What is e-commerce?


E-commerce, which is also known as electronic commerce, is the buying and selling of goods online. E-commerce is a term that is also used to describe other online activities, such as internet banking, online auctions and online ticketing.

When asking what is e-commerce, there are a number of different ways you can look at it. E-commerce can take on many looks and feels — it may offer physical goods, digital products or services.

E-commerce can be classified into:

  • B2C (Business to Consumer); 
  • B2B (Business to Business);
  • C2B (Consumer to Business);
  • C2C (Consumer to Consumer);
  • G2B (Government to Business);
  • B2G (Business to Government); and
  • C2G (Consumer to Government).


Electronic commerce first came to pass in 1994 when a man named Phil Brandenberger made a purchase of a little under $13 on his Mastercard. Today, it is expected that global retail e-commerce sales will hit $4.13 trillion by the end of 2020.

How can you make e-commerce work for your small business?

Whether you are thinking of founding a startup or you are the owner of a small or medium business, taking your offering online has never been more important, especially during unprecedented times, like pandemics and lockdowns

It is expected that 95% of transactions will be made online by 2040 and it is estimated 35% of Google product searches are converted into purchases within five days of that initial search. 

There are a number of things you need to think about when it comes to making e-commerce work for your small business. Start by reading seven tips for making e-commerce work for your small business

NOW READ: Amazon is finally making a play in Australia, and local retailers can’t afford to ignore it

NOW READ: Six ways to make your e-commerce business more profitable

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