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What is eCommerce? + Best Platforms to Use for your Online Business

Updated: Dec 18, 2023


What is eCommerce?

E-commerce, short for electronic commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet. It involves online transactions, where customers can browse products, select items, make payments, and receive goods or services—all through online platforms. E-commerce has become a significant and rapidly growing sector of the global economy, transforming the way businesses operate and consumers shop.


Key features of e-commerce include:

  1. Online Platforms: E-commerce transactions take place on various online platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and social media.

  2. Digital Payments: E-commerce relies on digital payment methods, such as credit/debit cards, digital wallets, PayPal, and other online payment gateways.

  3. Product Listings: Businesses create digital product listings, providing detailed information, images, and pricing for customers to browse.

  4. Virtual Shopping Carts: Customers can add items to their virtual shopping carts while shopping online and proceed to checkout when ready.

  5. Checkout Process: The checkout process involves providing shipping details, choosing payment methods, and completing the purchase.

  6. Order Fulfillment: After purchase, businesses process and fulfill orders, arranging delivery or making products available for download (in the case of digital products).

  7. Customer Support: E-commerce businesses often offer customer support through online chat, email, or phone to address inquiries, issues, or returns.

E-commerce has several advantages, including convenience for customers, reduced geographical limitations, cost savings, and the ability to operate 24/7. It enables businesses to reach a global audience, personalize shopping experiences, and gather valuable data for marketing and sales optimization.


4 Types of E-commerce:

  1. Business-to-Consumer (B2C): Businesses sell products or services directly to individual consumers. Examples include online retail stores and subscription services.

  2. Business-to-Business (B2B): Businesses sell products or services to other businesses. This includes wholesale transactions, supply chain management, and e-procurement.

  3. Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): Individuals sell products or services to other individuals. Online marketplaces and classified ads platforms facilitate these transactions.

  4. Consumer-to-Business (C2B): Individuals provide products or services to businesses. For example, freelance platforms where individuals offer their skills to businesses.

E-commerce has evolved with technology advancements, leading to innovations like mobile commerce (m-commerce), social commerce, and voice commerce (v-commerce). It has become an integral part of modern commerce, shaping the way businesses connect with customers and drive sales in the digital age.


The Best Platforms to Use to Start Your eCommerce Business

The best e-commerce platforms for your business depend on your specific needs, budget, technical expertise, and the scale of your operations. Here are some popular e-commerce platforms that are commonly used and offer various features to help you build and manage your online store:

  1. Known for its user-friendly interface and a wide range of customizable themes.

  2. Offers various plans for businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprise-level.

  3. Provides built-in tools for payment processing, inventory management, and marketing.

  4. App store with numerous add-ons and integrations for extending functionality.


  1. A plugin for WordPress, making it ideal for those already familiar with the WordPress platform.

  2. Highly customizable and offers flexibility in design and functionality.

  3. Offers a range of extensions and themes to enhance your online store's features.

  4. Requires hosting, domain, and some technical knowledge to set up and manage.


  1. Offers both open-source (Magento Open Source) and enterprise-level (Magento Commerce) options.

  2. Known for its robust features, scalability, and flexibility.

  3. Suitable for businesses with complex requirements and high levels of customization.

  4. Requires technical expertise to set up and manage effectively.


  1. Offers a comprehensive set of e-commerce tools and features.

  2. Provides built-in marketing tools, secure payment options, and responsive themes.

  3. Suitable for businesses looking for an all-in-one platform without needing extensive technical skills.


  1. Known for its user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder.

  2. Offers e-commerce features integrated into its website-building platform.

  3. Ideal for small businesses and creatives looking for an easy way to set up an online store.


  1. Another user-friendly website builder with e-commerce capabilities.

  2. Offers a range of templates, drag-and-drop design, and customizable elements.

  3. Suitable for small to medium-sized businesses looking for a simple e-commerce solution.

  • Offers a range of e-commerce features including templates, payment gateways, and SEO tools.

  • Suitable for businesses looking for a hosted solution with built-in e-commerce functionality.

  1. An open-source e-commerce platform with a large community of developers.

  2. Offers customizable themes, modules, and add-ons.

  3. Ideal for businesses with technical knowledge looking for a customizable solution.


When choosing an e-commerce platform, consider factors such as your budget, desired features, scalability, ease of use, customization options, payment gateways, integration with other tools, and customer support. It's important to thoroughly research and test platforms to ensure they meet your business's unique requirements. Additionally, keep in mind that the e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving, so stay updated on new features and trends that could benefit your business.



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