Ecommerce refers to electronic commerce in which online transactions are made between buyers and sellers. The terms ‘ecommerce’ and ‘commerce’ are synonymous. Ecommerce has been taking the market by storm, as it provides a very cost effective way for businesses to advertise and sell their products and services. Ecommerce has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and many ecommerce websites have emerged to service the expanding global market. Ecommerce is also referred to as internet shopping or online commerce.
Ecommerce facilitates online transactions between buyers and sellers that have an online relationship and are willing to transact business. Ecommerce basically includes the entire process of selling and purchasing goods or services over the Internet, using various transaction protocols such as email, text based chat and various types of payment systems such as credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. Ecommerce has gained in popularity among all kinds of businesses and individuals looking for a quick, easy and convenient mode of making purchases. Since ecommerce makes transactions hassle free, it has proved to be a boon for both the buyers and sellers and thus has gained in popularity among businesses of all sizes. With millions of people becoming internet savvy every day, there is a great potential of ecommerce in helping retailers to market and sell their products.
The most popular and commonly practiced business model of ecommerce is to create a virtual marketplace where consumers can place orders for products or services that they wish to purchase. The concept of selling product through the World Wide Web is known as Ecommerce or Electronic Commerce. Another model of Ecommerce is to create a store front in the form of a website where consumers can browse and purchase products. This is called an e-store.
There are different types of ecommerce platforms available that facilitate electronic commerce, such as open source software. Many businesses today choose these open source Ecommerce platforms because they do not need to bear the cost of maintaining a server, bandwidth and hardware for running the business models. Another benefit is that users can modify the existing platform by adding their own custom made features or plug-ins. Ecommerce platforms also allow users to publish or manage their websites, search engines and social networking profiles such as Facebook and Twitter. These programs help users in developing their businesses through easy application processes and provide them with a platform that is easily customizable to suit the requirements of any business.
Retailers can effectively market their products online using ecommerce solutions. An ecommerce platform allows retailers to accept payment through credit cards, pay using PayPal, and offer their products for sale on the website. They can add catalogs on their site to enable browsing of the products online. Online retailers can offer the facility of purchasing the products from their site or from any other merchant. Through this method, customers can make their purchases from any location whether at home, the office or on the road. They do not have to physically visit the retailer’s place to make their purchases.
Many consumers enjoy the convenience of purchasing digital products such as ebooks and software applications online. This has opened up numerous options for consumers in selecting the right ecommerce solution to suit their specific needs. The availability of affordable solutions makes it possible for more merchants to compete in the market. As a result, retailers have an improved opportunity to increase their sales and earn higher profits.