What is Ecommerce

A simplified breakdown of what ecommerce is. The foundations, the evolution into what it is today and types of ecommerce businesses.

How To Choose The Best Ecommerce Platform

"E-commerce" is a broad term that refers to any type of business that sells something over the internet. It can be as simple as you selling your own photos or as complex as a multi-million dollar corporation doing all their business online. There are many ways to sell things via the internet. Every time someone buys something from you or buys something from another online merchant, they are doing ecommerce. E-commerce encompasses everything from selling on eBay to paying your mortgage online to buying tickets to the opera online. It's really an umbrella term for all internet activities which involve the transfer of funds between parties.

Here's a little bit of history: Once upon a time (in the 1990s), a man named Paul Bencivenga was selling millions of dollars’ worth of information to people all over the world but he was limited in the delivery of that information because ecommerce was really not strong, it was clunky, hard to build, consumers didnt know how to pay and if only he was selling today. He may have 200X'd his earnings potential. 


Classifying ecommerce businesses according to what they sell

Let's get started by talking about the products and services typically sold online. Here are the ten most common categories of products sold on an ecommerce website.

1. (Note: These aren't the only ten categories, but they're the most common.)

2. Books

3. Computers

4. Clothing and apparel

5. Electronics and appliances

6. Crafts and hobby supplies

7. Music and videos

8. Home and garden

9. Business and financial

(NOTE: This is a very rough guide. Some websites sell a little of everything while others have a very narrow focus. Also, these categories do not include all of the sub-categories within each category.)

OK, now that you know what types of products an ecommerce website typically sells, let's talk about how those products are sold. Do you remember when you were in elementary school and your teacher would ask you to raise your hand if you knew the answer? She'd then call on the students who knew the answers and force them to stand in front of the class until all the students who didn't know the answers stood in a line behind them. Then the teacher would ask the students who knew the answers to explain their answers to the rest of the class. The students who didn't know the answers were then forced to stand in front of the class until all of the students who didn't know the answers got a chance to explain their answers.

Types of ecommerce businesses

Ecommerce websites are classified in many different ways. There are many different types of online marketplaces. Some are better than others. Some cater to certain types of products or services better than others. Some allow more types of transactions (both ways) better than others. And some are just plain superior to others.

This guide will show you what types of ecommerce sites are currently most popular, what each of these site types are best at, and how you can use that info to help you create a more profitable ecommerce website.

Classifying ecommerce businesses according to what they sell

Ok, let’s talk about the typical products and services sold online. These are the ten most widely-traded ecommerce websites in the world. Below that is a list of the ten most heavily trafficked ecommerce websites.

1. Stores that sell physical goods

These are the retailers you’ll find when you do an internet search for “e-commerce websites. Physical goods are only part of your selling tool kit. There are also services, expertise, introductions, credibility, trust, and many other tools you can use to sell your product or service. Online shoppers can buy physical goods by visiting the website of an online store, adding the items they want to purchase to their virtual shopping cart, and then completing their orders by clicking on the “pay now” button or using another form of secure payment.

This means the customer doesn’t have to wait for the package to be delivered or pick up the package from the local post office. An example of this would be Zappos.com. On this site, there are thousands of products. However, if a customer is in the neighborhood of a store that carries the product, the customer can visit the store to physically buy the product.

Amazon is a good place to sell all types of products - including those that do not necessarily sell well on Amazon. For example, someone who sells golf clubs on Amazon could also sell those same golf clubs through one of the other channels I mentioned earlier.

2. Service-based e-tailers

Besides products, services can also be purchased online. Freelance job sites are an ideal place for independent contractors to get work, especially if you have something specific you want someone to do. Whether you need someone to write copy for you or help you with your SEO or manage your social media, there will be people willing to help you.

The buying process for services is different depending on the merchant. These people are nuts if they don’t want to work with you. The fact they are “nuts” means they are not going to be in business very long. If they do offer a upfront sales-type model, it’s an immediate red flag. One of the most common examples of this is on Fiverr.com, a website that allows people to post “gigs” (written or verbal) for low price. If you offer any kind of service on Fiverr, you MUST require your buyers to place an order on your website before they receive your services.

Before you decide to hire someone else to do the work Consider what exactly you want them doing. There are so many sources of information today that it would take a person nearly a lifetime to discover them all.

3. Digital products

Most ecommerce transactions are conducted online. Therefore, in the online ecommerce realm, products are usually called “e-goods. All products are not created equal. Some are digital while others are physical. Some are “born digital” and never need to be touched with a human hand again. And some products are somewhere in between. For our purposes, we'll consider all products that are in a digital format to be digital products.

If you are selling digital products, examples of retailers are Coursera (an online education platform) and Audiobooks (a website where you can buy audio books).

sale hoo product example

Classifying ecommerce according to the parties involved

1. There are four types of transactions participants in a transaction:

2. B2C – These are transactions where the products being sold are consumable. Examples: clothing, food, beverages and so on.

3. B2B – These are transactions where the products being sold are non-consumable.

A car wash - where the owner pays to have his or her vehicle washed by the independent contractor C:

4. C2C – These are transactions where both the buyer and seller are independent contractors. This is true of virtually all classifieds such as the "Kitty Litter" ads I used to write for the Los Angeles Times. In fact, most classifieds fit this category. For example, if you own a restaurant and you want to let people know about it, you might run an ad like this: "Restaurant for rent - fully equipped, furnished, 100% ready to open. Great location near USC and Century City.


Ecommerce platforms: a look at where and how ecommerce takes place

Now we’re going to talk about another important consideration when you are choosing a website or an online business for your product line. That consideration is whether or not your site will be “friendly” to different kinds of transaction types. Let's examine each of these types of transactions separately. Where and how do these transactions take place? How does all this work? Are there any special rules or regulations involved? What is an FBA seller to do? How much paperwork is involved? What are the costs and delays?

Answer: it depends.

Once you understand where the fish are, it becomes much easier to attract them to your pond (or in this case, your website). And once you get the fish in your pond, it’s time to start feeding them.

There are three ecommerce technologies that are essential to any successful ecommerce business: website development, search engine optimization and an online payment processor. Career Cliff says… If you are at the bottom 10% of your class, stay in the bottom 10% and don't worry about changing your grade.

What are the best ecommerce platforms?

With shopping carts and e-commerce platforms, retailers create online stores where they display their products and services. It's much easier to conduct ecommerce with an online storefront than it is to conduct offline commerce. There are plenty of ecommerce solutions. You need to select the one that is the best fit for your business. It depends on your budget, your personal preferences, and the needs of your business. There are several ecommerce solutions which are the very best available today.

The data listed below was gathered from Shopify's website in March of 2015.

Amazon is powering over 1,000,000 websites around the globe. That means Amazon is powering about one out of every 30 websites on the Internet.

That means if you are selling on any other website besides shopify, then about 19 out of 100 people are doing their ecommerce on a different platform than you.

An easy-to-use platform that's based on a Ruby on Rails framework, WooCommerce gives online store owners the ability to sell anything from books to furniture and everything in between. It's easy to set up an Amazon FBA account. And with the various templates and tools, it makes it very easy to get your products listed, shipped and purchased. With over 100,000 websites built with WordPress, it's one of the most popular and mature content management systems (CMS) available today. It's easy to use, has a huge selection of plugins, and is fully hosted.

For: Entrepreneurs who already have an established ecommerce business and are looking for a proven, all-in-one platform that can be updated easily and at low cost.

What are the biggest online marketplaces?

An online marketplace is an organized facility where buyers and sellers can transact business. It's typically facilitated by an organization such as eBay or Amazon and enables buyers to feature and promote their products, and allows them to reach a much larger audience. Amazon, Ebay and Google are the three biggest platforms used by customers to buy and sell products. They are extremely popular because of the wide variety of products and services available on each of them.

There are several online marketplaces you can use to sell your products, and we’re going to go over them one-by-one.

Social media and ecommerce

Social media platforms are very useful for ecommerce businesses that want to increase their sales. They can also provide an invaluable service by helping ecommerce businesses to build their brand recognition. These types of affiliate programs will help you make extra fungolas! By using a little-known feature of the Amazon Affiliate Program, you can get paid even for people who don’t end up buying whatever it is you are promoting.

How social media facilitates ecommerce

This is a very helpful guide which provides a 'SWOT Analysis' of hundreds of micro niche markets... plus... it reveals the 100 most lucrative ones for you to sink your teeth into. A:

It's true that most people don’t use these social media platforms to buy products or services, but they are excellent tools to spread the word about your products and services and increase sales through “word-of-mouth” marketing. Instead of using these platforms as traditional “banner” ads which cost so much, retailers are now using them to attract attention and showcase their products by using visuals, like photos and videos, and compelling social media copy to reach a wider audience. If you post a photo on Instagram or Facebook that looks interesting to your followers, they will click through to your website to see if you are selling that item. If you are, they will then purchase the item directly from you instead of from the site where they originally saw the photo.

Conducting ecommerce transactions on social sites

Well, there is one more thing. Social media ecommerce is the best kept secret in all of online commerce. Nobody is talking about it, nobody is studying it and nobody is doing research on it. Social Media is taking the marketing world by storm. Some Social Media platforms are enabling clients to sell products directly from their social media accounts. Let's say you sell T-shirts online. Maybe you use Instapage for your checkout. Well, if a customer is interested in your T-shirt products, he or she can browse your website. But, while browsing, the customer can also “check out” your products using Instagram. If you're not already using it, you should consider turning on Buy with Instafeed. It's free, easy to use and puts your brand front and center in the minds of your customers.

Since September 2018, businesses can also use Instagram Shoppable Stories. This feature, which was previously available only to users with an influencer license, allows businesses to add product stickers on a story. When someone who likes a product clicks on the "buy" button on a mobile device, a new window will pop up with even more product information. Then, if the customer wants to buy the product, he can simply tap "continue" and complete the purchase.

Some of the initiatives mentioned above are certainly interesting, but it’s important to remember that not all social selling projects are successful. Now, let's have a look at the following two headlines: Which one of the above headlines would you click on? Which one would you read? I hope it was the first one. If you take a careful look at the source code of the websites that use those buttons, you will find out what each of the sites are doing differently. In January of this year, Twitter rolled out a new “buy button” that allows customers to buy items directly from a Tweet.

The attempt to build the “Bat-Mobile” was not a huge success, therefore the company officially shut down the project in 2017.

the maccdonalds sales funnel system

Is ecommerce still growing?

You're right, Joe. It is.

1. E-commerce sales are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 26% from 2012 to

2. By comparison, total retail sales are projected to grow at a rate of only

3.1% over the same period.

Is ecommerce still growing?

You're right, Joe. It's easy. Here's what you do: You get a piece of paper, and on that paper you write out your own There are several reasons for this growth rate: More people have access to the Internet; more people are buying online; there are fewer restrictions for doing business online; there are more sellers on Amazon (and other ECommerce sites) than buyers and thus the competition is fiercer for the buyer; and, the sheer

What are the biggest ecommerce companies?

There are only five companies that matter in ecommerce... and... Amazon is one of them. In fact, by 2020, Amazon will have a market value of $1 trillion. The Chinese e-commerce market is dominated by just two players: Alibaba (which controls about 56% of the market) and Jingda (about 30% of the market).

Topic Resources To Continue Learning

Next Chapter

  • Types of ecommerce business models
  • best ecommerce platform
  • Ecommerce payment processors
  • Ecommerce business structures
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