Electronic commerce: what is it, types and examples that exist

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Electronic commerce is gaining force in modern society. You only need to look at the 3.55 trillion US dollars that were invoiced last year through that channel.

Figures that only grow. In fact, the outlook for 2020 – with a considerable part of the world population that has had to spend several months confined to their homes due to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic – are even better for ecommerce, which does not understand crisis or diseases.

People have got used to buying everything online, which makes the online channel have more and more weight.

If you are thinking of getting started in this world, read this article carefully because we are going to explain what ecommerce is, what is the history of ecommerce, the types of electronic markets that exist, as well as the advantages of this ecommerce model and the main platforms to develop this activity.

What is electronic commerce?


Also known as ecommerce, is a business model that dispenses with physical stores to carry out transactions over the Internet.

This implies that the purchase will take place on a web page that shows your products virtually, as if it were a normal store. And therefore, these types of stores that sell their products online are e-commerce businesses.

The best thing about online stores is that they do not need a physical space to market products. And if you opt for dropshipping, it will not even be necessary for you to have the products that you are going to sell in your electronic marketplace. Instead of shop windows, exhibitors or warehouse, to dedicate yourself to ecommerce you need to have an online presence through a website, mobile applications or spaces on social networks.

Because Internet commerce activity can be carried out both on a specific web page and on a smartphone app or on any social network enabled for ecommerce.

The simplest definition of e-commerce focuses on digital transactions carried out by two parties who agree to buy or sell products online.

We can add that ecommerce also contemplates those transactions carried out in the electronic market, although in some part of the process the customer has gone to a physical store (either to see and touch the product, or even to pick it up).

From an operational point of view, among the activities of e-commerce we find those that focus on sales processes and on the acquisition of continuous traffic to nurture e-commerce customers.

Advantages and disadvantages of eCommerce


Although in this other article we will talk at length about all the advantages and disadvantages of eCommerce, we want to highlight the two most important points here:

Main advantage: financial costs. It is much cheaper to start a successful eCommerce business than a physical store. And if your intention is to build a dropshipping store, your costs will be lowered even more because you will not have stock or need to rent a warehouse.
Main disadvantage: excess competition. With so many millions of online stores vying for the top spots on Google, it’s hard to stand out if you don’t spend enough money on SEO and online advertising.

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