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Are you familiar with the term Hybrid eCommerce? If not, we have compiled a detailed guide on the same.
The eCommerce industry is bigger than ever. More and more people prefer to shop online due to the various benefits of eCommerce, such as convenience, affordability, etc. The paradigm of eCommerce has been shifted; it is no longer limited to selling things on the internet.
Table of Content
- What is Hybrid eCommerce?
- Difference Between B2C vs B2B eCommerce
- Why Choose a Hybrid eCommerce Platform?
- Future of Hybrid eCommerce
- Expert Opinion About Hybrid eCommerce
- Finding the Right Platform for your Business
- Benefits of Hybrid eCommerce
- Key Consideration Before Picking a Hybrid eCommerce Solution
Now, B2B businesses are looking for ways to reach out to consumers directly, while B2C opting marketing for business. The reason for doing so is the popularity of eCommerce. According to the CSA report, there are 3.8 billion people all across the globe who rely on eCommerce.
Considering the same, businesses are seeking an eCommerce option that lets them handle both without any hassle. The restriction of B2B and B2C gives birth to hybrid eCommerce.
What is Hybrid eCommerce?
Hybrid eCommerce is a solution that lets you manage B2C and B2B businesses using a single dashboard. Businesses don't have to use two separate platforms for maintaining B2B and B2C business. The platform allows businesses to connect with their target audience without the hustling of maintaining two separate stores. This eCommerce solution has capabilities that allow users to manage and create accounts for both B2B and B2C businesses simultaneously, giving both customer segments a wonderful experience. It helps you to take your business to new heights with no effort.
Difference Between B2C vs B2B eCommerce
B2C is a consumer-centred strategy, whereas B2B is concentrated on other businesses. Each type of marketing caters to the individual needs of each audience with purchasing power. Usually, due to the transient nature of connecting with a person, B2C sales cycles are shorter, while B2B sales cycles are longer. Each type of marketing is motivated by distinct factors; for example, B2C customers are more vibrant, but B2B sales are motivated by a logical want for a service or product.
Even though both marketplaces have purchasing power, their decision-making processes are vastly different. At the same time, a customer selects whether or not to purchase a service or product in a B2C business; in B2B, a company must speak with various stakeholders before making a purchase. While combining the two may appear like mingling water and oil, there are methods to balance a plan that incorporates both.
Why Choose a Hybrid eCommerce Platform?
This is the query that arises in almost every businessman's mind when choosing a hybrid eCommerce platform. Below we have listed some reasons that might clear all your doubts.
1. Bulk Ordering
Most B2B businesses face issues when placing bulk orders online. Business owners have to wait hours on calls, chats and emails to place orders. It consumes the time of store owners and is also inconvenient for customers. But Hybrid eCommerce gives freedom to the customers. One can place orders online easily, irrespective of the product quantity. There is no waiting time. Further, the customers who go for bulk orders also get huge discounts on the product.
The second advantage of using hybrid eCommerce is its scalability to businesses. Store owners can manage both B2B and B2C customers' demands without trouble. Irrespective of location and season, store owners can fulfil the customers' demands.
3. Unique Customer Portals
One of the daunting tasks for an eCommerce store is to manage all its B2B and B2C customers. Hybrid eCommerce address this problem by letting users create unique customer portals for their B2B and B2C business. Businesses will be on top of their customer's requirements, but they can keep an eye on customers' spending patterns and habits too. Further, using the portal, a business can set the retail rate for B2C customers and the wholesale rate for B2B customers.
4. Inventory Management
Managing an inventory can be challenging when operating B2B and B2C businesses since customers' requirements vary. This creates a lot of confusion among store owners and managing it can become a painful task. However, that's not an issue with hybrid eCommerce. With this, you can simultaneously maintain the inventory of both business requirements with ease. The platform offers a single database to manage the records of both businesses.
Lastly, hybrid eCommerce is more economical than other eCommerce solutions. This model saves more time as businesses can manage both business requirements using a single dashboard. They don't have to put time and energy into doing stuff separately for two different accounts. This further reduces the need for a workforce, saving costs and making it more economical.
Future of Hybrid eCommerce
Hybrid eCommerce is not just a fancy term; it is the future of eCommerce. A new hybrid commerce approach is gaining traction, combining the power of online business with data to help offline retailers function as a physical embodiment of their internet experience. Since the hybrid world is unavoidable – particularly given the pandemic's effects, marketers would need a handy tool for improving and streamlining practices to develop seamless assessment plans. In future, we will see more features in hybrid eCommerce platforms such as the use of AI technology, etc.
Expert Opinion About Hybrid eCommerce
According to Deloitte's report, hybrid eCommerce is the new age of eCommerce. Customers are increasingly attracted to brands that can provide smooth offline-to-online interactions. Brands must refocus their sales practices and focus on providing a quality experience to their users.
Not just this, the smarter pricing offered by the Hybrid business model is another plus point. Smarter pricing strategies can boost gross margins when compared to fixed pricing. According to the survey, consumers are willing to spend a higher price if brands provide personalised experiences and speedier delivery.
Finding the Right Platform for your Business
Now comes the question of finding the right platform for your business. But before jumping on that, you need to be aware of the type of store you are going to run, whether it will be hybrid or B2B or B2C. After deciding that, certain constraints should be kept in mind before picking the solution, especially if you're going with hybrid eCommerce. These constraints are as follows:
- If you are running a B2B business, you need to have a solution that can provide features for bulk ordering, shipping requirements, price quotations etc.
- Compared to B2C, B2B cycles are long and require more people. The store should be capable of handling that.
- B2B and B2C have different product catalogue requirements.
- If you are going with a hybrid business, then the platform must be capable of managing larger traffic and transactions with ease.
- Having a B2B business means more detailed invoices and documentation.
Various eCommerce solutions are available in the market, such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc., that help you run your hybrid eCommerce business model easily. However, creating a store on your own can be challenging, so to help users out there are Shopify development, BigCommerce Development, etc., agencies available in the market.
Benefits of Hybrid eCommerce
There are several benefits of Hybrid eCommerce. Some of them are listed below:
- The business catalogue can be addressed cohesively with hybrid e-commerce, making it easy to track goods in one place.
- Pricing is monitored and modified in real-time depending on the customer on a hybrid eCommerce platform, making the procedure less cumbersome and providing a more authentic and unique service.
- Effective inventory control, better customer relationship capabilities, and order entry can be done with ease in hybrid eCommerce.
- By looking after the needs of B2C and B2B customers simultaneously, hybrid eCommerce can help you expand your customer base.
- Using hybrid eCommerce, the transition from B2C to B2B is simple and does not require a large expenditure.
Key Consideration Before Picking a Hybrid eCommerce Solution
Certain things must be kept in mind before picking a hybrid eCommerce solution. Some of them are listed below:
- Based on your product or service, it is important to decide if you want to personalise the experience for individuals or businesses.
- Irrespective of the market group you're targeting, a failed eCommerce system will put you behind in the race. So your platform must include things that will attract both types of clients while not jeopardising their trust.
- B2C marketing approaches are way different from B2B business, so it is best to decide if you want to merge the interface or not.
- It is best to do proper research before picking the hybrid platform, as it will save you from the trouble of operating it and keep you ahead of your competition as well.
That's it! Now you know all about hybrid eCommerce. Indeed, B2B business owners long for B2C like user experience, and hybrid eCommerce provides that flexibility. That's the reason why users are shifting towards hybrid models. With that in mind, you should pick hybrid eCommerce platforms that make it simple for you to reach potential customers. The eCommerce industry continually expands, resulting in new opportunities to meet conventional online business activities.