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What Is Ecommerce? Definition, Types, Pros, Cons & More

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If you are running a business, then you know that increasing product sales is key to your success.

You may have thought about setting up a physical store, but that can turn into an expensive and time-consuming enterprise.

Setting up an eCommerce store might work out better.

What is eCommerce, however?

It is a question that we hear often and it’s not always easy to answer.

In this article, we will explore the answer to that question and discuss the benefits you can expect from building an eCommerce store.

What Is eCommerce?

eCommerce is a process for purchasing and selling products over the Internet.

The eCommerce niche covers different types of businesses, from consumer-based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations.

How Does eCommerce Work?

There are a few different ways that eCommerce can work.

The most common is through a website.

A business will set up a website and list its products or services for sale. Customers can then browse the website, add items to their cart, and checkout.

Choose from WordPress themes built for online commerce to get started.

Another way that eCommerce can work is through marketplaces.

Marketplaces are websites where businesses can sell their products alongside other businesses.

The most common marketplace is Amazon.

Customers browse products from multiple businesses in one place and buy what they need.

What Are the Most Common Features of eCommerce Businesses?

  • The first eCommerce feature is a shopping cart: A shopping cart is what customers use to add items to their purchases.
  • The second feature is a checkout process: The checkout process is how customers finalize their purchases.
  • The third common feature is a product page: A product page will describe a single product. It usually includes photos, the price, a description, and customer reviews.

What Are the 3 Types of eCommerce?

There are three eCommerce types: business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).

  • B2C involves businesses selling products to consumers. For example, a clothing company sells clothes to individual customers.
  • B2B involves businesses selling services or products to other businesses. An example of this is a company selling office supplies to another company.
  • C2C involves consumers selling products to other consumers. An example might be when someone sells a used car on Craigslist.

What Is the Most Common Type of eCommerce?

The most common type of eCommerce is business-to-consumer (B2C).

It is the easiest type of eCommerce for businesses to set up.

Dropshipping, for example, does not require as much infrastructure as other types.

Examples of Ecommerce in Action

Some eCommerce companies stand out from others when selling online.

Here are five examples of companies using effective eCommerce strategies.

1. Bonobos

Bonobos is a company that sells clothes online. They are different from other companies because they focus on making sure the customer enjoys a good experience. It includes offering free shipping and returns.

2. Frank and Oak

Frank and Oak is a company that uses eCommerce to sell clothes and other items. What makes them different is that they have a lot of features. For example, they have a virtual stylist that can help you choose what clothes to buy.

3. Newegg

Newegg is a website where you can buy computer parts and components. The company uses price discounts and does it in a way that few competitors can match. For instance, you can buy a video card for lower prices than major retailers and get free shipping.

4. Meow Meow Tweet

Meow Meow Tweet sells its soaps and other hair and body care products uniquely by offering a branded popup that most of its competitors fail to use. It also helps people with disabilities to easily navigate its site using special software.

5. Suta

On its eCommerce website, Suta uses a widget to expertly help customers make quick purchases when targeting products in various price ranges. The company also does a nice job of using blog posts and embedded videos to attract targeted buyers.

What Are the Benefits of eCommerce?

Here are five major advantages of eCommerce.

  • Convenience: eCommerce allows customers to buy what they want from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Variety: eCommerce offers a wider variety of products than traditional retail stores.
  • Price competitiveness: eCommerce businesses can often offer lower prices than offline stores because they do not have the same overhead costs.
  • Unique products: eCommerce allows businesses to sell unique products that don’t typically appear in retail stores.
  • Customer service: eCommerce businesses can provide excellent customer service via automated systems.

What Are the Disadvantages of eCommerce?

While eCommerce benefits business owners and customers alike, there are disadvantages to the business model.

  • It is sometimes difficult to return products purchased online
  • You can’t control the quality of products you buy online
  • Inventory needs to be managed

What Makes an eCommerce Store Successful?

While eCommerce is a booming industry, there are a few things you need to know to make your business successful.

  • Choosing the right platform: When setting up your store, it’s vital to choose the right platform. One of the best eCommerce platforms is Shopify.
  • Creating an attractive website: Your website is your storefront. It’s crucial to make it look professional and appealing. Use high-quality images and design elements.
  • Offering customer service: One of the keys to success in eCommerce is quickly and effectively responding to customer inquiries.
  • Using effective marketing strategies: Marketing is essential for any business, but it’s especially important for eCommerce businesses. Use social media, email marketing, and search engine optimization to drive traffic to your website.
  • Staying up-to-date on industry trends: The eCommerce industry is constantly changing. Keep up with the latest trends so you can adjust your business accordingly.

eCommerce Stats That Will Blow Your Mind

Here are 10 amazing eCommerce stats to ponder.

1. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers in the United States have bought an item they found through a blog recommendation (Content Marketing Institute).

The implications of this reveal how important it is for eCommerce owners to look at eCommerce blogs for inspiration.

2. In less than two decades, it’s estimated that 95% of all purchases will happen online (Nasdaq).

Less people will shop physically, which may impact how many cars exist on roads.

3. A staggering 93.5% of people worldwide have made an online purchase at some point (OptinMonster).

Most people are comfortable using the Internet to buy their products.

4. Almost three-quarters of eCommerce companies’ revenue comes from Google and email marketing (Wolfgang Digital).

Using a combination of SEO and email marketing is the ticket to successful eCommerce store revenue.

5. The majority of the top 1,000 online retailers in the US send welcome emails (Smart Insights).

It’s crucial to welcome your new customers effectively.

6. The primary reason people shop online is the convenience of being able to do so at any time. (KPMG).

The average person doesn’t enjoy going to the store as much as in years past.

7. In the United States, half of all consumers aged 18-25 and more than half of those aged 26-35 receive one to two Amazon packages per week.

(Walker Sands) All companies must realize how important it is to become good at eCommerce to capture sales from younger people.

8. Less than 3% of eCommerce website visits result in a purchase (Invesp). Working on website conversions is an interesting way to increase online sales without increasing traffic.

9. Out of all global transactions, people use credit cards the most at 53%, followed by digital payment systems (43%), then debit cards coming in at 38%. (Kinsta). The way people use money favors the future of eCommerce.

10. Multi-step forms aren’t just for show. They can increase your website conversions by three times (Venture Harbour). eCommerce businesses must pay more attention to how they create sales funnels.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about eCommerce? Let’s review two questions we commonly receive.

How did eCommerce platforms grow in 2020?

The pandemic resulted in a significant increase in online sales.

Many businesses had to quickly transition to an online platform to stay afloat.

The increase in eCommerce led to the development of new platforms and features.

How do I start learning eCommerce?

To learn about eCommerce, you can take an online course, read blog posts or articles, or listen to podcasts.

You can also find eCommerce meetups in your area.

Attendance will allow you to network with other eCommerce entrepreneurs.

Wrapping Up

What is eCommerce?

Now that you know what eCommerce is and its benefits, decide on the steps to take to start an eCommerce business.

  • What features do you need?
  • What type of eCommerce should you choose?

Answering these questions represents one of the best ways to make money online.

If you get stuck along the way, don’t hesitate to ask for help in the comments below.

With a little effort, you can take advantage of eCommerce strategies to build a successful online business.

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