Table of Contents
What is ecommerce?
E-commerce (electronic commerce) refers to the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the Internet.
These business transactions occur either as business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer, or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably.
The difference between the two is that e-business refers to all aspects of operating an online business, while e-commerce refers specifically to the transaction of goods and services.
How to start an e-commerce business?
Starting an e-commerce business can be a challenging and exciting opportunity. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Define your product or service: What are you going to sell? Do market research to make sure there is a demand for your product or service.
- Choose a business model: There are several different ways to sell products online, including through a retail website, an online marketplace, or a subscription service. Each model has its own benefits and drawbacks, so choose the one that makes the most sense for your business.
- Set up your online store: Choose a platform to host your online stores, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento. These platforms make it easy to create and manage your online store and offer a range of features including payment processing, inventory management, and shipping integration.
- Create a marketing plan: How are you going to attract customers to your store? Develop a marketing plan that includes tactics such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising.
- Get the legal aspects in order: Make sure your business is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations, such as obtaining the necessary licenses and permits and collecting sales tax.
- Launch your store: Once everything is in place, it’s time to launch your store and start selling. Keep in mind that running an e-commerce business takes time and effort, and you may need to adjust your strategy as you learn what works and what doesn’t.
Online Business Setup complete guide here.
How to build an e-commerce website and Apps
To build an e-commerce website or app, you will need to follow these steps:
- Choose a platform: There are many platforms available for building an e-commerce website or app, including Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce. Each platform offers different features and tools, so choose the one that best meets your needs.
- Design your website or app: Choose a layout and design that is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Consider hiring a designer or using a template to help with this process.
- Add your products: Create a catalog of your products, including images, descriptions, and pricing information. Make sure to optimize your product pages for search engines to improve your visibility.
- Set up payment processing: Choose a payment gateway to process transactions on your website or app. Options include PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
- Test and launch: Test your website or app to ensure everything is working properly. Once you are satisfied with the result, launch your e-commerce website or app.
Keep in mind that building an e-commerce website or app can be a complex process, and it may be helpful to seek the help of a developer or agency with experience in this area.
Best E-commerce platforms
There are many e-commerce platforms available, and the best one for you will depend on your specific needs and resources.
Here are some popular e-commerce platforms to consider:
- Shopify: Shopify is a comprehensive e-commerce platform that offers a wide range of features and tools for building and managing an online store. It includes built-in payment processing, inventory management, and shipping integration, and offers a range of customizable templates and themes.
- WooCommerce: WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce platform that is built on top of WordPress. It is easy to use and offers a range of features including payment processing, inventory management, and shipping integration.
- Magento: Magento is a powerful e-commerce platform that is suitable for large and small businesses. It offers a range of features including payment processing, inventory management, and shipping integration, and is highly customizable.
- BigCommerce: BigCommerce is a feature-rich e-commerce platform that is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. It offers payment processing, inventory management, and shipping integration, and includes a range of templates and design tools.
There are many other e-commerce platforms available as well, so it is essential to do your research and choose the one that best meets your needs.
Top e-commerce websites
Here are some of the top e-commerce websites in the world:
- Amazon: Amazon is the world’s largest e-commerce website, with a market share of around 38%. It offers a wide range of products and services, including electronics, books, clothing, and more.
- Alibaba: Alibaba is a Chinese e-commerce website that offers a wide range of products and services, including wholesale goods and retail items. It has a market share of around 11%.
- eBay: eBay is an online auction and shopping website that allows users to buy and sell a wide range of products and services. It has a market share of around 6%.
- Walmart: Walmart is a US-based retail giant that operates an e-commerce website in addition to its brick-and-mortar stores. It has a market share of around 4%.
- JD.com: JD.com is a Chinese e-commerce website that offers a wide range of products and services, including electronics, home goods, and more. It has a market share of around 3%.
Note that market share figures can vary depending on the source and the method of calculation.