Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, refers to conducting commercial online transactions. E-commerce uses Internet technology, mobile commerce, electronic funds transfers, escrowing services, electronic data interchange, supply chain management, inventory management systems, Internet marketing, data collection systems, and many other technologies and innovative business systems.
Starting an e-commerce store is an exciting and rewarding experience. You have the opportunity to build a business from anywhere in the world with almost zero overhead costs. While e-commerce can take on many forms, one of the most common electronic commerce practices is "e-tailing."
Also known as "virtual storefronts," this is the practice of selecting products to feature in a catalog format on a website, allowing customers to view those items and point-and-click their way to checkout. Some e-tail stores (perhaps most notably Amazon.com) take this further and aggregate numerous smaller stores into a unified system like a "virtual mall."
EBooks are a relatively common form of e-commerce
Other examples of e-commerce include:
- Subscription sites: Examples include the Dollar Shave Club, which offers members razors and other grooming products, and Stitch Fix, which tailors its clothing recommendations based on user preferences.
- Mobile application sales: Mobile applications are constantly being developed and sold for mobile devices. The mobile app store 'App Store' generates millions of dollars per year for Apple.
- Electronic book purchases: Online book sales from companies such as Amazon now account for about one-third of all book sales in the United States.
- Online auction sales: Websites such as Amazon.com and eBay attract millions of visitors daily for online auctions of everything from toys to cars and antiques.
- Procurement of various services via the Web: The internet can be a very convenient place to make purchases and provide significant cost savings.