What is an E-commerce Website?
E-commerce websites are online portals that provide the facility of online transactions for services and goods availed or ordered after the transfer of funds, as well as information related to products available on these portals. Different E-commerce websites are accessible, and customers can purchase goods or easily avail of services using such platforms. Various facilities are provided in the E-commerce sector to consumers, and some include convenient, easy, and multiple types of payment options, product exchange and return, festive and seasonal offers and discounts, annual subscription, product and price comparison, and on-time product delivery, and others. Furthermore, consumers can shop online from anywhere and anytime using smartphones, laptops, desktops, and other Internet-enabled devices.
The most common types of E-commerce websites are digital product E-commerce websites, physical goods E-commerce websites, service-based E-commerce websites, and dropshipping E-commerce websites.
Digital buyers are growing up to 2 Bn in 2019, expected to increase by more than 65% by 2021.
Types of E-commerce Models
There are four types of E-commerce models, including business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C), consumer to consumer (C2C), and consumer to business (C2B).
- B2B: – This model is used when businesses sell services or goods to other businesses (Example – Alibaba)
- B2C: – In this model, businesses sell services or goods to consumers (Example – Amazon and Walmart)
- C2C: – In this model, consumers sell goods or services to other consumers (Example – eBay and Craigslist)
- C2B: – In this model, consumers sell their own products or services to organizations or businesses (For example – photographers sell their photos to businesses)
- 24×7 Service availability: The E-commerce industry automates businesses of enterprises and is always open and serves customers anywhere and anytime round-the-clock (24x7x365).
- Non-Cash payment: The E-commerce industry provides facilities to use debit cards, credit cards, smart cards, and electronic fund transfers through bank websites or bank payment apps, and accepts other electronic payment options.
- Improved sales: The E-commerce industry provides many facilities to customers while purchasing products anywhere and anytime using electronic tools. This boosts the growth of sales volumes.
- Advertising or Marketing: E-commerce platforms increase the reach of advertising or marketing of goods or services of businesses through various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, etc.
- Inventory management: E-commerce platforms provide facilities for businesses to automate inventory management using specific tools. In addition, product inventory management enables maintaining product records efficiently. It also helps to save inventory and operational costs for businesses.
- Support: The E-commerce industry supports different services, including post-sales and pre-sales assistance to customers.
- Communication improvement: E-commerce platforms provide efficient, reliable, and faster communication with partners and customers across the globe.
Traditional Commerce vs. E-Commerce
|Basis for Comparison||Traditional Commerce||E-commerce|
|Definition||Traditional commerce is a type of business which focuses on exchange of products and services, including all activities which encourages product exchange||E-commerce refers to the selling and buying of goods and services via the Internet|
|Processing of transactions||Manual||Automatic|
|Physical inspection||Products and services can be inspected physically before purchase of selected product and services||Products and services cannot be inspected physically before purchase of selected product and services|
|Scope of business||Limited area||Across the globe|
|Resource focus||Supply side||Demand side|
|Marketing||One way marketing||One-to-one marketing|
|Delivery of goods or services||Instantly||Requires some time|
E-Commerce advantages are broadly classified into three major categories, including advantages to consumers, advantages to organizations, and advantages to society.
Advantages to Customers
- Customers can search for various services or products on online portals anywhere and anytime
- E-commerce websites are open round-the-clock (24 x 7)
- Availability of a wide variety of products and services on E-commerce websites, coupled with fast product delivery and provision of other related services
- Before product purchasing, a customer can conduct product or service price comparisons and explore other related aspects and details, including product ratings, product reviews, product photos, and others.
- E-commerce platforms provide attractive discounts on products or services, seasonal offers, festival discounts, etc. to consumers
Advantages to Organizations
- Organizations can expand their business to international and national markets easily with minimum capital investment. In addition, organizations can easily locate the best suppliers, and suitable business partners, and expand their customer base globally.
- E-commerce platforms help to reduce product distribution, retrieval, and other costs and increase digitization in the E-commerce sector.
- The E-commerce industry helps to build a brand image of a company and increases the visibility of products on a global scale.
- The E-commerce industry helps organizations to provide better customer service and experience.
- The E-commerce industry helps to simplify business processes and makes them more convenient, efficient, and faster.
Some Popular E-commerce Websites Across the Globe are Amazon, Alibaba, Walmart, Jingdong, and Others.
Amazon.com, Inc. was founded in 1994, and it engages in the retail sale of consumer products globally. The company operates through Amazon Web Services (AWS), International, and North America segments. In addition, Amazon manufactures and sells various electronic devices, including Fire TVs, Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Echo devices. The company provides database, storage, compute, and other AWS services coupled with digital content subscriptions, advertising, publishing, co-branded credit card agreement services, and other services. Furthermore, the company offers the Amazon Prime membership program, which provides several benefits to consumers. Some include free and fast shipping of products, and access to streaming of TV shows, movies, music, and other services. Amazon is in a strategic partnership with an automotive manufacturing company – Volkswagen AG – to develop a cloud-based Industrial digital production platform, which helps to connect Volkswagen warehouses and vehicle factories.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited was founded in 1999 and operates through its subsidiaries as a mobile and online commerce company. The company retails and distributes machinery, chemicals, consumer electronics, sports products, apparel, and a wide range of other products globally. The company’s business model includes three major web portals such as Taobao, Alibaba.com, and Tmall, and all are connected to several types of sellers and buyers. In addition, Alibaba has six more subsidiaries, including 1688.com, Aliexpress, Alibaba Cloud, Alimama, Cainiao Network, and Ant Financial. Furthermore, Alibaba focuses keenly on the business-to-business model, and also supports other types of models through its various E-commerce web portals.
Walmart Inc. is one of the top E-commerce companies globally and offers a wide range of products. These include small appliances, apparel, musical instruments, electronic products, houseware, pharmaceutical products, automotive tools, and others. The company provides supreme quality products across different categories and also provides daily discounts and other offers to customers. In addition, the company operates through Walmart International, Sam’s Club, and Walmart U.S. segments globally. Walmart U.S. operates as retail stores in the US, Walmart International operates in different categories, including wholesale, retail, and others, and Sam’s Club provides access to different types of products to its members through mobile commerce applications and websites.
JD.com, Inc., known as Jingdong, operates through New Businesses and JD Retail segments globally. The company offers mobile handsets, home appliances, laptops, desktops, printers, household goods, furniture, cosmetics, apparel, luxury goods, fitness equipment, sports gear, automobiles and accessories, nutritional supplements, e-books, and other products globally. In addition, the company provides online marketing services for merchants, suppliers, and other partners. It offers a wide range of products through its website jd.com and mobile apps. Furthermore, Jingdong offers an online marketplace to third-party sellers for selling a variety of products to customers. It also provides value-added fulfillment, transaction processing, billing, and other services.
- In a minute, 1.1 million are spent on online shopping in 2020
- Search Engines are the most popular source of inspiration for online shopping over worldwide in 2020.
- Amazon.com is the leading online retail website followed by ebay.com and Rakuten.co.jp in the world till July 2020 mostly due to the Pandemic.
- 85% of the US population have bought something from Amazon till August 2020 followed by Walmart with 45% and Target with 26%.
- In 2020, about 88% of online shopping orders are abandoned out of which Automotive is the leading shopping category with a 96.88% abandonment rate.
- There are 167.77 million mobile buyers in the US which makes up to 60.9% of the US population.
- The retail eCommerce sales in the United States is 374.375 million USD till July 2020.
- As of August 2019, in southeast Asia, more than 150 million people bought or sold items online
- In southeast Asia, the average number of e-Commerce orders a day is 5M
- As of January 2019, 37.9 percent of customers have made a 1% to 25% of the time, purchase based on an online or social media ad
- As of June 2019, the online shopping order’s average cost done through desktops was 128 US$, tablets were 96.88 US$, and mobile phones were 86.47 US$.
- As of June 2019, The average online shopping order value through desktop was 128.08 US$ and the least was through mobile phone, that is 86.47 US$
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