What is eCommerce?

eCommerce refers to any form of business transaction conducted online. The most popular example of eCommerce is online shopping, which is defined as buying and selling of goods via the internet on any device. However, eCommerce can also entail other types of activities, such as online auctions, payment gateways, online ticketing, and internet banking.

eCommerce is typically classified into three different types based on the type of participants involved in the transaction: business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C) and consumer to consumer (C2C).

eCommerce is the fastest growing retail market projected to hit $4.058 trillion in sales in 2020. Mobile commerce, or mcommerce, is a rapidly growing new avenue of eCommerce that’s mostly driven by the expanding market and influence of smartphones and millennials’ comfort with shopping online. In 2016, the mcommerce sector enjoyed a 39.1% increase in sales compared to the previous year.

The Benefits of eCommerce

There is a reason why eCommerce has demonstrated such explosive growth in the past couple of years. Indeed, with the internet becoming an essential requirement of everyday life, businesses are learning to take advantage of the numerous benefits of eCommerce, the most notable of which include:

How to start an eCommerce business   

There is a logical order in how you would go about building an eCommerce business. Although setting up an actual online store would probably take less than a day, researching, building, launching and growing a profitable eCommerce business is a multi-layered process involving a number of steps and decisions.

  1. You can build an eCommerce store from scratch – this means either developing it yourself, or hiring a freelancer/agency to do it for you. It can take longer and cost more, but building a custom online store will guarantee 100% customization and give you the power to make all the decisions.
  2. You can use an off-the-shelf eCommerce solution like Shopify, which makes building an online store a quick and easy process. However, it will also mean less customization, as you will need to choose from an existing pool of themes and tools provided by the platform. If you opt to run a dropshipping business, eCommerce solutions like Oberlo will allow you to get the store off the ground and start selling in as little as few hours.

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Justas Markus: CEO & Co-Founder of GetFound XL and a blogger at Entrepreneur.com, Observer.com, Influencive.com and others. Catch up with Justas on Twitter.