E-Commerce is not just about online shops, but the entire electronic economy. E-Commerce refers to all kinds of business transactions that are done using the Internet. The most common form of e-Commerce are online shops, but e-Commerce is also other forms of business.
What is e-commerce?
E-Commerce has been a rapidly growing area for several years, attracting the interest of a wide range of individuals and companies. The e-Commerce market is growing very fast and maintains a double-digit growth rate. The growth of e-Commerce is driven by the development of the Internet, the emergence of new, previously unknown e-Commerce services, but also by new phenomena such as pandemic or lockdown.
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On the other hand, the expectations of online shoppers, who want to make their purchases cheaper, more convenient and faster, are also growing. For these reasons, new, innovative e-commerce solutions are emerging, solutions that combine stationary and online commerce, simplifying the search for the right product, allowing for faster delivery of orders, services, products and virtual services.
The dynamically changing world of e-Commerce, new tools and new opportunities require constant monitoring of trends on this market. We have prepared for you a short guide to e-Commerce issues. Our guide to e-Commerce will help you organise your knowledge of e-commerce, consolidate basic concepts and introduce you to examples of popular e-Commerce trends.
E-Commerce basic terms
E-Commerce (electronic commerce), or e-commerce is defined as a series of activities performed to make transactions by electronic means such as website, application. These are online transactions, or purchases of goods and services, the payment and delivery of which takes place outside the physical shop.
The most common forms of e-Commerce are of course online shops, but e-Commerce is also such forms of business as online auctions, currency exchange, electronic banking, online betting, e-shops, but also auction portals and other forms of e-commerce.
An online shop (e-shop) is a type of website through which sales and purchases can be made online. E-commerce makes it possible to virtually browse the offer, assortment and make payments for purchases. Online shops use software called an e-Commerce platform (e-Commerce system).
An e-Commerce platform (e-Commerce system) is software that allows you to run an online shop once it is installed and configured on a server. Alternatively, subscription-based SaaS platforms are provided as a service of a ready-made online shop in the cloud, on the software provider's servers.
Characteristics of the e-Commerce market
The e-Commerce market and the associated commerce model develops and changes in several stages. Initially, users go online mainly for work or entertainment. Internet users have no experience with payments and a lack of confidence in online transactions prevails among them.
In the next stage, users and, in fact, first consumers gain confidence in online banking services, payments. The first purchases and transactions are made in large trusted shops, which is low risk. At this stage, consumers also book hotels, airline tickets online, etc.
Next, users use the Internet to search for the information they need, and to purchase low-cost, personal products such as books, for example. The key motivator for choosing online shopping is primarily price. This stage of e-Commerce development is shaped by goods that are easily comparable, and the most important factor to guarantee a transaction is the low price of a product.
In the next stage, customers shop online mainly because of its convenience. This is because the e-Commerce market has the right tools to make online shopping enjoyable, simple and safe. We buy not only items, but also entertainment and food. Subscription payments in shops, making payments automatically and numerous applications allowing to pay for ordered food, a taxi or renting a bike are developed.