All about e-Commerce: e-business, marketplace, platforms
An E-commerce is commerce or business where all transactions are done online. It keeps the same concept of conducting and creating a business by selling or offering services, commercial goods, information, and more without establishing a physical business but instead doing online sales.
Even though e-commerce is mainly addressed to trading goods or services, the concept has expanded to include a wide range of economic activities. The online business can be established as business-to-business b2b, business-to-consumer b2c, or consumer-to-consumer c2c. In most e-commerce, a back office system is developed for the business allowing the online store to manage and organize online offers and pricing, add or remove product references, handle client orders, provide customer service, etc.
After the arrival of the Internet and the world wide web, E-commerce began to be used to share and update information between businesses and suppliers, particularly on international transactions. Slowly, big online businesses began to arise with marketplaces of retail sales, such as eBay or Amazon. Nowadays, e-commerce solutions are easily accessible on our mobiles or home devices, creating a vast market of customer services and goods.
What are the main characteristics?
The idea of building e-commerce is to keep the business functionality exclusively online. This can expand access to resources that can be sold on-demand without keeping the business in a steady location. Customers' immediate access to services has impacted the fast growth of e-commerce; there’s also mass customization of goods that can be made according to customers, locations, and resources.
Electronic commerce has a back office system developed for the business that allows them to manage and organize online offers and pricing, add or remove products, handle client orders, and provide customer service. The back office can be developed exclusively for the online business or by established subscription platforms such as CCM Wix, Shopify, or Squarespace, which offer an already functional back office mainly for small and medium businesses.
The marketplace runs a variety of products that are mostly ready for online purchase without having to run into a complicated process. In certain cases, electronic commerce makes it possible to highly customize products, particularly when the supply chain site is linked directly with the production system of the enterprise. For example, Alibaba has an on-demand stock of infinite products for businesses and customers.
The multifunctionality of e-commerce platforms can be used to sell various products and services. Online retailers such as Amazon or Etsy provide product consumption, and other platforms such as Uber have an on-demand business offering transportation services. Online international accessibility allows a more efficient delivery and use of resources; Airbnb is another e-commerce that offers an on-demand service for online rentals of private residences. This way, online businesses can work both locally and internationally.