Ecommerce, often known as electronic commerce or online commerce, is the purchasing and selling of goods and services through the internet, as well as the financial and data transfers required to complete these transactions. Ecommerce is frequently used to refer to the online sale of real goods, but it can also refer to any type of economic transaction that is made possible by the internet.
While e-business encompasses all aspects of running an online firm, ecommerce focuses on the exchange of goods and services.
The first ever online sale took place on August 11, 1994, when a guy sold a CD by the band Sting to a friend using his website NetMarket, an American retail platform. This is the first instance of a consumer purchasing a product from a business over the Internet, or “ecommerce” as it is currently known.
Since then, ecommerce has progressed to make it easier to find and buy things through online shops and marketplaces. Independent freelancers, small enterprises, and huge organisations have all benefited from ecommerce, which allows them to offer their products and services on a larger scale than traditional offline shopping.
By 2020, global ecommerce retail revenues are expected to surpass $27 trillion.
Ecommerce Models Types
There are four basic ecommerce models that can be used to explain practically any transaction between customers and businesses.
- B2C (Business to Consumer): When a company sells a product or service to a single customer (e.g. You buy a pair of shoes from an online retailer).
- B2B (Business to Business): When a company sells a product or service to another company (e.g. A business sells software-as-a-service for other businesses to use)
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C): When one person sells a product or service to another (e.g. You sell your old furniture on eBay to another consumer).
- Consumer to Business (C2B): When an individual sells their own goods or services to a company or organisation (e.g. An influencer offers exposure to their online audience in exchange for a fee, or a photographer licences their photo for a business to use).
Ecommerce Case Studies
Diverse transactional relationships between businesses and consumers, as well as different objects being transferred as part of these transactions, can all be found in ecommerce.
- Retail: The sale of a product directly to a client by a firm without the use of an intermediary.
- Wholesale: The sale of things in large quantities to a retailer who then sells them to consumers directly.
- Dropshipping: The sale of a product that is made by a third party and delivered to the customer.
- Crowdfunding: The collection of funds from consumers prior to the release of a product in order to raise the necessary startup capital to bring it to market.
- Subscription: A subscription is an automatic repeating purchase of a product or service on a regular basis until the subscriber cancels it.
- Physical goods: Any tangible item that requires inventory replenishment and physical shipment of orders to clients as sales are completed.
- Digital products: Downloadable digital goods, templates, and courses, as well as media that must be purchased or licenced for consumption.
- Services: A talent or collection of skills that is given for a fee. The time of the service provider might be acquired for a cost.