eCommerce (or Electronic Commerce) refers to conducting transactions over the internet pertaining to the buying and selling of products and services. It also includes other support functions of online transactions such as internet banking, transaction processing, auctions etc. The possibility of conducting monetary transactions over the internet has been the subject of much debate due to the potential security concerns, although the rapid development of internet and cybersecurity technology has allowed transactions to occur in relative safety, allowing millions of dollars of transactions to occur every hour through the internet in the modern era. The internet is home to several ecommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon which allow companies to sell their products through them. Alternatively, businesses have the option of setting up their own ecommerce sites which require them to obtain the services of organisations such as ecommerce web developer Brisbane or make use of ready-made ecommerce websites which can be purchased from the internet.
Selling on Amazon or eBay allows companies to focus on their primary business functions as the operational details of the eCommerce platform is already handled by the providers. In the case of Amazon, even the logistical aspects are handled, and the company needs only to deliver the product to Amazon. Ecommerce platforms are customer-friendly than physical stores as it is more convenient to browse hundreds of products as well as review them before purchasing. However, the drawback is that these platforms do not allow the sale of services and have a focus on physical goods. They also have an aspect of competition that is entirely avoidable by creating your own ecommerce website. Due to these reasons, most ecommerce service providers are suitable for individuals and less so for businesses.
Setting up your own ecommerce website is another route businesses, or even individuals may take if it becomes apparent that existing ecommerce solutions are inadequate for their requirements. Examples are subscription-based services or services in general which are not supported by the popular ecommerce platforms. Building and hosting an in-house ecommerce platform is neither easy nor cheap and requires the organisation to pay for infrastructure as well as trained professionals to ensure that unauthorised parties do not gain access to the financial details of their customers or have their privacy violated.
Even an in-house ecommerce solution will rely on numerous other support functions of ecommerce such as payment processing, and other cybersecurity concerns such as encryption. Therefore, it is vital that the organisation carries out recruitment programmes for talent or outsources to companies who are experienced in the integration of these services to create a smooth workflow within the organisation’s ecommerce platform.
Ecommerce is still a growing industry and is expected to grow further over the next few decades with digital transactions expected to be the primary medium of transactions by around 2040. New developments in the fields of information security and telecommunications allow ecommerce to be more integrated with our lives, such as seen by experimental “unstaffed” stores such as Amazon Go, payments through mobiles, Drone delivery etc.