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

To completely perceive ecommerce, let’s check out its historical past, progress and affect on the enterprise world. We can even talk about some benefits and drawbacks to ecommerce, plus predictions for the longer term.

Sorts of Ecommerce

Usually, there are six fundamental fashions of ecommerce that companies could be categorized into:

  1. B2C.
  2. B2B.
  3. C2C.
  4. C2B.
  5. B2A.
  6. C2A.

Let’s overview every kind of digital commerce in a bit extra element.

1. Enterprise-to-Client (B2C).

B2C ecommerce encompasses transactions made between a enterprise and a client. B2C is likely one of the hottest gross sales fashions within the ecommerce context. For instance, while you purchase footwear from an internet 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, equivalent to a producer and a wholesaler or retailer. B2B is just not consumer-facing and occurs solely between companies.

Enterprise-to-business gross sales typically give attention to uncooked supplies or merchandise which can be repackaged earlier than being bought to prospects.

3. Client-to-Client (C2C).

C2C is likely one of the earliest types of ecommerce. Buyer-to-customer pertains to the sale of services or products between prospects. This consists of C2C promoting relationships, equivalent to these seen on eBay or Amazon.

4. Client-to-Enterprise (C2B).

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

For instance, the iStockPhoto enterprise mannequin wherein inventory images can be found on-line for buy immediately from totally different photographers.

5. Enterprise-to-Administration (B2A).

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

6. Client-to-Administration (C2A).

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

B2A and C2A are centered on elevated effectivity inside the authorities through the help of knowledge know-how.

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 latest applied sciences, enhancements in web connectivity, added safety with fee gateways, and widespread client and enterprise adoption.

Ecommerce Timeline

1969: CompuServe is based.

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

Within the Nineteen Eighties, CompuServe launched among the earliest types of e-mail and web connectivity to the general public and dominated the ecommerce panorama via 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 laptop through phone line.

This made it doable for closed data techniques to be opened and shared by outdoors events for safe information transmission — and the know-how grew to become the inspiration for contemporary ecommerce.

1982: Boston Laptop Trade launches.

When Boston Laptop Trade launched, it was the world’s first ecommerce firm.

Its major operate was to function an internet marketplace for individuals serious 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 an internet bookstore. Initially, the corporate used the dial-up bulletin board format. Nonetheless, in 1994 the location 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 instrument. Through the Nineteen Nineties, Netscape Navigator grew to become the first internet 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 instrument.

By 2000, it will 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 an internet market with greater than $25 million in funding. By 2001, the corporate was worthwhile. It went on to show into a serious B2B, C2C, and B2C platform that’s broadly used at present.

2000: Google introduces Google AdWords as an internet promoting instrument.

Google Adwords was launched as a approach for ecommerce companies to promote to individuals utilizing Google search.

With the assistance of short-text advert copy and show URLs, on-line retailers started utilizing the instrument in a pay-per-click (PPC) context. PPC promoting efforts are separate from search engine marketing (web optimization).

2004: Shopify launches.

After attempting to open an internet snowboarding tools store, Tobias Lütke and Scott Lake launched Shopify. It’s an ecommerce platform for on-line shops and point-of-sale techniques.

2005: Amazon introduces Amazon Prime membership.

Amazon launched Amazon Prime as a approach for patrons to get free two-day transport for a flat annual charge.

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. At present, free transport and pace 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) via an internet 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 via the platform, and the corporate now has headquarters in Austin, San Francisco and Sydney.

2011: Google Pockets launched as a digital fee technique.

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

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

At present, 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 have been supplied 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 technique.

As web shoppers started utilizing their cellular units extra regularly, 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 in search of the bottom doable pricing for longer transport occasions and bulk ordering.

2017: Shoppable Instagram is launched.

Instagram Purchasing launched with ecommerce accomplice 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 12 months.

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 will have taken 4 to 6 years to achieve that quantity conventional year-over-year will increase.

Shoppers have moved on-line to make purchases usually made in bodily shops, equivalent to 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 out there.

Development of Ecommerce

Ecommerce has come a great distance for the reason that CompuServe launch in 1969. Adjustments in know-how have definitely pushed ecommerce progress, together with international circumstances. At present, ecommerce should meet customers’ expectations for security and comfort.

  • The United Parcel Service Inc. rode a pandemic-fueled surge in ecommerce to larger 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 tip of 2020, U.S. spending on-line is predicted to achieve roughly $375 billion. Specialists forecast that by the tip of 2024, on-line spending will surpass $476 billion.

The Impression of Ecommerce

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

1. Massive retailers are compelled 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 web market, the affect has been totally different.

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

 In February of 2019, on-line gross sales narrowly surpassed normal 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 snug with on-line buying.

2. Ecommerce helps small companies promote on to prospects.

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

Pre-pandemic, small companies have been working to increase their ecommerce presence. At present, 23% of small enterprise homeowners really feel they’ll should strengthen their ecommerce capabilities as a way to survive in a post-pandemic world. One other 23% of small enterprise homeowners have created an internet site or up to date their current one since COVID-19 lockdowns started.

3. B2B firms begin providing B2C-like on-line ordering experiences.

B2B firms are working to enhance their buyer experiences on-line to meet up with B2C firms. This consists of creating an omnichannel expertise with a number of touchpoints and utilizing information to create customized relationships with prospects.

Ecommerce options allow self-service, present extra user-friendly platforms for value comparability, and assist B2B manufacturers preserve relationships with consumers, too. 

 By 2026, B2B transactions are anticipated to achieve $63,084 billion.

4. The rise of ecommerce marketplaces.

Ecommerce marketplaces have been on the rise around the globe for the reason that mid-Nineteen Nineties with the launch of giants we all know at present, equivalent to Amazon, Alibaba, and others. 

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

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

Amazon particularly is thought for its distinctive progress 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 have 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 comply with strict guidelines enforced by Amazon.

5. Provide chain administration has advanced.

Survey information reveals that one in every of ecommerce’s fundamental impacts on provide chain administration is that it shortens product life cycles.

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

In response, some warehousers are actually 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 diminished.

Jobs associated to ecommerce are up 2x over the past 5 years, far outpacing different varieties of retail in regard to progress. Nonetheless, progress in ecommerce jobs is barely a small piece of the general employment puzzle.

A number of fast information on how ecommerce has impacted employment:

The flip facet of this, nevertheless, is that upticks in effectivity paired with a shift away from conventional retail could result in some job losses or reductions in workforces as effectively.

As with all main market shift, there are each constructive and detrimental impacts on employment.

7. Clients store in a different way.

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

At present, we all know that 96% of People with entry to the web have made a purchase order on-line in some unspecified time in the future of their lives and 80% have made a purchase order on-line up to now month.

And never solely do prospects regularly use ecommerce websites to buy: 51% of People now favor to buy on-line quite than in-store. 

Millennials are the biggest demographic of web shoppers (67%), however Gen X and child boomers are shut behind at 56% and 41% taking part 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 fascinating social affect, particularly inside the context of social media.

At present, ecommerce customers uncover and are influenced to buy services or products primarily based on suggestions from pals, friends and trusted sources (like influencers) on social networks like Fb, Instagram and Twitter.

For those who’ve ever been impressed to purchase a product you noticed advisable on Fb or featured in an Instagram publish, you’ve witnessed this social affect because it pertains to ecommerce.

9. International ecommerce is rising quickly.

In 2018, an estimated 1.8 billion individuals worldwide made an internet 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 international market worth respectively.

Benefits of Ecommerce

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

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

1. Sooner shopping for for patrons.

For purchasers, ecommerce makes buying from wherever and at any time doable.

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

Plus, with transport upgrades that make fast supply out there to prospects, even the lag-time of order achievement could be minimal (assume Amazon Prime Now, for instance).

2. Corporations can simply attain new prospects.

Ecommerce additionally makes it simpler for firms to achieve new, international prospects. An ecommerce retailer isn’t tied to a single geographic location — it’s open and out there to any and all prospects who go to it on-line.

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

3. Decrease operational prices.

And not using a want for a bodily storefront (and staff 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 larger margins total.

4. Personalised experiences.

With the assistance of automation and wealthy buyer profiles, you’ll be able to ship extremely customized on-line experiences to your ecommerce buyer base.

Showcasing related merchandise primarily based on previous buy habits, for instance, can result in larger 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 at present, it nonetheless has its personal set of disadvantages.

Listed below are among the downsides to ecommerce retail.

1. Restricted interactions with prospects.

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

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

2. Know-how breakdowns can affect capability to promote.

In case your ecommerce web site is sluggish, damaged or unavailable to prospects, it means you’ll be able to’t make any gross sales.

Website crashes and know-how failures can injury relationships with prospects and negatively affect your backside line.

3. No capability to check or strive on.

For purchasers who need 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 could be limiting.

The Way forward for Ecommerce

By 2022, ecommerce income within the U.S. alone is predicted to achieve $479 billion, with the toys, pastime and DIY vertical seeing the biggest progress.

And it’s no passing pattern, both.

It’s additionally fascinating to notice that wanting forward, ecommerce knowledgeable Gary Hoover’s information tasks that ecommerce retail gross sales will ultimately even out with that of brick and mortar.

Which means that though the web gross sales pattern will proceed to develop, there’s loads of enterprise to go round.

However that’s not all.

Quickly, most ecommerce interactions will likely be an omni-channel expertise for customers.

This implies they’ll anticipate to have the ability to analysis, browse, store, and buy seamlessly between totally different units and on totally different platforms (like a standalone internet retailer, an Amazon presence, and so forth.).

Different traits to look at for in the way forward for ecommerce embody:

General, we have now to do not forget that ecommerce remains to be pretty new within the huge image of retail.

The long run holds limitless alternative, however its success and continuation will rely largely on consumers’ preferences sooner or later.

Conclusion

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

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

Ecommerce Incessantly Requested Questions

What are the primary options of an ecommerce web site?

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

  • Simple to make use of options: Easy navigation instruments, straightforward checkout flows, and so forth.
  • Cell compatibility: Suitable and purposeful on all cellular units.
  • Low cost code and promotional capabilities: Permits customers to make use of reductions on-site.
  • Safety features: Fee processing is safe and dependable.
  • Social proof: Validation from previous prospects and trusted sources.
  • Person-generated content material: Evaluations, scores and images that add to the ethos of choices.
Is ecommerce secure?

Sure, ecommerce is safer than ever earlier than.

With the assistance of multi-layered ecommerce safety, monitored transactions, common PCI scans, SSL certification, safety towards DoS/DDoS assaults, and internet hosting options which can be PCI compliant, ecommerce shops can supply customers the peace of thoughts that their on-line purchases are made in a secure and safe surroundings.

What’s ecommerce achievement?

Ecommerce achievement encapsulates the complete means of receiving an order and transport it to the client.

This consists of all the operational and logistical steps which can be a part of this course of, equivalent to stock administration, warehouse group, order oversight, packaging and transport, and buyer communication concerning order achievement.

This side of an ecommerce retailer could be outsourced to an order achievement 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 instrument that permits 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 duties quite than requiring the person to take action through a third-party resolution.

This removes a lot of the complexities round managing the software program of your ecommerce operation and is usually 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 tip of 2020, U.S. spending on-line is predicted to achieve roughly $375 billion. Specialists forecast that by the tip 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 the planet, with extra being created every day.

How a lot is ecommerce price?

The United Nations Convention on Commerce and Improvement reported that international 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 dimensions of the B2C market.

How a lot does it value to run an ecommerce web site?

The prices of working an ecommerce web site depend upon many components, from the dimensions of the enterprise to the platform you selected.

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

How do I begin an ecommerce enterprise?

There are other ways to begin an ecommerce enterprise, however we suggest taking these steps:

  • Discover what’s lacking from the market.
  • Create a marketing strategy.
  • Construct a fantastic web site.
  • Unfold the phrase about your new enterprise.
  • Observe-up along with your prospects.
  • Proceed to study and be an knowledgeable in your merchandise and/or companies.
What necessary integrations do I want 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 below are among the integrations it is best to think about to your ecommerce retailer:

  • Level-of-sale system (POS) to maintain observe of your retailer’s stock.
  • Fee integrations enable prospects to soundly pay how they need.
  • Transport integrations will help the supply portion of your retailer.
  • Analytics integrations observe buyer habits inside your retailer so you may make data-driven selections to enhance gross sales.
  • Stock integrations are sometimes wanted for extra advanced shops.
  • Accounting integrations will handle payroll, budgeting, money circulate statements, purchase-and-sales charts, and profit-and-loss charts.
  • Electronic mail and advertising integrations will provide help to attain extra prospects and produce visitors to your retailer.
  • CRM integration helps you handle relationships with prospects, which may additionally provide help to enhance buyer loyalty.
  • Buyer help integrations, equivalent to a chatbot or a stay chat, can enhance your customer support efforts.
  • Social integration assists along with your social media advertising 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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