What is e-commerce?
A look at the definition of e-commerce shows that it is "electronic commerce". This refers to complete commercial transactions on the Internet. This includes both the purchase and sale of goods.
But e-commerce is much more than just setting up an online store. It also includes processes such as online banking and customer service. So e-commerce deals with all the important topics that revolve around online shopping.
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What advantages does e-commerce offer?
When it comes to e-commerce, both companies and customers have key advantages. These are listed below:
- Digital commerce enables a direct purchasing process without any delay. Interested parties and potential customers browse product catalogs from home or on the go, pay online at the same time and receive their delivery promptly.
- In addition, the buying experience for customers on the Internet is convenient and fast. Extensive sales advice is already provided in the online store with the help of product descriptions, detailed images and/or videos.
- Through e-commerce, companies, service providers and suppliers are able to conduct a greater exchange of information with the customer. Customers receive all the information they need in advance, which is important for a purchase decision. This also includes possible experience reports and ratings from other customers.
What are the e-commerce models?
At first glance, it seems that e-commerce is basically equated with the classic sale of products in online stores. But there are other possibilities and models beyond that.
In parallel to the online store, companies and retailers have the option of offering their products and services via well-known marketplaces. So-called marketplaces are, for example, well-known platforms at Amazon or eBay. While retailers only have to enter their products, marketplace providers take care of the rest of the sales process. As a result, merchants offer their products not only regionally, but throughout Germany and worldwide.
So if existing companies and founders want to start e-commerce, they can opt for the online store or marketplace model. But which is more suitable?
- Own online store: An own online store is more time-consuming and financially expensive. However, this gives retailers greater flexibility. Companies can decide for themselves how to handle and sell their products. In addition, they do not have to pay a sales fee to marketplaces.
- Marketplaces: Well-known and renowned marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon account for a large share of e-commerce. Accordingly, they have their own customer base. Newcomers are perfectly capable of generating sales on the very first day. However, traders have to pay a sales fee to the marketplace operator for every sale they make.
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