Types Of Online Business (Part 3)

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E-commerce Stores

Another type of online business is an e-commerce store where you can sell your own products (digital or physical) or someone else’s products through drop-shipping. When selling your own products you need to make sure that you have enough space to house the products and once an order is placed, you need to ship them to your customers. With the drop-shipping model, the manufacturer will house the products and also ship them; you will only need to provide the online platform where customers can choose the products they would like to purchase and where they can pay. Once an order is placed, you need to pay the manufacturer the agreed amount for the product and shipping and he will take care of the rest. Ultimately you act as a middleman who attracts the customers, sells the products but have none of the hassle of housing or shipping the goods.

You can also set up your own store on eBay or Amazon and sell products provided by worldwide suppliers found on Alibaba.com and WorldwideBrands.com

The App Model

The App model for online business entails the creation of applications for use by smartphone users as well as for desktop use. After developing an application, you can either distribute it as a free or paid application. It is possible to make money through both free and paid applications.

In the case of paid applications for mobile phones, for example, the applications are paid for in incremental terms. These prices start from as low as $0.99 and increase incrementally. When using Apple as your app store front, you can receive as much as 30% of each app you sell. While the individual app sales may seem negligible, the cumulative sales can net you significant revenue.

The greatest advantage of selling your application is the potential to generate income. Additionally app stores such as Apple are more receptive to paid applications than they are to free ones.

The major source of income for free applications is pay-per-click advertising, which works on a similar premise as AdSense. It is also possible to make money with in-app spends or by using the free application as a preview for the paid variation of the application. You can use various advertising companies to add advertisements into your free application. These include Google Adsense, GreyStripe, iAd, Admob, Brightroll, among others.

The most attractive benefit of free apps is that you can continue to make money even after people have downloaded the application. On the contrary, paid apps only allow you to make money once, when the application is bought, unless it features in-app advertisements. You are also more likely to reach a greater audience because more people are inclined to download a free application than they are with a paid one.

APIs And Access To Data

An Application Programming Interface is a source code interface created and offered for other users to use it. An example of an API is Google Maps, which hosts snippets of data that relate to geo-location and mapping. Another great example is Facebook applications.

Through an API, developers can create applications that enhance users’ experience. Through APIs, websites are able to communicate with each other and use each other’s technological creations to come up with inventive products. One of the benefits of creating an open or free API is that it has the capacity to create backlinks to your e-commerce website. This can go a long way in boosting your rankings at the search engines, thereby generating free marketing for your e-commerce website and your business.

It is important that you limit the number of APIs you create and distribute, especially if you are looking to make money through the APIs. Limiting your APIs creates a demand for them, allowing you to charge a premium price to users who are interested in the API.

This model of online business offers companies the opportunity to specialize at a single stage of the data-access value chain. This is because the production or creation of data is typically a complex and intensive process that entails the use of human and technological resources. Nevertheless, once this data is developed, you are able to sell it to other users who will then develop the application further and perhaps sell it to other users down the value chain.

Application Programming Interfaces offer companies the opportunity to utilize web resources to release their processed output in a way that they themselves can control. In this way you, as the data publisher are in a position to provide the data freely for all users to access without jeopardizing your profit margins.

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