What is e-commerce?
e-commerce refers to businesses and consumers buying and selling products online. The majority of e-commerce websites on the internet are retail stores selling products directly to the public. However there are also a proportion of online stores dedicated to business-to-business (B2B) sales or wholesale activity. E-commerce does not only refer to the selling of physical products, it can also refer to the selling of services where payments for the services are made online. As a general rule an e-commerce website is a website where a transfer of funds is completed electronically - hence e-commerce.
How does e-commerce work?
Because there are hundreds of different products and services for consumers and the multitude of different ways these products and services can be delivered, e-commerce by its nature is varied in the way it works. In its most basic form e-commerce works as follows: Consumers choose a product or service on a website Consumers pay electronically on the website (online credit card transactions) or using a third party payment provider such as PayPal The business owner or merchant receives the order and payment and the order is fulfilled (delivered by post, booked in for services etc) Making payments online is completed via a secure connection to ensure that sensitive data such as credit card details and personal information are kept private.