Let’s begin with a general definition of ecommerce.
Ecommerce is short for “electronic commerce,” and is any business or commercial transaction conducted electronically.
Ecommerce is most well-known as the process of buying and selling physical or electronic items online. Some day-to-day examples of ecommerce include online retail shopping, auction sites like eBay, trading goods and services between corporations, and online banking.
Ecommerce can be broken into three subcategories:
Stores that sell physical products
These are your standard online retailers. These physical product stores include apparel stores, homeware businesses, and gift shops, just to give a few examples. Stores that sell physical goods showcase the items online and enable shoppers to add the things they like in their virtual shopping carts. When the payment is processed and the transaction marked complete, the store typically ships the orders to the shopper, though a growing number of retailers are implementing initiatives such as in-store pickup.
Services can also be bought and sold online. While there is a wide range of services offered online some examples are online consultants, educators, and freelancers. The buying process of services differs depending on the merchant. Some may allow you to purchase their services straightaway from their website or platform.
Ecommerce is, by nature, highly digital, so it’s no surprise that many merchants sell “e-goods” online. Common types of digital products include ebooks, online courses, software, graphics, and virtual goods.