E-Commerce or Electronic Commerce means buying and selling of goods, products, or services over the internet. E-commerce is also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce. These services provided online over the internet network. Transaction of money, funds, and data are also considered as E-commerce. These business transactions can be done in four ways: Business to Business (B2B), Business to Customer (B2C), Customer to Customer (C2C), Customer to Business (C2B). The standard definition of E-commerce is a commercial transaction which is happened over the internet. Online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Ebay, Olx are examples of E-commerce websites.
As of now, e-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries in the global economy. As per one estimate, it grows nearly 23% every year. And it is projected to be a $27 trillion industry by the end of this decade.
E-commerce provides the sellers with a global reach. They remove the barrier of place (geography). Now sellers and buyers can meet in the virtual world, without the hindrance of location.
Electronic commerce will substantially lower the transaction cost. It eliminates many fixed costs of maintaining brick and mortar shops. This allows the companies to enjoy a much higher margin of profit.
It provides quick delivery of goods with very little effort on part of the customer. Customer complaints are also addressed quickly. It also saves time, energy and effort for both the consumers and the company.
One other great advantage is the convenience it offers. A customer can shop 24×7. The website is functional at all times, it does not have working hours like a shop.
The start-up costs of the e-commerce portal are very high. The setup of the hardware and the software, the training cost of employees, the constant maintenance and upkeep are all quite expensive.
Although it may seem like a sure thing, the e-commerce industry has a high risk of failure. Many companies riding the dot-com wave of the 2000s have failed miserably. The high risk of failure remains even today.