The world that we live in is driven by the need for instant gratification - insert e-commerce. Every time that you buy or sell products and services online, you’re engaging in e-commerce. This term doesn’t only apply to filling up your Amazon cart and purchasing the contents or ordering a new pair of shoes on a great sale.

E-commerce encompasses other activities that you can take part in via the internet, including online auctions, online banking, online bill-pay, and more. In today’s world, you can purchase almost anything online, from your weekly groceries to a master class taught by the expert in your field of choice. In fact, it’s expected that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be via e-commerce.

Types of E-Commerce

There are many different ways that you can classify and organize the types of e-commerce websites. For now, let’s stick with the basics and classify them by the products and services that are typically sold online. 

Physical Goods: Stores that sell physical goods are your typical online retailers. Shoppers can purchase clothing, furniture, and even their groceries through online stores by visiting their websites, adding items to their shopping carts, and finalizing their purchase. 

Once the purchase is finalized and complete, the stores will deliver the purchased items directly to the buyer’s doorstep. Another variation of these kinds of purchases is when the customer makes their purchase online, but chooses to pick up the products at the store, instead of choosing delivery. 

Service-Based: In addition to purchasing physical products online, you can also purchase services! Whether you’re hiring a freelancer or a consultant, every time you hire someone online, you’re engaging in e-commerce. 

There are two ways that you can hire services online: 

  1. Some sites may allow you to purchase services immediately on the website. 

  2. Other sites will ask potential clients to contact them first, engaging in a consultation to better determine your needs. 

Digital Products: Another type of product that you can purchase online, is an “e-good”. This term refers to products that are in digital format. Think products for your e-reader, graphics, software, online courses, and more. 

You can also make e-good purchases that will allow you to choose how you convert your file. For instance, you may purchase tickets to an event online, and make the choice to either print off those tickets, or keep them in your phone for the ticket booth to scan them straight from your device. Or, you may purchase a picture or design-work from an artist and receive your files in an online format, giving you the choice of how you’d like to print them off and share them. 

E-Commerce Platforms

Having an online storefront is one of the most straightforward ways to conduct business online. While there are plenty of e-commerce solutions available, it’s important to choose the best fit for you and your business. Check out the top three e-commerce solutions on the market! 

Shopify: Shopify is a popular choice among small businesses in order to scale their businesses by using social media integrations. This platform offers flexible shipping rates, automatic taxes, and over 100 payment-gateways. 

WooCommerce: Specifically designed to integrate with WordPress, WooCommerce has multiple templates that can help build an online store. This includes essential features such as unrestricted customization, order management, unlimited products, and free shipping. 

Magento: This highly-flexible e-commerce solution is often used by medium-sized businesses that are ready to scale, with robust features including custom templates, extensions, and modules.  Magento is best for brands looking for a highly customizable e-commerce solution. 

The possibilities are endless when you consider e-commerce as the solution to all areas of your business. Are you ready to take your online sales to the next level? Contact the experts at D3; you know where to find us.