wholesalers. For instance, wholesalers either produce or come into possession of large quantities of a valuable product. They purchase the product for relatively cheap since they get it in bulk.
Then they sell the product to another company for wholesale prices. These are cheaper than the end prices that consumers will pay for the same products. In this way, a B2C (see more below) company pays less for the products than the prices they plan to charge consumers, making a profit in the long run.
Meanwhile, the B2B company makes money from selling those products to other organizations. Many eCommerce services for B2B eCommerce businesses offer tools or services like:
Business-to-consumer or B2C eCommerce is likely the most common type of eCommerce. With this eCommerce business model, the organization in question sells products or services directly to consumers.
For example, an online store that sells homemade jewelry is a B2C business. They sell their products to people who will wear them. They don’t sell products to other businesses (at least directly). Amazon or other big store apps are also great examples.
However, many B2C businesses purchase the raw materials or goods they need to create their products from B2B businesses. B2C businesses have more dynamic relationships with their consumers than B2B businesses, though these relationships can also be more random or sporadic.
Essentially, relationships with end consumers are always a little dicier and less stable than relationships with other businesses. Still, eCommerce B2C businesses have flourished over the Internet. Hundreds of thousands of high-quality online stores and malls sell consumer goods ranging from computers to books, cars, financial products, and more.
B2C eCommerce businesses often need tools that will help them connect with and keep those consumers over the long term. Online marketing and online sales eCommerce solutions are especially important for small businesses.
They also need eCommerce services that can help them develop high-quality websites, shopping experiences, and advertisements. Customer service is the name of the game for long-term customer retention for B2C businesses.
Then there are business-to-administration eCommerce businesses and transactions. Also called B2G businesses, these organizations have transactions between their company and public administrations or Government.
For example, a company that sells software to a government entity for the protection of public records is a B2A business. Such eCommerce businesses are involved in all kinds of organizations and administrative industries, including legal documents and registration, Social Security, employment, and fiscal services.
Since e-government investments have increased in recent years, B2A businesses are more common than they were before. Notably, B2A businesses don’t sell to end-users in the government. For example, a B2A business does not individually sell holsters to law enforcement officers.
Instead, they always sell their goods and services to broader administrative organizations. Like B2B eCommerce companies, B2A companies often need eCommerce services that can help them optimize workflows, vendor scheduling, and management, and analyze data.
Consumer-to-consumer eCommerce, also called C2C eCommerce, is an online business where two end-users or consumers of products trade.
These transactions are frequently conducted through third parties. eBay is a good example of these types of eCommerce sales, which function as marketplaces similar to certain brick-and-mortar stores.
For example, cryptocurrency exchanges are examples of consumer-to-consumer eCommerce businesses. That’s because the exchanges just provide the facilitating medium for the transactions to take place. They usually take fees or small cuts of the transferred money in order to cover their operational expenses.
A cryptocurrency exchange allows two different crypto token users to trade coins with each other or make purchases. The coins pass through the exchange, but the exchange itself does not sell anything to users in the form of a product.
Consumer-to-consumer eCommerce businesses frequently need high-quality eCommerce platforms and excellent online advertising. They may also need very good digital security to maintain their user base’s trust. Therefore, they frequently look for eCommerce services that offer these benefits and similar tools.
Consumer-to-business eCommerce or C2B eCommerce occurs when a customer or end-user provides a business with funds or goods. It’s essentially a reversal of the traditional market model, where a business provides end-users with goods instead.
eCommerce businesses such as crowdfunding platforms are the most common types of C2B eCommerce organizations. With these platforms, individuals pool their resources or money together so a business can then create a product or experience. Typically, the business promises a reward in exchange for donations.
However, C2B eCommerce can also occur on a smaller scale. For example, a popular company may have its designers present different proposals for a new company logo. They hold a vote where consumers can spend a dollar to vote (or simply vote for free), and the company adopts the logo design that wins the most public support.
C2B companies may need lots of different eCommerce services and tools, including communication forums, high-quality websites with easy navigability, and more.
Consumer-to-administration businesses involve electronic transactions between individuals and public administrative organizations, like state governments, police stations, etc.
However, the applications of C2A eCommerce extend far beyond the basic examples. Some instances of C2A eCommerce include:
The C2A eCommerce focuses on efficiency, stability, and security in each of these examples.
After all, these transactions or businesses deal with important topics like personal healthcare, tax payments, etc. Therefore, eCommerce consumer-to-administration transactions frequently require security services, smooth and stable platforms that can’t be crashed easily, and more.
The best eCommerce services for this type of business prioritize stability, navigability, and safe resource access.
Alright, let’s dive into the various types of ecommerce delivery models. These models are essentially how goods and services reach the buyers. Choosing the right kind of delivery for your ecommerce business model is crucial to ensure a smooth process and satisfied customers.
The D2C model is a modern approach to e-commerce that allows brands to sell directly to their end customers without going through a retailer, distributor, or wholesaler. Brands that adopt this model have complete control over their customer experience, product pricing, and data. This model is cost-effective and builds a direct relationship with customers. A popular example of a D2C business is Warby Parker, an American eyeglasses brand that initially started online and later expanded to physical stores.
In the white label model, a product or service produced by one company is rebranded and sold by another company under its own brand name. The benefit of this model is that the reselling company can offer a product without having to invest in creating the product.
This model is often used in the retail industry, where products are sourced from manufacturers and sold under the retailer’s brand.
Similar to the white label model, the private label model involves products manufactured by a third-party manufacturer and sold under a retailer’s brand name. The difference is that the products are often customized and exclusive to the retailer. This model gives retailers more control over product pricing, marketing, and distribution. AmazonBasics is a well-known example of a private-label brand that offers office supplies, home goods, and tech accessories.
Wholesaling involves selling goods in large quantities to be retailed by others. This model is commonly used in the B2B sector, where businesses sell bulk products to retailers, then sell to end consumers. Costco, a multinational corporation that operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs, is a prime example of a wholesaler.
Dropshipping is a supply chain management method where the retailer does not keep goods in stock but instead transfers the customer orders and shipment details to either the manufacturer, another retailer, or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. This model reduces the risk for the retailer, as they do not have to stock inventory. A popular platform that uses the dropshipping model is AliExpress.
The subscription model is a booming business model that involves charging customers a recurring fee — typically monthly or yearly — to access a product or service. This model provides businesses with a predictable income and customers with convenient, ongoing service. Examples of businesses using the subscription model include Netflix for entertainment and Dollar Shave Club for personal grooming products.
By understanding these delivery models, you can choose the one that best suits your business needs and goals. Each model has its advantages and challenges, so it’s important to consider your resources, target audience, and product type when deciding.
Embarking on your ecommerce journey is an exciting venture. However, choosing the right business model is crucial to ensure a successful journey. Here are some key considerations:
Remember, choosing the right business model for your ecommerce venture is critical. Take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision. And as you’re setting up your ecommerce platform, consider the payment options you’ll offer.
In today’s digital age, offering diverse payment options, including accepting payments in cryptocurrencies, can give your business a competitive edge. More on this later in the article.
First, the basics. eCommerce service providers are technology companies offering comprehensive solutions to help you establish, manage, and expand your online store. They provide services such as market entry and technology consulting, which can be invaluable when starting a new online store or scaling an existing one.
These providers also offer optimization and operations consulting to enhance your business workflows. They can assist with UX and UI design, ensuring your eCommerce site is both visually appealing and easy to navigate. This includes creating a user-friendly interface and incorporating key features that enhance the shopping experience.
eCommerce service providers can also help set up your online store, integrate various services or plugins, and even cater to custom eCommerce development needs. They conduct eCommerce testing to ensure your site is optimized and secure and provide eCommerce auditing to check your IT infrastructure and update security packages.
To keep pace with the rapidly changing digital world, many eCommerce service providers offer digital marketing automation, including email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO marketing. They also provide business and data analytics optimization and automation.
Some of the best eCommerce services offer specific assistance for businesses with a small team or many products, such as product tagging or categorization, product description writing, image and video tagging, and product data management.
Whether you’re planning to launch a new online store or enhance your existing one, an eCommerce service provider can offer the necessary solutions. They can help you build a robust, user-friendly, and SEO-optimized eCommerce store that attracts customers and drives sales.
However, choosing the right eCommerce service provider for your needs is important. In the following sections, we’ll provide tips to help you make an informed decision. The goal is to create an eCommerce platform that meets your business needs and provides an excellent shopping experience for your customers. With the right eCommerce service provider, this goal is within reach.
Navigating the sea of eCommerce service providers can feel overwhelming. Each one promises to be the solution to your business needs, making it challenging to discern which one truly aligns with your specific objectives and requirements. But fear not; here are some practical steps and key considerations to help you make an informed decision for your eCommerce store.
When partnering with an eCommerce service provider, it’s crucial to have clear goals and desired outcomes. Remember, the primary objective of eCommerce is straightforward – to sell products and make money.
Your chosen service provider should have an approach geared towards direct response marketing, sending customers relevant messages designed to prompt action – whether that’s learning more about your product, subscribing to your email list, following your social media accounts, or making a purchase.
Here are some fundamental goals to consider when working with your eCommerce service provider:
These goals should be tied to specific outcomes. For instance, you might aim to increase your return on ad spend by 15%, boost website traffic by 20%, increase year-over-year sales by 25%, double product upsells, or add 120K more subscribers in 12 months.
By providing your eCommerce service provider with specific goals, they should be able to devise a plan to help you achieve those goals. Remember, the key to a successful eCommerce store is not just about having an online store but a strategic approach that drives results.
Choosing the best eCommerce service provider for you is not an insurmountable task, but it does require the right information and a bit of discipline. Knowing what you’re looking for makes the screening process easier.
Every industry has its unique culture, jargon, and challenges. The agency you choose should have the industry experience necessary to work effectively with your customers, your business, and the industry as a whole.
If your product range is extensive or you offer many products, you might be able to work with agencies with a broad or generalized skill set. However, if you’re a specialist or your industry is highly technical, it’s crucial to choose an agency with subject-matter experts who understand your business well.
Your chosen agency should prioritize your customers. This means they should strive to understand your customers as well as you do. This understanding should extend beyond knowing what your customers want and need; it should encompass how you interact with them. This is crucial because your agency needs to be able to say no if they see something that could negatively impact your customers.
Every action your agency takes should lead to revenue. Their work should consistently generate leads, sales, and revenue for your business. Your agency should assist you in finding ways to cut costs, especially in high-cost areas like shipping or returns. They should be able to demonstrate a process they can follow to increase your return on marketing investment and lower advertising costs.
You can track numerous eCommerce metrics, but your agency should be able to identify the core metrics you need to grow your online store. If you decide that you need more data, you can always add more metrics on an as-needed basis.
Essential metrics your service provider should concentrate on include website traffic rates, email opt-ins, sales conversion rates, average order values, return rates, and eCommerce churn rates.
The best eCommerce service provider you select should be capable of providing you with transparent responses regarding each of these aspects. It should be apparent that they embody these traits and possess the capacity to yield the outcomes your business requires.
Five Reasons to Consider Partnering with an eCommerce Agency
Product launches are critical moments that require meticulous planning and optimization. A short-lived product launch campaign can result in missed opportunities and fewer conversions. You can ensure a successful product launch by partnering with an eCommerce agency.
If your sales or leads are dwindling, it’s time for an evaluation. An eCommerce agency can help identify areas of improvement, such as landing pages, product pages, checkout flows, and campaign strategies. They can provide consultation and audit services, offering valuable insights for informed decision-making.
Running an online store requires diverse skills. If you’re short-staffed or lack specific expertise, an eCommerce agency can fill those gaps. They can handle everything from design and development to branding, digital marketing, and SEO.
As a business owner, your plate is full. If you’re spending late nights working and neglecting aspects like social media or blogging, it’s time to consider an agency. They can care for your marketing campaigns, allowing you to focus on more critical tasks.
Breaking into a new market is complex, fraught with challenges like cultural differences, regulatory barriers, and unfamiliar payment methods. An eCommerce agency can help you navigate these challenges and set up a successful globalization strategy.
Now that you’ve understood how to vet the right ecommerce service for your needs, it’s time to take the next exciting step – choosing your ecommerce platform. This decision is pivotal, as the platform you select will serve as the backbone of your online store. It’s not just about selling products or services online; it’s about providing an exceptional user experience that turns visitors into loyal customers and drives revenue growth.
The best ecommerce platform is one that’s easy to use for both you and your shoppers. It should offer seamless inventory management, efficient payment processing – including crypto payments, multiple currencies, and robust SEO tools. Moreover, with the increasing number of consumers shopping directly from their phones, selecting an ecommerce platform that optimizes mobile traffic and maximizes your mobile revenue and ROI is crucial.
From integrating mobile apps to managing abandoned cart recovery, the right ecommerce platform can make all the difference. It’s about more than just an online store; it’s about building a comprehensive ecommerce solution that aligns with your business goals and propels you toward success. So, let’s dive in and explore how to select the best ecommerce platform to launch your online business successfully.
Choosing the best eCommerce platform isn’t about following the crowd or selecting the most popular option. The truth is, the ‘best’ eCommerce platform is a relative term. It’s the one that aligns with your business goals, meets your specific needs, and successfully delivers the outcomes you’ve set for your online venture.
These objectives could range from simple goals like increasing revenue, enhancing customer engagement, or breaking into a new market, to more complex ones involving multiple stakeholders with potentially conflicting objectives. In such complex scenarios, strong leadership is crucial to align everyone toward a common goal. Without it, your eCommerce project may struggle to gain momentum.
In cases where a technically demanding platform is the best fit for your business goals, an experienced agency can be invaluable. They can navigate the complexities of the best eCommerce platforms, ensuring they are set up correctly and run smoothly. This allows you to focus on your business, knowing that the technical aspects are in capable hands.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform is a critical decision that can significantly impact the success of your online store. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation; what works for one business might not work for another. Therefore, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you select the platform that best fits your business needs. Let’s explore these factors:
Build Your Own: This option gives you complete control over your ecommerce platform, allowing you to customize every aspect to fit your specific needs. However, building your own platform requires significant technical expertise. If you’re considering this route, you’ll need a skilled in-house team or a reliable external service provider. Remember the tips we’ve discussed about choosing the right service provider – they’ll be crucial in ensuring the success of your custom-built platform.
Open-Source ecommerce platform: Open-source ecommerce platforms are popular due to their flexibility and the control they offer. They provide the source code, allowing you to customize the platform to your heart’s content. However, like building your own platform, this option requires technical know-how. You’ll need to consider factors like web hosting, security, and updates. WooCommerce and Magento are great examples.
SaaS (Software as a Service): SaaS ecommerce platforms are subscription-based services that provide you with the software and hosting you need to run your online store. They’re user-friendly and require less technical knowledge, making them a good choice for beginners or businesses that prefer a hands-off approach. Examples include popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Headless Commerce: This is a more advanced option that separates the front-end and back-end of your ecommerce platform. This allows for greater flexibility and customization on the front-end while maintaining a stable and secure back-end. It’s an excellent choice for businesses that want to provide a unique user experience but requires technical expertise to implement effectively.
Each of these ecommerce platform has pros and cons, and the best choice will depend on your business’s specific needs, resources, and technical capabilities. Remember, the best ecommerce platform is the one that helps you achieve your business goals and provides a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
The features offered by eCommerce platforms can make or break your online store. These can range from basic functionalities like a user-friendly eCommerce website builder and inventory management to more advanced features like SEO tools, email marketing capabilities, marketing tools, and mobile app integration.
Scalability: As your eCommerce store grows, your eCommerce platform should be able to grow with it. It should be able to handle increased traffic and sales without compromising performance. This is where features like unlimited bandwidth come into play.
SEO-friendliness: eCommerce platforms that support Search Engine Optimization can help your online store rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Look for eCommerce platforms with integrated SEO tools and features.
Mobile Support: With more and more consumers shopping from their phones, your eCommerce platform should provide a seamless mobile shopping experience. Mobile app integration is a key feature to look for.
Security: Protecting your customers’ data should be a top priority. Look for platforms that offer robust security features, including SSL certificates and secure payment gateways.
Customer Service: Reliable customer support can save you a lot of headaches. Look for platforms that offer 24/7 support and have a reputation for quick and helpful responses.
Customization: The ability to customize your online store can help you stand out from the competition. Look for platforms that offer customizable templates, drag-and-drop functionality, and the ability to add custom code if needed.
Integrations: Your eCommerce platform should be able to integrate with other tools and services you use in your business. This includes everything from email marketing tools to payment processors. One crucial integration to consider is the ability to accept crypto payments.
With the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, offering crypto payments can give your business a competitive edge. Platforms that allow for seamless integration of crypto payment plugins like CoinPayments are a great choice.
User Experience: Your platform should offer a user-friendly shopping experience. This includes easy navigation, efficient checkout processes, and helpful product search features.
Speed: Page load speed can significantly impact your store’s conversion rates. Look for platforms that prioritize speed and performance.
Analytics: Data is key to improving your online store. Choose a platform that offers robust analytics tools, allowing you to track sales, monitor customer behavior, and gain valuable insights into your business.
Order Management System (OMS): A smooth, speedy order experience is crucial to your eCommerce experience.
Remember, the best eCommerce platform is the one that offers the right balance of these features to meet your business’s specific needs.
The cost of the eCommerce platform is a significant factor. This includes not only the upfront costs but also ongoing expenses like web hosting, and maintenance costs. Choosing eCommerce software that fits your budget while offering the features and functionality you need for your online store is essential.
The expertise of the eCommerce service provider or agency you choose to work with is another critical factor. They should have a broad range of experience with various eCommerce platforms and be able to recommend the one that best fits your business needs. Their technical know-how can be invaluable in building your online store.
Finally, consider the experience your platform will provide to your customers across multiple channels. It should offer a seamless, user-friendly shopping experience, with features like easy navigation, secure payment processing, efficient customer service, and abandoned cart recovery options.
Remember, the best eCommerce platform is the one that helps you achieve your business goals and provides a seamless shopping experience for your customers. It’s not just about selling online; it’s about creating an engaging and secure environment where your customers feel comfortable shopping.
Having explored the various factors to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform, it’s important to note that the ability to accept a wide range of payment methods, including cryptocurrencies, is a significant advantage. This is where CoinPayments comes in.
Our global cryptocurrency payment gateway offers a variety of merchant tools and plugins that can be seamlessly integrated with most eCommerce platforms. This means that no matter which eCommerce platform you choose, you can easily incorporate a crypto payment option into your online store.
Whether you’re building an online store from scratch or integrating with an existing website, CoinPayments supports a wide range of eCommerce platforms.
As a dedicated crypto payment gateway provider, we can offer your e-commerce platform the ability to accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and more. Plus, we offer various merchant tools to help you run your e-commerce business successfully. If that wasn’t enough, we even allow you to host your own unique crypto token if you have a dedicated community that would use such an asset.
Want to know more or sign up in just a few minutes? Contact us today or visit our website to begin!
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