Ecommerce or electronic commerce actually means the use of an electronic medium for commercial transactions, but it is commonly used to refer to selling products and services over the internet to consumers or other businesses.
According to another definition, ecommerce refers to the sharing of business information, maintenance of business relationships and conducting business transactions with the help of computers that are connected to a telecommunication network, and without the use of paper documents.
We can classify Ecommerce by application into:
- Electronic markets – here the buyer is presented a range of products and services available in a market so that they can compare prices and make the purchase
- Electronic Data Interchange – this is a standardized system where computers communicate with one another without printed documents like order forms or invoices; it eliminates delays and errors otherwise seen when paper handling is involved
- Internet Commerce – the one we are most familiar with; the medium used to advertise, and sell innumerable products and services; the purchased goods are then shipped to the buyer.
Ecommerce is used in various business fields; the major categories of ecommerce are:
- Business to Consumer
- Business to Business
- Business to Administration
- Customer to Customer
The proliferation of Ecommerce today is extremely high, leading to a significant increase in the demand for e-commerce development services.
Let’s look at the most common applications of Ecommerce:
Retail and Wholesale
Ecommerce has numerous applications in this sector. E-retailing is basically a B2C, and in some cases, a B2B sale of goods and services through online stores designed using virtual shopping carts and electronic catalogs. A subset of retail ecommerce is m-commerce, or mobile commerce, wherein a consumer purchases goods and services using their mobile device through the mobile optimized site of the retailer. These retailers use the E-payment method: they accept payment through credit or debit cards, online wallets or internet banking, without printing paper invoices or receipts.
This refers to the gathering of data about consumer behaviors, preferences, needs, buying patterns and so on. It helps marketing activities like fixing price, negotiating, enhancing product features, and building strong customer relationships as this data can be leveraged to provide customers a tailored and enhanced purchase experience.
Banks and other financial institutions are using e-commerce to a significant extent. Customers can check account balances, transfer money to other accounts held by them or others, pay bills through internet banking, pay insurance premiums, and so on. Individuals can also carry out trading in stocks online, and get information about stocks to trade in from websites that display news, charts, performance reports and analyst ratings of companies.
Supply chain operations also use ecommerce; usually, a few companies form a group and create an electronic exchange and facilitate purchase and sale of goods, exchange of market information, back office information like inventory control, and so on. This enables the smooth flow of raw materials and finished products among the member companies and also with other businesses.
This is something almost every one of us has done at some time – book hotels, holidays, airline tickets, travel insurance, etc. These bookings and reservations are made possible through an internet booking engine or IBE. It is used the maximum by aviation, tour operations and hotel industry.
this refers to the digital publication of books, magazines, catalogues, and developing digital libraries.
Online advertising uses the internet to deliver promotional material to consumers; it involves a publisher, and an advertiser. The advertiser provides the ads, and the publisher integrates ads into online content. Often there are creative agencies which create the ad and even help in the placement. Different types of ads include banner ads, social media ads, search engine marketing, retargeting, pop-up ads, and so on.
Online auctions bring together numerous people from various geographical locations and enable trading of items at negotiated prices, implemented with e-commerce technologies. It enables more people to participate in auctions. Another example of auction is bidding for seats on an airline website – window seats, and those at the front with more leg room generally get sold at a premium, depending on how much a flyer is willing to pay.
E-Commerce is all around us today, and as an entrepreneur, you should also get into this realm if you want to expand your markets, get more customers and increase your profitability. Are you looking for a reliable and reputable ecommerce development company to establish your online presence? At IPIX Tech Services, we have over a decade and a half of experience helping startups, small and medium businesses achieve their business goals through online marketing. Do contact us for more details!