The 5 C’s of e-commerce marketing [2023 Update]

The 5 C’s of e-commerce marketing [2023 Update]


Have you ever heard about the 5 C’s of eCommerce marketing? It is such a comprehensive framework that if applied continually, 5 C’s will bring success for your products and brands.

5 C’s stands for Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Context/ Climate. In this article, we will look closely and carefully into each element. Check it below!


The first and foremost element of the framework is “Company”. Ask yourself “Which is my Hedgehog concept?” “What are the key marketing messages for my company?”

1. The Hedgehog Concept.png

The Hedgehog Concept

During this process, you may also need a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats).


2. Collaborators.jpg

“Collaborators” include individuals, groups, companies, or organizations which assist you in selling products.

In eCommerce, your suppliers might be considered as “collaborators”. For example, if your products are sold on Amazon, then Amazon is your collaborator. If you sign a contract with FedEx as a package carrier, they will be another collaborator of yours.

After finding out who your collaborating partners are, think about how you and they have an impact on each other.


3. Customers.jpg

Customers” is a decisive element of 5 C’s. What you need to do at this step is identifying potential customers (through customer personas or customer interviews) for a particular product or marketing campaign. Also, you need to explain the reason why shoppers choose your store and understand the marketplace of those buyers.

Take a high-end boots retailer for example. One day, it wanted to be on the top sellers in its marketplace. The retailer marketing team immediately calculated the number of boots that might be sold (1), the real percentage of (1) it could serve (2), and the portion of (2) it could get (3).

After the research, the retailer realized that it had already ranked the second of the boot by volume, and its profit would decline if it poured money to be the top seller.


4. Competitors.jpg

At this step, your task is to identify your competitors’ advantages and disadvantages, their current marketing strategies, and their market share.

If possible, do some research about “concentration ratio”. It will show you the competitiveness of a particular market, therefore indicate how hard it might be to beat up your existing competitors.

Context/ Climate

The final component analyzes the world to find out its impact on your company and marketing strategy. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic last year has exerted a dramatic influence on eCommerce.

Besides, PESTEL analysis is essential for your business as well. It includes Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal.

5. The PESTEL Analysis.jpg

The PESTEL Analysis

For instance, 2020 also witnessed the fact that browsers don’t allow tracking cookies anymore, leading to the difficulty for some kinds of marketing attribution in e-commerce.

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