e-Commerce refers to any form of business transaction conducted online. The most popular example of eCommerce is online shopping, which is defined as buying and selling of goods via the internet on any device. However, eCommerce can also entail other types of activities, such as online auctions, payment gateways, online ticketing, and internet banking.
A physical store will always be limited by a geographical area it can serve. An online store, or any other type of eCommerce business for that matter, has the whole world as its market.
Another great benefit of running an online business is that it is always open. For a merchant, it’s a dramatic increase in sales opportunities; for a customer, it’s a convenient and immediately available option.
eCommerce businesses benefit from significantly lower running costs. As there’s no need to hire sales staff or maintain a physical storefront, the major eCommerce costs go to warehousing and product storage.
eCommerce businesses can automate their inventory management by using electronic tools to accelerate ordering, delivery and payment procedures. It’s saving businesses billions in operational and inventory costs.
With access to such a wealth of customer data and an opportunity to keep an eye on customer buying habits as well as the emerging industry trends, eCommerce businesses can stay agile and shape their marketing efforts to provide a better-tailored experience.
Running a niche brick-and-mortar business can be tough. Scaling a niche product to become popular is effortful. By tapping into a global market, on the other hand, eCommerce retailers can build a highly profitable niche business without any further investment.