If you are looking to start a business where you will be selling products through the internet, you are going to be one of the millions of people who have made careers in the world of what is now known as ecommerce.
What is Ecommerce?
The term ecommerce can essentially be defined as the activity of buying and selling products and/or services through online channels (i.e. the internet). E commerce first saw emergence in the 60s through electronic data interchange.
With the advent of the internet becoming more accessible around the world, the 90s and early 2000s saw a massive boom in the ecommerce industry with the likes of Amazon becoming giants after having started off from the founder’s garage back in ’95.
Over the years, the ecommerce industry has seen development with advancing technology taking the helm. The rise of social media platforms like Facebook, mobile devices and ever increasing accessibility to internet around the world, ecommerce has become an expansive field. Proper enterprise level businesses now make up a strong portion of the ecommerce industry and it is estimated that in four years time, ecommerce is going to make up for almost 20 percent of all retail sales in the United States. With communications technology improving every passing day, the numbers are going to keep on increasing in the US and around the world as we move forward.
Different Ecommerce Categories
Ecommerce has now become a proper industry and has branched out to what are considered 4 categories of the industry:
- B2C: The business to consumer category is what constitutes to businesses selling to the general public via software operating online without customers having to interact with any representative from the business.
- B2B: The business to business category consists of businesses conducting trade with one another for instance when a wholesale business is selling to distributors.
- C2B: The consumer to business category is when customers post a project on the internet and businesses conduct bids in order to get to work on that project. An example of C2B ecommerce is Elance.
- C2C: Consumer to consumer ecommerce is what happens in online marketplaces where people buy and sell goods on an online platform like eBay and Craigslist.
To explain the matter quite simply, if you have a product that you can sell or services that you can provide, you can use tools available on the internet which you can use to get started.
WordPress is a great example for a platform that allows an easy to use and ready to operate template so that you can start up an online store and run your own ecommerce business. As the proprietor of the business, you will need to figure out how you can collect payment from your customers. Credit card payment options and PayPal are two very popular ways to go about it. If you’re selling physical products, you also need to figure out how you’re going to ship the products to your customers.
Ecommerce is an industry that is huge and yet it continues to grow. With ecommerce having been around for a long time now, there are proper laws governing the sophistications of the whole ecommerce ecosystem that are designed to protect both the proprietors and consumers. Best of luck starting out!