Ecommerce (electronic commerce; also known as internet commerce or e-commerce) refers to any commercial transaction that takes place electronically via the internet. These transactions can include the buying and selling of physical products and services, as well as digital products and services. Ecommerce business models are often organized into the following categories:
Many merchants will use an ecommerce platform, such as Shopify or BigCommerce, to manage some or all of their ecommerce experience, including their website, domain name, checkout experiences, inventory management, credit card processing, and customer service. Alternatively, businesses can employ a headless commerce architecture, which allows for greater customization.
A major benefit of the ecommerce business model is its convenience and flexibility for both merchants and shoppers. Customers can shop for goods and services independently of geographical location and make purchases much more quickly without visiting a brick and mortar store. Additionally, completing purchases online allows businesses to collect customer data and shopping data, which they can use to reach new customers and personalize the customer journey, thus increasing brand awareness, brand loyalty, and average order value.
In order to facilitate a seamless shopping experience for the customer, online stores need intentional, user-friendly design, including site functionality elements like logical product search and filtering tools and easy-to-navigate checkout flows. To meet the increasing demand for mobile commerce, these sites should also be compatible with mobile devices. Customer reviews and ratings can increase trust in the products and services offered. Finally, security is a necessity when dealing with online payment processing.