Updated: Mar 6
Electronic Commerce or e-commerce is the ability to buy and sell goods & services directly from online.
Transactions made via e-commerce can be done through desktops, phones, or any other smart device.
E-Commerce & Digital Marketing
E-commerce works alongside the digital marketing process because the latter is about funneling potential customers/leads to be convinced to buy your product or service.
E-commerce on the other hand involves the process in which the product or service is to be sold if the customer is convinced. Hence it's imperative to optimize every product page for the best user experience.
It is vital for businesses to be focused on improving and maintaining both e-commerce and digital marketing because one can't be successful without the other.
If the digital marketing is good, the website being advertised may tons of visits, but nobody may feel obligated to buy anything when they are there due to poor page experience. And if the e-commerce sales process is perfected, but marketing does not perform well, than that means nobody will be able to find the company since there is little or no advertising.
For someone who wants to sell online, it is important to also advertise online where potential customers can be directed to the site where the product is sold. It is important that once a customer makes their way to the place the ad will direct them to, that the payment and shipping processes are already set up by the business.
The goal is to ensure the customer journey is as seamless as possible from seeing an ad to being able to checkout.
E-Commerce Early Origins
E-commerce originated as early as 1969 when CompuServe was created as the first major e-commerce company in America. Through the 1970s, tele-shopping through computers were the trend of the time. Things did not dramatically change until the 1990s when the World Wide Web would be created and then shortly after Amazon and eBay which becoming the major e-commerce companies that we know today.
And then just before 2000, PayPal would be created as a tool for transferring funds online. Through much of the 21st century, more and more products were becoming available to purchase in the digital world which slowly led to an inevitable reliance to buy and sell online that we all hold dear today.
E-commerce can be divided into categories based on broadband access. The first of this is global e-commerce, which involves products or services being sold across international borders from a company’s origin country.
Global e-commerce provides many benefits like easy expansion and presence into international markets (depending on supply chain variability). The global e-commerce market is around $4.89 trillion for 2021 and is only expecting to be worth even more for years to come.
Local e-commerce is also important despite it not being on the grand scale that global e-commerce is on. However, consumers want to look for products and services keeping a convenient, close location in mind.
Local e-commerce involves an online shop selling to a predominantly large local targeted customer group, with the exception of a few shipping orders. This is especially done by small business owners who are concerned with high delivery and shipping expenses of their goods to faraway consumers.
We can see that it is beneficial to both parties who will save time and money. Consumers save money for local pick-up options because they don't have to wait in line or pay shipping/delivery fees (which in some cases is totally fine) while businesses are able to sell products/services with an ability to scale.
There is an interesting concept when it comes to selling online known as dropshipping that many e-commerce sellers participate in. It is an order fulfillment method in which a business will sell the product and have the order passed to a third-party which ships the product to the customer.
The process seems & is actually easier because the business owner will have more focus on customer service, fulfillment, & sales are & let the supplier do the rest of the work.
The product can be shipped from anywhere in the world which also helps to contribute to the global e-commerce growth. The dropshipping industry is worth $15 billion & is most favored by entrepreneurs.
Droppshipping helps businesses & e-comm save money because they do not pay for a product they intend to sale until after a customer pays for it.
There is not as much need to worry about tracking inventory, shipping orders, or paying for a warehouse that will store the products because the third party will have that covered.
There are downsides as well to consider such as low margins, an inability to actively track inventory, & supply chain constraints from country to country. But the potential for people to be able to sell products online without having physical products can shave a lot of time from continuously being able to sell.
E-commerce is a great, easy way for sellers and buyers to go about their business. Malls are increasingly becoming emptier today and are rather a place to hangout rather than its original purpose to shop, because the much more convenient way to shop is a phone search away.
E-commerce has grown so much in such a short period of time & based on current trends, it will only continue to grow & help e-comm businesses to flourish.
-Electronic Commerce (Ecommerce) Definition (investopedia.com) -The Difference Between E-Commerce and Digital Marketing - PI (pretty-impressive.com) -The History of E-commerce: A Long and Winding Road (the-future-of-commerce.com) -Global Ecommerce: Stats and Trends to Watch (2021) (shopify.com) -What is local eCommerce and how can I utilise it? | Kayo Digital -How to Sell Products Online in 10 Steps | Mailchimp -Dropshipping in 2021: Does It Actually Work? (Pros + Cons) (bigcommerce.com) -What Is Dropshipping and How Does It Work? (2022) (shopify.com)