eCommerce: what is it

what is eCommerce

We are sick of hearing about eCommerce, a foreign word that refers to online stores, but is it really like that? Is an eCommerce an Internet store or is there something else?

If you have also just realized that you really do not know what the concept of this term is, then you are interested in the information that we have collected for you. Surely once you read it you will understand much better what an eCommerce is.

What is an eCommerce

What is an eCommerce

Let's start by defining this term. For this, we bring you the definition that Wikipedia has, where it says that an eCommerce is:

"A system for buying and selling products and services that uses the Internet as the main means of exchange."

Really the eCommerce translation is "electronic commerce", do not shop online, although both terms are related to each other.

That is, we would be talking about a way to buy and sell, both products and services, but instead of using a normal, physical store, where you go to get those products, or else a person comes to give you the services you have contracted , everything is done online. But it does not have to be through an online store, but even in forums, applications, blogs, etc. where people offer products and / or services, it could be considered an eCommerce.

If we rely on data, the growth of eCommerce is a phenomenon. Every year it is known that there are more electronic businesses in operation. In the case of Spain, this boom took place in 2017, when consumer Internet transactions rose. But in 2020, due to the Covid pandemic, this online consumption was even higher.

Little by little the figure of eCommerce has been normalized, to the point that physical stores and companies have doubled their online business to be able to cover a greater number of clients both in the city where they are based and in the rest of the country and of the entire world.

Forms of eCommerce

Forms of eCommerce

Usually, when you look for the types of eCommerce that exist, you come across two common classifications: on the one hand, according to the commercial profile; on the other, according to the business model.

Both offer us two different types of e-commerce. We review them.

Types of eCommerce according to the commercial profile

In this case, you would have a global classification based mainly on identifying who is the person or company that sells and who is the person or company that buys.

Thus, we would have:

  • B2B. They are the acronym for Business to Business, that is, from business to business. In other words, the customers are always going to be another company.
  • B2C. Acronym for Business to Consumer, that is, from business to consumer. This is the most common, that is, stores or companies that sell a product and that customers buy for themselves.
  • C2B. That is, Consumer to Business. Contrary to the previous one, it is consumers who become "sellers", while companies bid on those sellers.
  • C2C. Consumer to Consumer. That is, from consumer to consumer. They are second-hand businesses.

Obviously, there are more classifications, such as G2C (Government to Consumer) or its opposite, C2G; or B2E which would be Business to Employee, that is, from company to worker.

According to business model

On the other hand, another of the classifications, perhaps the most clarifying of all, is this, where according to what the business is dedicated to it is classified one way or another.


  • Online store. It is the best known, a web page where customers can buy products or services.
  • Dropshipping. It differs from the previous one in that it is not the seller, that is, the company that you see on the web that takes care of the shipment, but rather a third party does it.
  • Affiliate eCommerce. It is characterized by buying a product but not on the same page where it is seen, but on another. We could say that it acts as an intermediary to offer the products of other companies.
  • Membership: They are periodic subscriptions that are sent every certain time. For example, shipping a product on a monthly basis.
  • Marketplace. They are known as a network of stores, that is, it is made up of multiple stores that have come together to sell their products.
  • Services. They are electronic businesses where, instead of selling products, what they do is sell consultancies, training, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages

There is no doubt that an eCommerce brings many advantages, but also disadvantages. Therefore, when making any decision related to the creation of an electronic commerce, it must be taken into account.

Among the advantages offered by eCommerce is not having schedules, with what they can buy at any time; there are less costs and more profit for the company; and it reaches a greater number of clients.

Now, the challenges you face with this transaction is the lack of trust, especially at the beginning, when nobody knows you; that the products or services cannot be seen or touched; and, above all, the fact of needing the Internet, and knowing how to navigate the site, in order to make the purchase.

To all of the above, we must add that the waiting time (which is already short in many cases), does exist. It is not immediately. Although for its part, the price becomes cheaper (we sacrifice waiting for a better price).

How does it work

How an eCommerce works

An eCommerce does not have much mystery. In fact, its management is based on the same work that would be done physically with a store or with an exchange. To create it, you have to think of an idea that really offers possibilities to obtain benefits, something that is not easy to achieve. Also, you have to plan and have a lot of patience since success does not come overnight.

There are some things to keep in mind such as:

  • Study the market situation.
  • Make a business plan.
  • Build customer loyalty.
  • Choose a platform that is easy for customers to use.
  • Take care of logistics and means of payment.
  • Monitor sales.
  • Advertise.

As you can see, the term eCommerce is much more than you might think at first, but now that you have clearer ideas, it is very likely that you will see examples of the types that we have discussed.

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