Ecommerce 101 + Historical past of On-line Purchasing (2021)

Ecommerce 101 + Historical past of On-line Purchasing (2021)

To completely perceive ecommerce, let’s check out its historical past, development and impression on the enterprise world. We may even focus on some benefits and downsides to ecommerce, plus predictions for the long run.

Sorts of Ecommerce

Typically, there are six primary fashions of ecommerce that companies might be categorized into:

  1. B2C.
  2. B2B.
  3. C2C.
  4. C2B.
  5. B2A.
  6. C2A.

Let’s evaluation every kind of digital commerce in a bit extra element.

1. Enterprise-to-Shopper (B2C).

B2C ecommerce encompasses transactions made between a enterprise and a client. B2C is without doubt one of the hottest gross sales fashions within the ecommerce context. For instance, while you purchase sneakers from a web-based shoe retailer, it’s a business-to-consumer transaction.

2. Enterprise-to-Enterprise (B2B).

Not like B2C, B2B ecommerce encompasses gross sales made between companies, corresponding to a producer and a wholesaler or retailer. B2B will not be consumer-facing and occurs solely between companies.

Enterprise-to-business gross sales usually give attention to uncooked supplies or merchandise which are repackaged earlier than being offered to prospects.

3. Shopper-to-Shopper (C2C).

C2C is without doubt one of the earliest types of ecommerce. Buyer-to-customer pertains to the sale of services or products between prospects. This contains C2C promoting relationships, corresponding to these seen on eBay or Amazon.

4. Shopper-to-Enterprise (C2B).

C2B reverses the standard ecommerce mannequin, that means particular person shoppers make their services or products obtainable for enterprise patrons.

For instance, the iStockPhoto enterprise mannequin wherein inventory pictures can be found on-line for buy immediately from totally different photographers.

5. Enterprise-to-Administration (B2A).

B2A covers the transactions made between on-line companies and administrations. An instance can be the services and products associated to authorized paperwork, social safety, and so forth.

6. Shopper-to-Administration (C2A).

C2A is much like B2A, however shoppers promote on-line services or products to an administration. C2A would possibly embrace on-line consulting for training, on-line tax preparation, and so forth.

B2A and C2A are targeted on elevated effectivity throughout the authorities by way of the assist of data know-how.

Study Extra

Nonetheless curious? To study extra in regards to the forms of ecommerce, click on right here.

Historical past of Ecommerce

Ecommerce was launched about 40 years in the past in its earliest kind.

Since then, digital commerce has helped numerous companies develop with the assistance of recent applied sciences, enhancements in web connectivity, added safety with cost gateways, and widespread client and enterprise adoption.

Ecommerce Timeline

1969: CompuServe is based.

Based by electrical engineering college students Dr. John R. Goltz and Jeffrey Wilkins, early CompuServe know-how was constructed using a dial-up connection.

Within the Nineteen Eighties, CompuServe launched a few of the earliest types of e-mail and web connectivity to the general public and dominated the ecommerce panorama by means of the mid-Nineteen Nineties.

1979: Michael Aldrich invents digital procuring.

English inventor Michael Aldrich launched digital procuring by connecting a modified TV to a transaction-processing laptop by way of phone line.

This made it potential for closed info methods to be opened and shared by exterior events for safe information transmission — and the know-how turned the inspiration for contemporary ecommerce.

1982: Boston Pc Alternate launches.

When Boston Pc Alternate launched, it was the world’s first ecommerce firm.

Its main perform was to function a web-based marketplace for individuals taken with promoting their used computer systems.

1992: E book Stacks Limitless launches as first on-line guide market.

Charles M. Stack launched E book Stacks Limitless as a web-based bookstore. Initially, the corporate used the dial-up bulletin board format. Nevertheless, in 1994 the positioning switched to the web and operated from the area.

1994: Netscape Navigator launches as an internet browser.

Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark co-created Netscape Navigator as an internet looking software. Through the Nineteen Nineties, Netscape Navigator turned the first net browser on the Home windows platform, earlier than the rise of recent giants like Google.

1995: Amazon launch.

Jeff Bezos launched Amazon primarily as an ecommerce platform for books.

1998: PayPal launches as an ecommerce cost system.

Initially launched as Confinity by founders Max Levhin, Peter Thiel, Like Nosek and Ken Howery, PayPal made its look on the ecommerce stage as a cash switch software.

By 2000, it might merge with Elon Musk’s on-line banking firm and start its rise to fame and recognition.

1999: Alibaba launches.

Alibaba On-line launched as a web-based market with greater than $25 million in funding. By 2001, the corporate was worthwhile. It went on to show into a serious B2B, C2C, and B2C platform that’s extensively used in the present day.

2000: Google introduces Google AdWords as a web-based promoting software.

Google Adwords was launched as a method for ecommerce companies to promote to individuals utilizing Google search.

With the assistance of short-text advert copy and show URLs, on-line retailers started utilizing the software in a pay-per-click (PPC) context. PPC promoting efforts are separate from search engine marketing (website positioning).

2004: Shopify launches.

After attempting to open a web-based snowboarding gear store, Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake launched Shopify. It’s an ecommerce platform for on-line shops and point-of-sale methods.

2005: Amazon introduces Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon launched Amazon Prime as a method for patrons to get free two-day delivery for a flat annual price.

The membership additionally got here to incorporate different perks like discounted one-day delivery and entry to streaming companies like Amazon Video and members-only occasions like “Prime Day.”

This strategic transfer helped increase buyer loyalty and incentivize repeat purchases. Immediately, free delivery and pace of supply are the commonest requests from on-line shoppers.

2005: Etsy launches.

Etsy launched, permitting crafters and smaller sellers to promote merchandise (together with digital merchandise) by means of a web-based market. This introduced the makers neighborhood on-line — increasing their attain to a 24/7 shopping for viewers.

2009: BigCommerce launches.

Eddie Machaalani and Mitchell Harper co-founded BigCommerce as a 100% bootstrapped ecommerce storefront platform. 

Since 2009, greater than $25 billion service provider gross sales have been processed by means of the platform, and the corporate now has headquarters in Austin, San Francisco and Sydney.

2011: Google Pockets launched as a digital cost methodology.

Google Walletwas launched as a peer-to-peer cost service that enabled people to ship and obtain cash from a cell machine or desktop laptop.

By linking the digital pockets to a debit card or checking account, customers pays for services or products by way of these gadgets.

Immediately, Google Pockets has joined with Android Pay for what’s now referred to as Google Pay.

2011: Fb rolls out sponsored tales as a type of early promoting.

Fb’s early promoting alternatives had been provided to Enterprise Web page homeowners by way of sponsored tales. With these paid campaigns, ecommerce companies might attain particular audiences and get within the information feeds of various goal audiences.

2011: Stripe launches.

Stripe is a cost processing firm constructed initially for builders. It was based by John and Patrick Collison.

2014: Apple Pay launched as a cell cost methodology.

As web shoppers started utilizing their cell gadgets extra ceaselessly, Apple launched Apple Pay, which allowed customers to pay for services or products with an Apple machine.

2014: launches. was based by entrepreneur Marc Lore (who offered his earlier firm,, to together with Mike Hanrahan and Nate Faust.

The corporate competes with Costco and Sam’s Membership, catering to people in search of the bottom potential pricing for longer delivery occasions and bulk ordering.

2017: Shoppable Instagram is launched.

Instagram Purchasing launched with ecommerce accomplice BigCommerce. Since then, the service has expanded to further ecommerce platforms and permits Instagram customers to right away click on an merchandise, and go to that merchandise’s product web page for buy.

2017: Cyber Monday gross sales exceed $6.5B.

Ecommerce set a brand new file when on-line gross sales broke $6.5 billion on Cyber Monday — a 17% improve from the prior yr.

2020: COVID-19 Drives Ecommerce Progress.

COVID-19 outbreaks across the globe pushed shoppers on-line to unprecedented ranges. By Might of 2020, ecommerce transactions reached $82.5 billion — a 77% improve from 2019. It will have taken 4 to 6 years to succeed in that quantity conventional year-over-year will increase.

Shoppers have moved on-line to make purchases usually made in bodily shops, corresponding to meals and home items, attire, and leisure. Many shoppers say they’ll proceed to make use of on-line storefronts till a COVID-19 vaccine is on the market.

Progress of Ecommerce

Ecommerce has come a good distance because the CompuServe launch in 1969. Adjustments in know-how have definitely pushed ecommerce development, together with international circumstances. Immediately, ecommerce should meet shoppers’ expectations for security and comfort.

  • The United Parcel Service Inc. rode a pandemic-fueled surge in ecommerce to greater income and a 13% bounce in income through the June 2020 quarter. Throughout that very same quarter, UPS noticed a 65% improve in deliveries to residences.
  • In 2019, U.S. e-retail gross sales on Amazon elevated by 19.1% and amounted to over 222.6 billion U.S. {dollars}.
  • By the tip of 2020, U.S. spending on-line is anticipated to succeed in roughly $375 billion. Consultants forecast that by the tip of 2024, on-line spending will surpass $476 billion.

The Influence of Ecommerce

The impression of ecommerce is much and large with a ripple impact from small enterprise to international enterprise.

1. Giant retailers are pressured to promote on-line.

For a lot of retailers, the expansion of ecommerce has expanded their manufacturers’ attain and positively impacted their backside traces. However for retailers who’ve been gradual to embrace the net market, the impression has been totally different.

Retailers that fall into the center floor are those feeling the most important modifications in response to the impression of ecommerce. 

 In February of 2019, on-line gross sales narrowly surpassed common merchandise shops for the primary time, together with department shops, warehouse golf equipment and supercenters. As a result of Amazon Prime took away the worth of delivery, extra shoppers are comfy with on-line procuring.

2. Ecommerce helps small companies promote on to prospects.

For a lot of small companies, ecommerce adoption has been a gradual course of. Nevertheless, those that’ve embraced it have found ecommerce can open doorways to new alternatives.

Slowly, small enterprise homeowners are launching ecommerce shops and diversifying their choices, reaching extra prospects and higher accommodating prospects preferring on-line/cell procuring. 

Pre-pandemic, small companies had been working to develop their ecommerce presence. Immediately, 23% of small enterprise homeowners really feel they’ll must strengthen their ecommerce capabilities to be able to survive in a post-pandemic world. One other 23% of small enterprise homeowners have created a web site or up to date their current one since COVID-19 lockdowns started.

3. B2B corporations begin providing B2C-like on-line ordering experiences.

B2B corporations are working to enhance their buyer experiences on-line to meet up with B2C corporations. This contains creating an omnichannel expertise with a number of touchpoints and utilizing information to create customized relationships with prospects.

Ecommerce options allow self-service, present extra user-friendly platforms for value comparability, and assist B2B manufacturers preserve relationships with patrons, too. 

 By 2026, B2B transactions are anticipated to succeed in $63,084 billion.

4. The rise of ecommerce marketplaces.

Ecommerce marketplaces have been on the rise around the globe because the mid-Nineteen Nineties with the launch of giants we all know in the present day, corresponding to Amazon, Alibaba, and others. 

On this chart, we will see that Amazon is the outlier in regard to ecommerce market development, however we will see that others are making headway.

By providing a broad choice and excessive comfort to prospects, they’ve been capable of rapidly scale up by means of innovation and optimization on the go.

Amazon particularly is thought for its distinctive development technique that has helped them obtain mass-adoption and record-breaking gross sales.

However Amazon doesn’t do that alone. As of 2020, 52% of merchandise offered on Amazon had been offered by third-party sellers (i.e. not Amazon).

These sellers additionally make excessive income from the gross sales on {the marketplace}, although they’re required to observe strict guidelines enforced by Amazon.

5. Provide chain administration has advanced.

Survey information reveals that certainly one of ecommerce’s primary impacts on provide chain administration is that it shortens product life cycles.

Consequently, producers are presenting deeper and broader assortments as a buffer towards value erosion. However, this additionally signifies that warehouses are seeing bigger quantities of inventory out and in of their services.

In response, some warehousers are actually providing value-added companies to assist make ecommerce and retail operations extra seamless and efficient.

These companies embrace:

  • Separation of inventory/storage for on-line vs. retail gross sales.
  • Completely different packaging companies.
  • Stock/logistics oversight.

6. New jobs are created however conventional retail jobs are diminished.

Jobs associated to ecommerce are up 2x over the past 5 years, far outpacing different forms of retail in regard to development. Nevertheless, development in ecommerce jobs is barely a small piece of the general employment puzzle.

A couple of fast details on how ecommerce has impacted employment:

The flip facet of this, nonetheless, is that upticks in effectivity paired with a shift away from conventional retail might result in some job losses or reductions in workforces as properly.

As with every main market shift, there are each constructive and unfavourable impacts on employment.

7. Prospects store in another way.

Ecommerce (and now omni-channel retail) has had a serious impression on prospects. It’s revolutionizing the way in which trendy shoppers store.

Immediately, we all know that 96% of Individuals with entry to the web have made a purchase order on-line in some unspecified time in the future of their lives and 80% have made a purchase order on-line previously month.

And never solely do prospects ceaselessly use ecommerce websites to buy: 51% of Individuals now favor to buy on-line fairly than in-store. 

Millennials are the biggest demographic of web shoppers (67%), however Gen X and child boomers are shut behind at 56% and 41% collaborating in on-line procuring actions respectively.

8. Social media lets shoppers simply share merchandise to purchase on-line.

Researchers have found that ecommerce has made an attention-grabbing social impression, particularly throughout the context of social media.

Immediately, ecommerce customers uncover and are influenced to buy services or products primarily based on suggestions from mates, friends and trusted sources (like influencers) on social networks like Fb, Instagram and Twitter.

In case you’ve ever been impressed to purchase a product you noticed advisable on Fb or featured in an Instagram put up, you’ve witnessed this social impression because it pertains to ecommerce.

9. World ecommerce is rising quickly.

In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion individuals worldwide made a web-based buy.

Chinese language platform, Taobao, is the most important on-line market with a gross market worth (GMV) of  $484 billion. For context, Tmall and Amazon ranked second and third with $458 and $339 billion GMV in annual third-party international market worth respectively.

Benefits of Ecommerce

Ecommerce has many various benefits — from sooner shopping for to the power to succeed in massive audiences 24/7.

Let’s have a look intimately at a few of the prime perks it has to supply.

1. Quicker shopping for for patrons.

For purchasers, ecommerce makes procuring from wherever and at any time potential.

Meaning patrons can get the merchandise they need and wish sooner with out being constrained by working hours of a standard brick-and-mortar retailer.

Plus, with delivery upgrades that make fast supply obtainable to prospects, even the lag-time of order achievement might be minimal (assume Amazon Prime Now, for instance).

2. Firms can simply attain new prospects.

Ecommerce additionally makes it simpler for corporations to succeed in new, international prospects. An ecommerce retailer isn’t tied to a single geographic location — it’s open and obtainable to any and all prospects who go to it on-line.

With the additional benefit of social media promoting and e-mail advertising, manufacturers have the potential to attach with huge related audiences who’re in a ready-to-buy mindset.

3. Decrease operational prices.

With no want for a bodily storefront (and staff to workers it), ecommerce retailers can launch shops with minimal working prices.

As gross sales improve, manufacturers can simply scale up their operations with out having to make main property investments or hiring a big workforce. This implies greater margins general.

4. Customized experiences.

With the assistance of automation and wealthy buyer profiles, you possibly can ship extremely customized on-line experiences in your ecommerce buyer base.

Showcasing related merchandise primarily based on previous buy conduct, for instance, can result in greater common order worth (AOV) and makes the consumer really feel such as you really perceive them as a person.

Disadvantages of Ecommerce

Though trendy ecommerce is more and more versatile in the present day, it nonetheless has its personal set of disadvantages.

Listed here are a few of the downsides to ecommerce retail.

1. Restricted interactions with prospects.

With out being face-to-face, it may be more durable to grasp the desires, wants and issues of your ecommerce prospects.

There are nonetheless methods to collect this information (surveys, buyer assist interactions, and so forth.), but it surely does take a bit extra work than speaking with customers in individual on a day-to-day foundation.

2. Know-how breakdowns can impression potential to promote.

In case your ecommerce web site is gradual, damaged or unavailable to prospects, it means you possibly can’t make any gross sales.

Website crashes and know-how failures can injury relationships with prospects and negatively impression your backside line.

3. No potential to check or strive on.

For purchasers who need to get hands-on with a product (particularly within the realm of bodily items like clothes, sneakers and wonder merchandise) earlier than including it to their procuring cart, the ecommerce expertise might be limiting.

The Way forward for Ecommerce

By 2022, ecommerce income within the U.S. alone is anticipated to succeed in $479 billion, with the toys, pastime and DIY vertical seeing the biggest development.

And it’s no passing development, both.

It’s additionally attention-grabbing to notice that wanting forward, ecommerce knowledgeable Gary Hoover’s information initiatives that ecommerce retail gross sales will ultimately even out with that of brick and mortar.

Because of this regardless that the net gross sales development will proceed to develop, there’s loads of enterprise to go round.

However that’s not all.

Quickly, most ecommerce interactions shall be an omni-channel expertise for customers.

This implies they’ll anticipate to have the ability to analysis, browse, store, and buy seamlessly between totally different gadgets and on totally different platforms (like a standalone net retailer, an Amazon presence, and so forth.).

Different tendencies to look at for in the way forward for ecommerce embrace:

Total, we’ve got to keep in mind that ecommerce continues to be pretty new within the massive image of retail.

The long run holds infinite alternative, however its success and continuation will rely largely on patrons’ preferences sooner or later.


We’ve checked out all corners of ecommerce, together with its differing kinds, the historical past, the way it’s grown through the years, and its impression on shoppers and the way enterprise is performed.

There are definitely benefits and downsides to ecommerce, however the future has many alternatives for even higher enlargement.

Ecommerce Steadily Requested Questions

What are the primary options of an ecommerce web site?

Most prospects search for a number of key options when evaluating an ecommerce web site. These are parts that enhance the general on-line procuring expertise by making it extremely practical and user-friendly.

  • Straightforward to make use of options: Easy navigation instruments, simple checkout flows, and so forth.
  • Cell compatibility: Appropriate and practical on all cell gadgets.
  • Low cost code and promotional capabilities: Permits customers to make use of reductions on-site.
  • Safety features: Cost processing is safe and dependable.
  • Social proof: Validation from previous prospects and trusted sources.
  • Consumer-generated content material: Opinions, rankings and pictures that add to the ethos of choices.
Is ecommerce protected?

Sure, ecommerce is safer than ever earlier than.

With the assistance of multi-layered ecommerce safety, monitored transactions, common PCI scans, SSL certification, safety towards DoS/DDoS assaults, and internet hosting options which are PCI compliant, ecommerce shops can supply customers the peace of thoughts that their on-line purchases are made in a protected and safe setting.

What’s ecommerce achievement?

Ecommerce achievement encapsulates the complete technique of receiving an order and delivery it to the shopper.

This contains the entire operational and logistical steps which are a part of this course of, corresponding to stock administration, warehouse group, order oversight, packaging and delivery, and buyer communication relating to order achievement.

This side of an ecommerce retailer might be outsourced to an order achievement service or managed by way of dropshipping.

What’s an ecommerce market?

An ecommerce market is a sort of web site the place services or products are offered after which processed by {the marketplace} operator.

These embrace promoting platforms like Etsy, Amazon and eBay, for instance, which are sometimes a part of an omni-channel gross sales technique.

What are some examples of widespread on-line marketplaces?

  • Amazon.
  • eBay.
  • Alibaba.
  • Etsy.
  • Walmart.
  • Jet.
  • Overstock.
  • Newegg.
  • Rakuten.
What’s an ecommerce platform?

An ecommerce platform is a software program software that permits retailers to construct and customise digital storefronts and to handle their web site, gross sales, and ecommerce operations from a central hub.

BigCommerce is an instance of an ecommerce platform.

What’s a hosted ecommerce platform?

A hosted ecommerce platform is one which handles all web site internet hosting tasks fairly than requiring the person to take action by way of a third-party resolution.

This removes a lot of the complexities round managing the software program of your ecommerce operation and is usually cheaper than self-hosting.

In hosted ecommerce platforms, the platform handles updates, safety, and different associated duties for the shop proprietor. BigCommerce is an instance of a hosted (SaaS) platform.

Is ecommerce rising?

Sure, ecommerce is rising. Pre-pandemic, ecommerce was rising year-over-over, however lockdowns across the globe put on-line efforts into overdrive. 

By the tip of 2020, U.S. spending on-line is anticipated to succeed in roughly $375 billion. Consultants forecast that by the tip of 2024, on-line spending will surpass $476 billion.

What number of ecommerce websites are there?

As of 2020, there are greater than 7.1 million e-tailers on this planet, with extra being created each day.

How a lot is ecommerce value?

The United Nations Convention on Commerce and Improvement reported that international ecommerce gross sales grew 13% in 2017, hitting an estimated $29 trillion.

The B2B ecommerce market was anticipated to develop to $6.7 trillion in gross merchandise worth by 2020, making it twice the scale of the B2C market.

How a lot does it value to run an ecommerce web site?

The prices of working an ecommerce web site rely upon many elements, from the scale of the enterprise to the platform you selected.

Many ecommerce platforms have totally different plans and subscription fashions relying on your online business wants.

How do I begin an ecommerce enterprise?

There are other ways to start out an ecommerce enterprise, however we advocate taking these steps:

  • Discover what’s lacking from the market.
  • Create a marketing strategy.
  • Construct an incredible web site.
  • Unfold the phrase about your new enterprise.
  • Observe-up along with your prospects.
  • Proceed to study and be an knowledgeable in your merchandise and/or companies.
What vital integrations do I would like for an ecommerce retailer?

Your ecommerce platform will function the bottom of your retailer and integrations will present further companies to assist your on-line retailer succeed. Listed here are a few of the integrations you must take into account in your ecommerce retailer:

  • Level-of-sale system (POS) to maintain observe of your retailer’s stock.
  • Cost integrations enable prospects to securely pay how they need.
  • Transport integrations will help the supply portion of your retailer.
  • Analytics integrations observe buyer conduct inside your retailer so you may make data-driven selections to enhance gross sales.
  • Stock integrations are sometimes wanted for extra complicated shops.
  • Accounting integrations will handle payroll, budgeting, money circulate statements, purchase-and-sales charts, and profit-and-loss charts.
  • Electronic mail and advertising integrations will assist you attain extra prospects and produce site visitors to your retailer.
  • CRM integration helps you handle relationships with prospects, which might additionally assist you enhance buyer loyalty.
  • Buyer assist integrations, corresponding to a chatbot or a stay chat, can enhance your customer support efforts.
  • Social integration assists along with your social media advertising efforts.

Most customers look for a few key features when evaluating an ecommerce website. These are elements that improve the overall online shopping experience by making it highly functional and user-friendly.

  • Easy to use features: Simple navigation tools, easy checkout flows, etc.
  • Mobile compatibility: Compatible and functional on all mobile devices.
  • Discount code and promotional capabilities: Allows shoppers to use discounts on-site.
  • Security features: Payment processing is secure and reliable.
  • Social proof: Validation from past customers and trusted sources.
  • User-generated content: Reviews, ratings and photos that add to the ethos of offerings.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “Is ecommerce safe?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

    Yes, ecommerce is safer than ever before.

    With the help of multi-layered ecommerce security, monitored transactions, regular PCI scans, SSL certification, protection against DoS/DDoS attacks, and hosting solutions that are PCI compliant, ecommerce stores can offer shoppers the peace of mind that their online purchases are made in a safe and secure environment.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “What is ecommerce fulfillment?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

    Ecommerce fulfillment encapsulates the entire process of receiving an order and shipping it to the customer.

    This includes all of the operational and logistical steps that are part of this process, such as inventory management, warehouse organization, order oversight, packaging and shipping, and customer communication regarding order fulfillment.

    This aspect of an ecommerce store can be outsourced to an order fulfillment service or managed via dropshipping.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “What is an ecommerce marketplace?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

    An ecommerce marketplace is a type of site where products or services are sold and then processed by the marketplace operator.

    These include selling platforms like Etsy, Amazon and eBay, for example, which are often part of an omni-channel sales strategy.

    What are some examples of popular online marketplaces?

    • Amazon.
    • eBay.
    • Alibaba.
    • Etsy.
    • Walmart.
    • Jet.
    • Overstock.
    • Newegg.
    • Rakuten.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “What is an ecommerce platform?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      An ecommerce platform is a software tool that allows retailers to build and customize digital storefronts and to manage their website, sales, and ecommerce operations from a central hub.

      BigCommerce is an example of an ecommerce platform. ” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “What is a hosted ecommerce platform?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      A hosted ecommerce platform is one that handles all website hosting responsibilities rather than requiring the individual to do so via a third-party solution.

      This removes much of the complexities around managing the software of your ecommerce operation and is often cheaper than self-hosting.

      In hosted ecommerce platforms, the platform handles updates, security, and other related tasks for the store owner. BigCommerce is an example of a hosted (SaaS) platform. ” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “Is ecommerce growing?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      Yes, ecommerce is growing. Pre-pandemic, ecommerce was growing year-over-over, but lockdowns around the globe put online efforts into overdrive. 

      By the end of 2020, U.S. spending online is expected to reach approximately $375 billion. Experts forecast that by the end of 2024, online spending will surpass $476 billion.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “How many ecommerce sites are there?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      As of 2020, there are more than 7.1 million e-tailers in the world, with more being created daily.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “How much is ecommerce worth?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development reported that global ecommerce sales grew 13% in 2017, hitting an estimated $29 trillion.

      The B2B ecommerce market was expected to grow to $6.7 trillion in gross merchandise value by 2020, making it twice the size of the B2C market.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “How much does it cost to run an ecommerce site?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      The costs of running an ecommerce site depend on many factors, from the size of the business to the platform you chose.

      Many ecommerce platforms have different plans and subscription models depending on your business needs.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “How do I start an ecommerce business?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

      There are different ways to start an ecommerce business, but we recommend taking these steps:

      • Find what is missing from the market.
      • Create a business plan.
      • Build a great website.
      • Spread the word about your new business.
      • Follow-up with your customers.
      • Continue to learn and be an expert on your products and/or services.” } }, { “@type”: “Question”, “name”: “What important integrations do I need for an ecommerce store?”, “acceptedAnswer”: { “@type”: “Answer”, “text”: “

        Your ecommerce platform will serve as the base of your store and integrations will provide additional services to help your online store succeed. Here are some of the integrations you should consider for your ecommerce store:

        • Point-of-sale system (POS) to keep track of your store’s inventory.
        • Payment integrations allow customers to safely pay how they wish.
        • Shipping integrations will assist the delivery portion of your store.
        • Analytics integrations track customer behavior within your store so you can make data-driven decisions to improve sales.
        • Inventory integrations are often needed for more complex stores.
        • Accounting integrations will manage payroll, budgeting, cash flow statements, purchase-and-sales charts, and profit-and-loss charts.
        • Email and marketing integrations will help you reach more customers and bring traffic to your store.
        • CRM integration helps you manage relationships with customers, which can also help you improve customer loyalty.
        • Customer support integrations, such as a chatbot or a live chat, can improve your customer service efforts.
        • Social integration assists with your social media marketing efforts.” } } ] } ]]>


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