Electronic commerce, commonly known as eCommerce, broadly refers to the purchase and sale of products or services through an online portal, known as an eCommerce website, which is a virtual store. These digital portals can be either an online extension of a brick and mortar business, like Watches Unlimited, or an internet-only platform, such as global retail giant Amazon.
Ecommerce is great news for retailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers alike, because platforms such as Saleslogic ensure that customers have access to their digital catalogue of products 24×7, from any internet-connected device. With advances in online security, most eCommerce platforms offer secure payment options to customers through various digital payment gateways, allowing them to complete transactions with peace of mind and minimal hassle.
Ecommerce opens a new sales channel for businesses to increase revenue, grow market share and expand into territories previously restricted by geographical boundaries.
What Can You Sell Through an Ecommerce Portal?
The short answer is “just about anything”. The main categories are:
- Physical Goods: from TVs, video games and movies to furniture, diapers and kitchen supplies.
- Skills and Services: these range from typical freelance work to website hosting, design, webinars, and online courses.
- Digital Products: includes music, videos, stock photos, software, e-books and other digital goods that are delivered electronically over the internet.
What Are the Different Types of Ecommerce?
These are classified based on the type of seller, buyer and what exactly is being sold. Here are the 4 main types of eCommerce:
- B2B eCommerce: This model refers to business to business eCommerce, where one business sells goods or services to another business online, often in bulk. For example, a manufacturer will sell their goods to a wholesaler or distributor for resale to consumers or retailers.
- B2C eCommerce: This model refers to business to consumer eCommerce, where a business sells goods, services or digital products directly to customers. For example, a retailer that sells clothing online to shoppers via their website or app.
- C2C eCommerce: This model refers to consumer to consumer eCommerce, where a consumer buys an item or service from another consumer via a digital eCommerce platform. For example, a website like eBay or Gumtree allow consumers to purchase goods from other consumers on a safe and secure online platform in exchange for a small fee or commission.
- C2B eCommerce: This model refers to consumer to business eCommerce, where individuals or sole proprietors sell goods or services to businesses over a digital eCommerce platform in exchange for an agreed-upon fee. For example, when a company hires a freelancer to provide work for them through websites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Read our report on The State of eCommerce in South Africa for more information on the rapid rise of eCommerce and how businesses can benefit from the millions of shoppers who are abandoning traditional buying habits and moving online.
Enrico is a copywriter, author, content producer and radio broadcaster with over 16 years of experience. He has worked
in various media, marketing and creative roles since graduating from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal with a B.A degree
in Media & Communications. In 2017, he was appointed to the role of Conceptual Copywriter at Cloudlogic and its sister
companies under the Rewardsco Group.