The massive penetration of the internet creates a new type of business, including e-commerce, which comes in various forms: B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer) and the most recently, C2C (customer to customer). Although C2C e-commerce was developed last, as explained by Sami I Makelainen in From B2C to C2C e-Commerce, the C2C system was being implemented a long time before the internet. In the physical world, it might be the oldest form of e-commerce. For this reason, although C2C e-commerce appears most recently and the involved parties are individual seller and buyer, these industries are not classified as small business.
Makelainen has classified the C2C e-commerce into three categories, based on the number of outside players, the (fixed or flexible) price, and the distance involved in transactions. However, it seems apparent that the two predominant categories of C2C e-commerce are a flexible-price online auction with buyers and sellers typically in distant geographical locations, and fixed price online-classified advertisements.
Face Various Challenges
As an industry, C2C e-commerce faces various challenges. As Makelainen described it, there are three hurdles that are faced by C2C e-commerce; connectivity, trust and monetary transactions.
The first problem, connectivity, deals with how to make a connection between the buyer and seller. Later, it leads to another issue: how to advertise and market the business. In the physical world, those problems are solved quickly because both the seller and buyer can meet face to face in a designated place. However, as long as the third party is not building infrastructure (in the form of e-commerce platform) that connects individual seller and buyer, the problem will not be solved immediately.
The second issue is trust. As Makelainen said, the trust issue on the internet is more complicated than in the real world, because the user (both seller and buyer) has no tools to measure how much trust the interested party has. Misinterpretation and fraud can take place easily, due to the issue of anonymity on the internet.
When trust issues are not solved, neither party will feel secure enough to make monetary payments or deliver the products. In relation to this problem, Makelainen offers a solution: both the seller and buyer can be assessed on a scale of 1 to 3 (not trustworthy to trustworthy) and have their rating loaded onto a platform that is visible to the other party. The trustworthy assessment will generate a rank for both the seller and buyer, to reassure both parties.
Lastly, let’s discuss the issue of monetary transaction. One possible solution, if the seller and buyer are not too far apart, is that the parties can meet in a designated place and conduct the financial transaction on a cash-on-delivery basis. However, as with the first problem, in order to realistically solve the monetary transaction issue on a permanent basis, a third party is needed to build a secure payment system.
How Qiscus Can Help in Creating A More Trustworthy Environment for C2C E-Commerce
Qiscus, as a tech company that provides a chat SDK (Software Development Kit), can help by being the third-party needed to generate a more trustworthy C2C e-commerce, through a convenient and secure in-app chat feature. The idea is to bridge the communication gap and enhance trust between the seller and buyer through an in-app chat.
Businesses involved in C2C e-Commerce can ask Qiscus to create customizable in-app chats or even chat app which later will be owned by the e-commerce business themselves (white-labeled apps) using Qiscus Chat SDK. Once the in-app chats are created and can be used in web or mobile apps, the seller and buyer involved in C2C e-commerce can communicate in real time, not only via text but also through video call so the parties can generate trust in each other. Buyers who want to check the authenticity of a product can contact the seller through live chat in an instant. The trust built through real-time communication enables the financial transaction and delivery to take place as both parties involved in the transaction will feel secure. Additional features available with in-app chat include carrousel support, push notification support, emoji support, and even bots that act as an automated customer service.
Kindly review Qicsus’ products here or drop a line to [email protected]. Our team will be happy to help your C2C business. Whether you have an existing technical support or not, we can help to create a chat app that will improve your reputation as a trustworthy business in the industry and with your customers.