What Is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. Also called electronic commerce or internet commerce, it has been around in the form we know it today since the mid 1990s. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what is ecommerce and how it benefits both customers and sellers.

How Does Ecommerce Work

Ecommerce stores facilitate online transactions between sellers and customers. Huge ecommerce stores like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy sell millions of products across categories while enabling shoppers to find and buy a product in just a matter of minutes.

Online shoppers can use computers or mobile devices to access ecommerce stores, which are essentially websites essentially built to act as a shopping front for sellers. Today, many online stores are also available as mobile apps.

Internet stores integrate shopping carts and different payment processing options to enable shoppers to add the products they want to a virtual cart and then proceed to checkout.

After an order is placed, the seller’s warehouse team will pick the items from storage and pass them on to delivery services which will ship the items to the customer’s doorstep, usually within a matter of days.

For sellers, processing online orders is not much different from selling goods in a brick and mortar store except that instead of displaying the goods in a physical store they do so online and then ship them to the buyer.

Types of Ecommerce Stores

The three main types of ecommerce stores are:

  1. Business to Business (B2B)
  2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
  3. Consumer to Business (C2B)

Within these, there are many different subtypes ranging from brand stores selling products from a single brand to global marketplaces like Amazon or eBay that enable shop owners to set up their own stores within a larger platform for increased visibility.

Many retailers today sell their goods in both physical and online stores, often providing a unified catalog of products and giving shoppers the chance to pick up goods in person at their chosen physical store to avoid shipping costs.

Benefits of Ecommerce

Ecommerce comes with notable benefits for both sellers and customers. These benefits account, in a large measure, for the popularity of online shopping today.

Benefits for Sellers

  • Ecommerce technologies enable sellers to set up an online store even if they don’t have a physical store.
  • Lower costs related to space rentals and staffing.
  • Greater reach since anyone anywhere can access an online store regardless of their location.
  • Better chance to compete with other stores and brands.
  • Can be easily promoted through search engine optimization and digital marketing strategies at a lower cost compared to traditional marketing channels.
  • Alignment to customer preferences since many consumers today enjoy the convenience of shopping online.
  • Low start-up cost.
  • Easier to start and set up than a conventional store—with WordPress and WooCommerce, anyone can start an online store in a matter of days.

Benefits for Customers

  • Can find products more quickly and compare them with ease.
  • Saves them time and energy.
  • Reduces travel costs.
  • Better prices because of lower seller costs as well as discounts and promotions.
  • Wider catalog of products, including access to products that may not be available in their area.

Challenges of Ecommerce

While ecommerce has many advantages, it also creates challenges for shop owners. Common challenges include maintaining an accurate product inventory, ensuring that the online storefront is fast and easy to use, shipping products quickly, and tracking and managing returns.

There are many ways to build an ecommerce store today, but not all of them provide the quality storefront required for a great customer experience.

What is Ecommerce – Summary

Ecommerce is not only an alternative to conventional stores but the preferred way to shop for many consumers around the world. No wonder since it’s fast, convenient, and enables shoppers to find products that may not always be available locally.

All that consumer ease, however, is the result of shop owners working hard to build and maintain engaging stores. Ecommerce technologies today make creating a store easier than ever, but sellers still have to provide value with every product they sell.

What is eCommerce at Ladical Digital Marketing

Ladical Digital Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency headquartered in Ontario Canada. If you would like more information on how we can help you create your “Ecommerce Marketing Strategy”, or assist in your Ecommerce Website,  please call us at 888-750-8860 or use our web contact form.