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What Is E-Commerce?

What is e-Commerce? What are e-Commerce Websites?

E-COMMERCE WEBSITE DEFINITION
Trade, be it barter exchange or buying and selling of goods and services has been prevalent for centuries. No one can be self-sufficient. And this brings out the need for demand and supply of goods and services. Transactions have been going on all over the world for centuries, locally, and across locations. Keeping the same concept in mind, now think electronic.

WHAT IS E-COMMERCE?
e-Commerce, also known as e-Business, or electronic business, is simply the sale and purchase of services and goods over an electronic medium, like the Internet. It also involves electronically transferring data and funds between two or more parties. Simply put, it is online shopping as we commonly know it.

e-Commerce started way back in the 1960s when organizations began to use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to transfer documents of their business back and forth. The 1990s saw the emergence of online shopping businesses, which is quite a phenomenon today.

It has become so convenient and easy, that anyone can shop for anything right from a living room, with just a few clicks. This has evolved more with the emergence of smartphones, where now, you can shop from anywhere and anytime, with a wireless device connected to the Internet. Now you can search for almost any product or service online, without having to go anywhere physically.

WHAT IS AN E-COMMERCE WEBSITE?
eCommerce websites are online portals that facilitate online transactions of goods and services through means of the transfer of information and funds over the Internet. In the early days, e-Commerce was done partially through emails and phone calls. Now, with a single website, anything and everything that a transaction needs, can be executed online.

There are different e-Commerce websites for every field. The most common type is retail selling, but there are many others too, like auction websites, business-to-business services, music portals, consultancy websites, finance management websites, and the like. You can build such websites by hiring dedicated developers.

What is Mobile Commerce?
Mobile Commerce simply means buying and selling of goods, done by customers using their mobile devices.
With mobile devices taking over the planet, quite literally everyone uses their mobile devices more often than their laptops or desktops – to browse the internet. There has been a huge increase in transactions done via mobile devices in the last few years – so the benefits of mobile commerce are significant.

Different Types of eCommerce Websites
Different e-commerce websites are labeled or referred to differently, based on the function they fulfill.

Business-to-Business (B2B): Electronic transactions of goods and services between companies.
Business-to-Consumer (B2C): Electronic transactions of goods and services between companies and consumers.
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): Electronic transactions of goods and services between consumers, mostly through a third party.
Consumer-to-Business (C2B): Electronic transactions of goods and services where individuals offer products or services to companies.
Business-to-Administration (B2A): Electronic transactions of goods and services between companies and public administrations.
Consumer-to-Administration (C2A): Electronic transactions of goods and services between individuals and public administrations.

Importance of e-Commerce
With the use of mobile devices and laptops increasing every day, there are a lot of advantages of e-commerce like –

Global market reach
A global choice for consumers
Short product/service distribution chain
Lesser costs and pricing

Disadvantages of e-Commerce

And there are some risks too with e-commerce –

Fraud and online insecurity
Data privacy issues
No testing or checking of services or goods
Dependence on electronic technologies

WHAT MAKES A GOOD E-COMMERCE WEBSITE?
If you are looking to start and e-Commerce website, there are a few things that you need to understand and keep in mind to be successful in the game. Make no mistake, there are many online shopping websites out there, and the top few are such great brands that they control most of the market share.

Top e-commerce websites
These are some of the most popular examples of e-commerce websites across the world (in no particular order) –
Amazon
eBay
Alibaba
Walmart
Taobao
Etsy

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