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What is Ecommerce? [Quick Guide]

Ecommerce, short for “electronic commerce,” is the process of buying and selling tangible or electronic goods online.

In 2018, ecommerce is more popular than ever. For many people, it has replaced brick and mortar stores as the preferred method of purchase. Mobile devices play a major role in the growth of ecommerce: it is estimated that mobile phones will account for 70% of all ecommerce traffic by the end of this year alone.

Social networking sites such as Facebook have also helped ecommerce gain popularity. Facebook reported $ 9.16 billion in advertising revenue for the second quarter of 2017 (a 47% increase from the second quarter of 2016), and 87% of Facebook’s total advertising revenue from mobile devices. As social networking sites integrate with ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, more and more people will begin to integrate ecommerce into their daily shopping practices.

Ecommerce is out of place, and will only continue to grow: According to Digital Commerce 360, ecommerce will account for 17% of all sales by 2022.

Keep in mind that ecommerce has a few different spelling variations. All of these are synonymous and correct –– their use is largely preference-based.

  • E-Commerce
  • eCommerce
  • Ecommerce
  • e-commerce
  • e commerce

What is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce has been abbreviated as “electronic trading,” and there are any business trades or computer-generated trades. Ecommerce is widely known as the online shopping and selling of electronic or electronic goods. Examples include online shopping, auction sites such as eBay, trade goods and services between organizations, and online banking.

Types of Ecommerce

In general, there are six main types of ecommerce businesses can be divided into:

  1. B2C.
  2. B2B.
  3. C2C.
  4. C2B.
  5. B2A.
  6. C2A

Let’s look at each type of electronic commerce with more details.

1. Business-to-Consumer (B2C)- B2C ecommerce includes transactions made between business and consumer.

This is one of the most widely used marketing models in the ecommerce context. When you buy shoes from an online shoe retailer, it is a business transaction and purchase.

2. Business-to-Business (B2B)- Unlike B2C, B2B ecommerce is about sales made between businesses, as a manufacturer and retailer or retailer.

This type of ecommerce is not targeted at consumers and only occurs between business organizations.

Often, business-to-business sales focus on immature products or products that have been re-packaged or integrated before they are sold to customers.

3. Buyer to buyer (C2C)- One of the first types of ecommerce is the C2C ecommerce business model.

Customer service related to the sale of products or services within you, guess: customers.

This could put customers in a customer-selling relationship like the one seen on eBay or Amazon, for example.

4. Consumer-to-Business (C2B)- C2B is transforming into a traditional ecommerce model (and that’s what we often see in crowdfunding projects).

C2B means that individual consumers make their products or services available to business consumers.

An example of this would be a business model like iStockPhoto, where stock photos are available online for purchase directly from various photographers.

5. Business-to-Administration (B2A)- This model incorporates transactions made between online businesses and management.

Examples would be products and services related to legal documents, public safety, etc.

6. Consumer-to-Administration (C2A)- The same idea here, but with consumers selling online products or services to managers.

C2A can include things like online consultation on education, online tax preparation, etc.

Both B2A and C2A are focused on increasing efficiency in government with the support of information technology.

History of Ecommerce

The history of ecommerce goes much further than you might think.

It was first introduced about 40 years ago in its original form.

Since then, e-commerce has helped many businesses grow with the help of new technologies, improved internet connectivity, and widespread consumer and business acceptance.

Some of the first ecommerce transactions took place back in 1982, and today, they grow by about 23% year on year.

Ecommerce Timeline:

YearMajor Ecommerce Event
1969The first major ecommerce company, CompuServe, is founded.
1979Michael Aldrich invents electronic shopping.
1982Boston Computer Exchange launches as one of the first ecommerce platforms.
1992Book Stacks Unlimited launches as one of the first online marketplaces for books.
1994Netscape launches Netscape Navigator, an early web browser, making it easier for users to browse online.
1995Amazon and eBay launch.
1998PayPal launches as an online payment system. launches.
2000Google launches AdWords as an online search advertising tool.
2005Amazon launches Amazon Prime with expedited, flat-fee shipping for members.
2005Esty, an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods launches.
2009BigCommerce launches as an online storefront platform.
2009Square, Inc. is founded.
2011Google Wallet launches as an online payment system.
2011Facebook launches sponsored stories as a form of early advertising.
2011Stripe launches.
2014Apple Pay launches as a form of mobile payment. launches.
2017Instagram shoppable posts are introduced.
2017Cyber Monday sales exceed $6.5B.

Benefits of Ecommerce

Ecommerce is profitable for businesses in a number of major ways: it can reduce costs by reducing the cost of owning a real store. It is faster and easier than traditional business operations, and can reach consumers in areas where local barriers would prevent the expansion of real estate.

Investing in ecommerce can also increase revenue: it allows businesses to reach more customers than just physical locations, and it also has a great potential to influence more in-store purchases.

For consumers, ecommerce reduces costs by offering more options. For example, if you go to Best Buy, you should pay the Best Buy price for the TV. Online, you can compare the Best Buy TV costs with the Target TV costs, or you can look for similar TV types on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and many other sites. In fact, ecommerce allows you to compare prices with the rest of the world, not just your local region, which can give you the luxury of choosing the best type of budget for you.

As ecommerce changes, it is important to pay attention to ecommerce styles. Even if you are a brick and mortar store, you can still benefit from learning about ecommerce, because ecommerce is a good indication of what consumers expect and want from their shopping experience.

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