What Is Ecommerce?

Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce, is a business model which involves transactions taking place on the internet. Stores that sell their products online are ecommerce stores or businesses. For example, Amazon.com is one of the most popular online stores in the ecommerce industry. In this article you’ll learn the history of ecommerce, ecommerce statistics, platforms, popular ecommerce sites, and ecommerce and successful stores.

History of Ecommerce

The foundation for ecommerce was created in 1979 by Michael Aldrich. The first attempt he made was to connect his television to a computer by using his connection of the telephone line. This attempt was not the modern ecommerce. But he really gave the idea of buying and selling products without going anywhere. At the time, most people didn’t own computers. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were the people who made computers common for the general population. Bill Gates even said that his goal was to put “a computer on every desk and in every home.” Without computers, ecommerce would be remarkably different.

One of the first instances of e-commerce website is related to Jeff Bezos. He started a store for selling books online. At the time of initiation, Amazon had around 1 million books. Eventually, the book selling store converted into what we now know as Amazon. And Amazon became an ecommerce successful store.

By the mid-1990s and early 2000’s, people were adding computers to their home and paving the way for the growth of ecommerce. The sales was made through checks up till 1990s. Because by that time, there was no online platform available for this purpose. This led to the initiation of PayPal in December 1998. The launch of PayPal proved highly significant for online shopping as credit cards could be easily used. Moreover, the entire process became easier. Paypal is one of the success stories showing ecommerce and successful stores.

By 2008, ecommerce sales made up 3.4% of all sales which shows industry growth. By 2014, 12-24 million online stores were present, which actually highlights the growth in the ecommerce industry.

Ecommerce Statistics

  • It is estimated that, by 2020, global e-commerce sales will reach $4.058 trillion, which makes e-commerce a growing and profitable industry to be in.
  • According to the US estimates, 224 million shoppers will exist online by 2019. This would make the US market one of the largest markets for online businesses.
  • The number of mobile shoppers would go to 162.8 million, by 2019. So, the businesses must use the mobile optimization strategy for attracting and converting potential customers to the actual ones. 22% of these shoppers would be men whereas 18% of these would be women.
  • The overall amount spent by women online is more than men. For every$10 spent online, women are spending $6 while men spend $4.
  • About $2000 is spent by Millenials on online each year. This generation is the one with most spending online when comparing with the other generations.

Common Types of Ecommerce Business Models

  • B2B: business to business, is when a business is selling to other businesses. One of the B2B platforms is Alibaba. The prices on Alibaba are extremely low. This is because of the wholesale nature of the market. It is one of the examples of ecommerce and successful stores.
  • B2C: business to consumer, involves businesses selling to consumers. If you are aiming to create an online store, then there are significant chances that your target would be the customers. Some of the examples of B2C businesses are Amazon, Walmart, and Apple.
  • C2C: consumer to consumer, is when consumers are selling to other consumers. E-Bay, Craigslist, Facebook groups, and Kijiji are the types of C2C business.
  • C2B: It is the model in which consumers sell products to the businesses. For example, photographers providing their services to business.

Common Types of Ecommerce Websites

  • Physical Goods Ecommerce Website: Retailers who have brick and mortar stores can host their store online to sell to a broader audience. Such websites are great for the businesses who want to increase their sales but not spend much in physical spaces.
  • Service-based Ecommerce Website: Freelancing websites are in trend these days. Some of the examples include Fiverr and Upwork.
  • Digital Products Ecommerce Website: Companies that sell digital products like software or video games don’t need physical stores to sell their products as it only involves the customer downloading the product. The cost of this type of business is low leading to better profit.
  • Dropshipping Ecommerce Website: Slightly different from physical goods stores, dropshipping is where merchants sell goods to customers on their online store. But they don’t hold any inventory. They choose a supplier, showcase the products of the supplier and wait for the customers to place their orders.

What Is an Ecommerce Platform?

An ecommerce platform is a software solution that allows businesses to create online stores. With online stores, you can sell the product. Or even services to the individuals or businesses around the world. Examples of ecommerce platforms include Shopify, BigCommerce, and Magento.

Tobias Lutke, Daniel Weinand, and Scott Lake initiated Shopify in 2004 There are 377,500 merchants as per the statistics of 2016. A total of $15.4 billion in revenue have been reported by these merchants. Shopify’s platform is considered the best ecommerce platform with a 10/10 rating.

What Makes Ecommerce Successful Stores?

Running an ecommerce store is not easy. You need to put in some effort for managing the ecommerce business too. You can’t just expect your customers to come to you once you have started your business.

  1. Focus on the User: With ecommerce, you can sell anything. But you must be careful to establish your trust with the customers for this purpose. Some of the important elements include picking the right tone for branding, efficient theme for your website, Additionally, focussing your audience is another key.
  2. Test with Friends: You can get help from your friends in managing the effective checkout process. You need to be sure that the checkout process is not excessively long. So, you can check with your friends.
  3. Be Mobile Optimized: You must ensure that mobile and desktop, both devices need to be optimized, for the users in the best possible way.
  4. Make Investment in SEO and PPC: SEO and PPC are the marketing techniques through which you can bring traffic to your website.
  5. Research and Develop: You should never limit your store to some things. Rather make sure to research products and develop new concepts through diversification. So, you don’t need to restock your ecommerce store every month. But you don’t have to focus on stocking only. You can also consider the use of innovative ways to attract customers is important for increasing your customer base.

What Is Ecommerce Marketing?

Through E-commerce marketing, you can drive sales to the online stores. Some of the techniques of marketing include brand awareness campaigns, display advertising, discount QR codes, etc. Most e-commerce marketing tactics are consistent with traditional marketing strategies. However, they need to be applied online. And becomes the reason for the “e-commerce and successful stores”.

The beauty of ecommerce marketing for dropshippers is that you can learn almost anything online through webinars, blogs, and ebooks. Budget has actually no role in the success of these businesses. So you can expect best results. It is how ecommerce create successful stores and let you earn a great deal of money.

Future of Ecommerce

The ecommerce industry will continue growing. According to N Channel, in the US, brick and mortar retailers generate $3.9 trillion in sales while ecommerce generates $294 billion. Over time, ecommerce will continue to take away market share from brick and mortar retailers, as it has been doing over the past few years. This can be taken as the good news for the new entrepreneurs. But bad for the companies that are already in market especially the physical one.

Ecommerce will also likely evolve over the years creating a more virtual or augmented reality experience for shoppers. The stores might provide the opportunity to virtually try your product. Let’s see where technology will go. And how would it impact ecommerce and successful stores, in the future.