Ecommerce (or electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods (or services) on the internet. It encompasses a wide variety of data, systems, and tools for online buyers and sellers, including mobile shopping and online payment encryption.
Most businesses with an ecommerce presence use an ecommerce store and/or an ecommerce platform to conduct online marketing and sales activities and to oversee logistics and fulfillment.
How does e-commerce work!
E-commerce is powered by the internet, where customers can access an online store to browse through, and place orders for products or services via their own devices.
This is to make sure that store inventory and customer funds are sufficient for the order to be processed. After the order is validated, the order manager will notify the store’s web server, which will then display a message notifying the customer that their order has been successfully processed.
The order manager will then send order data to the warehouse or fulfillment department, in order for the product or service to be successfully dispatched to the customer. At this point tangible and/or digital products may be shipped to a customer, or access to a service may be granted.
Types of e-commerce
Examples include online directories and product and supply exchange websites that allow businesses to search for products, services and information and to initiate transactions through e-procurement interfaces.
- Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the retail part of e-commerce on the internet. It is when businesses sell products, services or information directly to consumers. Today, there are innumerable virtual stores and malls on the internet selling all types of consumer goods. The most recognized example of these sites is Amazon, which dominates the B2C market.
- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is a type of e-commerce in which consumer’s trade products, services and information with each other online. These transactions are generally conducted through a third party that provides an online platform on which the transactions are carried out.
- Online auctions and classified advertisements are two examples of C2C platforms, with eBay and Craigslist being two of the most popular of these platforms. Because eBay is a business, this form of e-commerce could also be called C2B2C — consumer-to-business-to-consumer.
- Consumer-to-business (C2B) is a type of e-commerce in which consumers make their products and services available online for companies to bid on and purchase. This is the opposite of the traditional commerce model of B2C.
- A popular example of a C2B platform is a market that sells royalty-free photographs, images, media and design elements, such as iStock. Another example would be a job board.
- Business-to-administration (B2A) refers to transactions conducted online between companies and public administration or government bodies. Many branches of government are dependent on e-services or products in one way or another, especially when it comes to legal documents, registers social security, fiscals and employment. Businesses can supply these electronically. B2A services have grown considerably in recent years as investments have been made in e-government capabilities.
The government rarely buys products or services from citizens, but individuals frequently use electronic means in the following areas
- Education Disseminating information, distance learning/online lectures, etc.
- Social security. Distributing information, making payments, etc.
- Taxes. filing tax returns, making payments, etc.Health. Making appointments, providing information about illnesses, making health services payments, etc.
*This story is covered by Swiftnlift Business Magazine