What is an E-commerce?

An E-commerce is a 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 having to establish a physical business but instead doing online sales.

Even though e-commerce is mainly addressed to the trading of 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, pricing, add or remove product references, handle clients orders, customer service etc.

After the arrival of the Internet and the world wide web, the concept of E-commerce began to be used as a way to share and update information between businesses and suppliers, particularly on international transactions. Slowly, big online business 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 wide market of services and goods for customers.

What Are The Main Characteristics?

The idea of building e-commerce is to keep the business functionality exclusively online. This can expand the access to resources that can be sold on-demand without having to keep the business in a steady location. The immediate access to services that customers can have has an impact in the fast growth of e-commerce, there’s also a mass customization of goods that can be made according to customers, locations and resources.

An electronic commerce has a back office system developed for the business that allows them to manage and organize online offers, pricing, add or remove products, handle clients orders, customer service among others. The back office can be developed exclusively for the online business, or by established subscription platforms such as CCM Wix, Shopify or Squarespace, who offer an already functional back office mainly for small and medium business.

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, in particular when the supply chain site is linked directly with the production system of the enterprise, for example, AliBaba, who has an on-demand stock of infinite products available for business and customers.

Multifunctionality of e-commerce platforms can be used to sell a wide variety of 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 of transportation service. The 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 business can work both locally and internationally.

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This document, titled « Introduction to e-Commerce (Electronic Commerce) », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

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