E-commerce, short for electronic commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet. It is a subset of e-business, which includes all business transactions that take place online.
E-commerce has grown significantly in recent years, with online sales accounting for a significant portion of total retail sales in many countries. This trend has been driven by the increasing use of the Internet and the proliferation of smartphones, as well as the convenience and wider selection of products that e-commerce offers.
There are several types of e-commerce models, including:
Business-to-consumer (B2C): This refers to e-commerce transactions between businesses and individual consumers. Online retail websites, such as Amazon or eBay, are examples of B2C e-commerce.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): This refers to e-commerce transactions between individuals, usually facilitated by an online platform such as Etsy or eBay.
Business-to-business (B2B): This refers to e-commerce transactions between businesses, such as wholesale distributors selling to retailers.
Consumer-to-business (C2B): This refers to e-commerce transactions where individuals sell goods or services to businesses, such as freelance designers or photographers selling their services to companies.
One of the key benefits of e-commerce is the ability to reach a global market. Online stores can sell to customers anywhere in the world, as long as they have an Internet connection. This is particularly useful for small businesses that may not have the resources to establish a physical presence in multiple countries.