Ecommerce 101 + Historical past of On-line Buying (2020)

To completely perceive ecommerce, let’s check out its historical past, development and affect on the enterprise world. We will even talk about some benefits and drawbacks to ecommerce, plus predictions for the long run.

Kinds of Ecommerce

Usually, there are six essential 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 shopper. B2C is without doubt one of the hottest gross sales fashions within the ecommerce context. For instance, if you purchase footwear 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, resembling a producer and a wholesaler or retailer. B2B isn’t consumer-facing and occurs solely between companies.

Enterprise-to-business gross sales usually concentrate on uncooked supplies or merchandise which are repackaged earlier than being bought to clients.

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 clients. This contains C2C promoting relationships, resembling these seen on eBay or Amazon.

4. Shopper-to-Enterprise (C2B).

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

For instance, the iStockPhoto enterprise mannequin by which inventory pictures can be found on-line for buy instantly from completely different photographers.

5. Enterprise-to-Administration (B2A).

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

6. Shopper-to-Administration (C2A).

C2A is just like B2A, however customers promote on-line services or products to an administration. C2A would possibly embody on-line consulting for training, on-line tax preparation, and so on.

B2A and C2A are centered on elevated effectivity throughout the authorities through the assist of data expertise.

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 fee gateways, and widespread shopper and enterprise adoption.

Ecommerce Timeline

1969: CompuServe is based.

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

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

1979: Michael Aldrich invents digital buying.

English inventor Michael Aldrich launched digital buying by connecting a modified TV to a transaction-processing pc through phone line.

This made it potential for closed info methods to be opened and shared by exterior events for safe knowledge transmission — and the expertise turned the muse for contemporary ecommerce.

1982: Boston Pc Alternate launches.

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

Its major perform was to function a web based marketplace for folks excited about promoting their used computer systems.

1992: E-book Stacks Limitless launches as first on-line e book 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 Books.com area.

1994: Netscape Navigator launches as an online browser.

Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark co-created Netscape Navigator as an online searching software. In the course of the Nineteen Nineties, Netscape Navigator turned the first net browser on the Home windows platform, earlier than the rise of contemporary giants like Google.

1995: Amazon launch.

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

1998: PayPal launches as an ecommerce fee 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 significant B2B, C2C, and B2C platform that’s broadly used as we speak.

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

Google Adwords was launched as a approach for ecommerce companies to promote to folks 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 (search engine optimization).

2004: Shopify launches.

After making an attempt to open a web based snowboarding tools 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 approach for purchasers to get free two-day transport for a flat annual payment.

The membership additionally got here to incorporate different perks like discounted one-day transport 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. Right this moment, free transport and velocity of supply are the commonest requests from on-line customers.

2005: Etsy launches.

Etsy launched, permitting crafters and smaller sellers to promote merchandise (together with digital merchandise) by 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 the platform, and the corporate now has headquarters in Austin, San Francisco and Sydney.

2011: Google Pockets launched as a digital fee methodology.

Google Walletwas launched as a peer-to-peer fee service that enabled people to ship and obtain cash from a cellular gadget or desktop pc.

By linking the digital pockets to a debit card or checking account, customers will pay for services or products through these gadgets.

Right this moment, Google Pockets has joined with Android Pay for what’s now often known 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 through sponsored tales. With these paid campaigns, ecommerce companies may attain particular audiences and get within the information feeds of various goal audiences.

2011: Stripe launches.

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

2014: Apple Pay launched as a cellular fee methodology.

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

2014: Jet.com launches.

Jet.com was based by entrepreneur Marc Lore (who bought his earlier firm, Diapers.com, to Amazon.com) together with Mike Hanrahan and Nate Faust.

The corporate competes with Costco and Sam’s Membership, catering to people on the lookout for the bottom potential pricing for longer transport instances and bulk ordering.

2017: Shoppable Instagram is launched.

Instagram Buying launched with ecommerce associate BigCommerce. Since then, the service has expanded to extra 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% enhance from the prior yr.

2020: COVID-19 Drives Ecommerce Development.

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

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

Development of Ecommerce

Ecommerce has come a great distance because the CompuServe launch in 1969. Modifications in expertise have definitely pushed ecommerce development, together with world circumstances. Right this moment, ecommerce should meet customers’ expectations for security and comfort.

  • The United Parcel Service Inc. rode a pandemic-fueled surge in ecommerce to greater earnings and a 13% bounce in income through the June 2020 quarter. Throughout that very same quarter, UPS noticed a 65% enhance 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 top of 2020, U.S. spending on-line is anticipated to succeed in roughly $375 billion. Specialists forecast that by the top of 2024, on-line spending will surpass $476 billion.

The Affect of Ecommerce

The affect of ecommerce is much and vast with a ripple impact from small enterprise to world enterprise.

1. Massive 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 sluggish to embrace the net market, the affect has been completely different.

Retailers that fall into the center floor are those feeling the largest modifications in response to the affect of ecommerce. 

 In February of 2019, on-line gross sales narrowly surpassed common merchandise shops for the primary time, together with malls, warehouse golf equipment and supercenters. As a result of Amazon Prime took away the value of transport, extra customers are comfy with on-line buying.

2. Ecommerce helps small companies promote on to clients.

For a lot of small companies, ecommerce adoption has been a sluggish 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 clients and higher accommodating clients preferring on-line/cellular buying. 

Pre-pandemic, small companies had been working to broaden their ecommerce presence. Right this moment, 23% of small enterprise homeowners really feel they’ll need to strengthen their ecommerce capabilities with a purpose to survive in a post-pandemic world. One other 23% of small enterprise homeowners have created a web site or up to date their present 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 knowledge to create customized relationships with clients.

Ecommerce options allow self-service, present extra user-friendly platforms for value comparability, and assist B2B manufacturers keep 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 world wide because the mid-Nineteen Nineties with the launch of giants we all know as we speak, resembling Amazon, Alibaba, and others. 

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

By providing a broad choice and excessive comfort to clients, they’ve been in a position to shortly scale up by innovation and optimization on the go.

Amazon specifically is understood 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 bought on Amazon had been bought by third-party sellers (i.e. not Amazon).

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

5. Provide chain administration has developed.

Survey knowledge reveals that one among ecommerce’s essential impacts on provide chain administration is that it shortens product life cycles.

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

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

These companies embody:

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

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

Jobs associated to ecommerce are up 2x during the last 5 years, far outpacing different varieties of retail in regard to development. Nevertheless, development in ecommerce jobs is simply a small piece of the general employment puzzle.

A number of fast information 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 could result in some job losses or reductions in workforces as properly.

As with all main market shift, there are each optimistic and unfavorable impacts on employment.

7. Prospects store in a different way.

Ecommerce (and now omni-channel retail) has had a significant affect on clients. It’s revolutionizing the best way fashionable customers store.

Right this moment, we all know that 96% of Individuals with entry to the web have made a purchase order on-line sooner or later of their lives and 80% have made a purchase order on-line up to now month.

And never solely do clients ceaselessly use ecommerce websites to buy: 51% of Individuals now choose to buy on-line slightly than in-store. 

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

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

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

Right this moment, ecommerce buyers 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 beneficial on Fb or featured in an Instagram put up, you’ve witnessed this social affect because it pertains to ecommerce.

9. International ecommerce is rising quickly.

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

Chinese language platform, Taobao, is the largest 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 world market worth respectively.

Benefits of Ecommerce

Ecommerce has many alternative benefits — from quicker shopping for to the flexibility to succeed in giant audiences 24/7.

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

1. Quicker shopping for for purchasers.

For patrons, ecommerce makes buying from anyplace and at any time potential.

Which means patrons can get the merchandise they need and wish quicker with out being constrained by working hours of a conventional brick-and-mortar retailer.

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

2. Corporations can simply attain new clients.

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

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

3. Decrease operational prices.

With out a want for a bodily storefront (and workers to employees it), ecommerce retailers can launch shops with minimal working prices.

As gross sales enhance, 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. Personalised experiences.

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

Showcasing related merchandise primarily based on previous buy habits, 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 fashionable ecommerce is more and more versatile as we speak, it nonetheless has its personal set of disadvantages.

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

1. Restricted interactions with clients.

With out being face-to-face, it may be more durable to know the desires, wants and considerations of your ecommerce clients.

There are nonetheless methods to assemble this knowledge (surveys, buyer assist interactions, and so on.), nevertheless it does take a bit extra work than speaking with buyers in individual on a day-to-day foundation.

2. Expertise breakdowns can affect capability to promote.

In case your ecommerce web site is sluggish, damaged or unavailable to clients, it means you may’t make any gross sales.

Website crashes and expertise failures can injury relationships with clients and negatively affect your backside line.

3. No capability to check or attempt on.

For patrons who wish to get hands-on with a product (particularly within the realm of bodily items like clothes, footwear and sweetness merchandise) earlier than including it to their buying 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, interest and DIY vertical seeing the most important development.

And it’s no passing pattern, both.

It’s additionally attention-grabbing to notice that trying forward, ecommerce knowledgeable Gary Hoover’s knowledge tasks that ecommerce retail gross sales will finally even out with that of brick and mortar.

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

However that’s not all.

Quickly, most ecommerce interactions can be an omni-channel expertise for buyers.

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

Different tendencies to observe for in the way forward for ecommerce embody:

General, we’ve got to do not forget 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.

Conclusion

We’ve checked out all corners of ecommerce, together with its differing types, the historical past, the way it’s grown through the years, and its affect on customers and the way enterprise is carried out.

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

Ecommerce Continuously Requested Questions

What are the primary options of an ecommerce web site?

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

  • Straightforward to make use of options: Easy navigation instruments, simple checkout flows, and so on.
  • Cell compatibility: Suitable and useful on all cellular gadgets.
  • Low cost code and promotional capabilities: Permits buyers to make use of reductions on-site.
  • Safety features: Fee processing is safe and dependable.
  • Social proof: Validation from previous clients and trusted sources.
  • Consumer-generated content material: Critiques, 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 in opposition to DoS/DDoS assaults, and internet hosting options which are PCI compliant, ecommerce shops can supply buyers the peace of thoughts that their on-line purchases are made in a protected and safe surroundings.

What’s ecommerce success?

Ecommerce success encapsulates all the strategy of receiving an order and transport it to the shopper.

This contains all the operational and logistical steps which are a part of this course of, resembling stock administration, warehouse group, order oversight, packaging and transport, and buyer communication concerning order success.

This side of an ecommerce retailer might be outsourced to an order success service or managed through dropshipping.

What’s an ecommerce market?

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

These embody 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 fashionable 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 enables 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 obligations slightly than requiring the person to take action through a third-party answer.

This removes a lot of the complexities round managing the software program of your ecommerce operation and is commonly 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 top of 2020, U.S. spending on-line is anticipated to succeed in roughly $375 billion. Specialists forecast that by the top 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 world 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 on many components, from the scale of the enterprise to the platform you selected.

Many ecommerce platforms have completely different plans and subscription fashions relying on your enterprise wants.

How do I begin an ecommerce enterprise?

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

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

Your ecommerce platform will function the bottom of your retailer and integrations will present extra companies to assist your on-line retailer succeed. Listed here are a number of the integrations it is best to contemplate on your ecommerce retailer:

  • Level-of-sale system (POS) to maintain monitor of your retailer’s stock.
  • Fee integrations permit clients to securely pay how they need.
  • Delivery integrations will help the supply portion of your retailer.
  • Analytics integrations monitor buyer habits inside your retailer so you may make data-driven choices to enhance gross sales.
  • Stock integrations are sometimes wanted for extra advanced shops.
  • Accounting integrations will handle payroll, budgeting, money stream statements, purchase-and-sales charts, and profit-and-loss charts.
  • E mail and advertising and marketing integrations will enable you attain extra clients and convey visitors to your retailer.
  • CRM integration helps you handle relationships with clients, which might additionally enable you enhance buyer loyalty.
  • Buyer assist integrations, resembling a chatbot or a stay chat, can enhance your customer support efforts.
  • Social integration assists together with your social media advertising and marketing 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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