If before it was necessary to go to a physical store to buy a product, nowadays the reality is quite different. With the advancement of technology, buying and selling products and services online has become an increasingly common practice. This type of commerce is called e-commerce and has emerged as one of the main forms of commerce worldwide, moving billions of dollars in online transactions every year. In this article, you’ll learn what e-commerce is, how it works, and how useful is for both the consumer and the seller.
What is e-commerce?
E-commerce is one of the greatest transformations of our era, allowing people to buy and sell products through the internet. Although it emerged in 1970 with EDI and EFT, it was with the popularization of the internet that e-commerce gained strength and became one of the main forms of commerce worldwide. Large companies such as Amazon and eBay began to offer products online, allowing consumers to buy from anywhere in the world. Nowadays, e-commerce is an extremely complex and sophisticated industry, with advanced technologies for inventory management, transaction security, digital marketing, logistics, and customer service. It is a true revolution that has transformed the way people buy and sell products.
This type of commerce involves a series of steps, from the customer choosing the product or service to the delivery of the order.
Usually, the process starts with the customer accessing the virtual store, browsing the products, and selecting those they wish to buy. Next, the customer adds the products to the shopping cart and chooses the most convenient payment method. After payment confirmation, the virtual store sends an order confirmation to the customer.
The next step is the separation of products in stock, packaging, and shipping. It is important that the virtual store has good inventory control to ensure that the product chosen by the customer is available for delivery.
Delivery can be made in several ways, such as by post office, carriers, or the company’s own delivery. It is important that the virtual store has an efficient delivery tracking system so that the customer can track the status of their order.
Finally, the customer receives the product and can evaluate the quality of service provided by the virtual store.
What’s the difference between e-commerce, virtual store and marketplace?
Although often used interchangeably, there are significant differences between e-commerce, virtual store, and marketplace. While e-commerce is a broad term that includes all forms of commercial transactions carried out over the internet, the virtual store is an online platform where a single retailer sells their products directly to the customer, being responsible for the entire sales process. On the other hand, a marketplace is a third-party platform that allows the sale of products from various retailers in one place, mediating the sales and managing the platform. Understanding the differences between these modalities is crucial to choose the best strategy for your company and achieving your objectives in the world of e-commerce.
We can compare the difference between a marketplace, e-commerce, and a virtual store with a shopping mall. A marketplace is like a shopping mall, where several retailers sell their products in one place, with a platform mediating the transactions. A virtual store is like a physical store, where a single retailer sells their own products on their own platform or developed by third parties. Finally, e-commerce is like an independent physical store that sells its products online, but without the presence of other retailers. Each modality has its own advantages and disadvantages, just as each type of store has its own sales dynamics and customer service.
What are the benefits that e-commerce can bring to you?
E-commerce has various utilities that offer a series of advantages for consumers and retailers, making the buying and selling process more efficient, accessible, and convenient for everyone.
With the internet access, consumers have gained more options to make purchases without needing to leave their homes, which makes the process more practical and convenient.
Virtual stores can offer a greater variety of products since they don’t have to worry about physical space limitations.
The cost reduction is significant, as there is no need for physical space rental, maintenance of structures, and expenses with on-site employees.
E-commerce allows the retailer to reach a much larger audience, without geographical restrictions. With the ability to sell to people anywhere in the world, the opportunities for business growth are endless.
Another great advantage of e-commerce is the ability to collect and analyze consumer data. With information such as purchase history, preferences, and browsing habits, retailers can offer a more personalized and efficient shopping experience, increasing the chances of customer loyalty.
E-commerce is one of the biggest revolutions of the modern world, offering numerous advantages for consumers and retailers. With this, we can say that e-commerce is a trend that came to stay, transforming the way we buy and sell products.