Definition of Ecommerce


Ecommerce refers to the purchase and sale of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. It is also known as electronic commerce, e-commerce and e-comm.

Ecommerce between businesses and consumers is referred to as business-to-consumer or B2C.

Ecommerce between businesses is referred to as business-to-business or B2B.

This site is primarily aimed at information on B2C ecommerce as our target audience is consumers and business owners who want to use B2C.

Ecommerce typically uses the World Wide Web although it may include email, mobile phones and other devices.

Ecommerce Examples

Some examples of ecommerce that you may be familiar with include:

  • Online shopping – eg. Ebay, Amazon
  • Online banking
  • Buying insurance
  • Social networking – eg. Twitter, Facebook
  • Electronic ticketing
  • Paid access to content on news and information website

As ecommerce has emerged we have also seen the rise of social media. Sites such as Facebook, Youtube, Google+, blogs and forums that allow people to connect and share content and information. Business has utilized this to market and sell their products and services along with the more traditional advertising methods. When you think about Ecommerce you need to consider all of the components that can be a part of the process – website architecture and optimisation, emarketing (online advertising), selling, shipping items, payment methods, customer service and warranty issues.

Ecommerce in Australia

Ecommerce is very popular with Australian consumers and business, and continues to grow each year.

The Australian government estimates that in 2009 that there was between $19 and $24 billion of domestic online retail sales (around 3% of retail turnover) full article available here. It has been estimated that between 20% and 50% of this business is with overseas websites due to better pricing or a unique product range.

Australians embrace new technology quickly and as a result we have a high usage of electronic devices such as PC’s, smart phones and tablets that can access the Internet. This widespread use of internet-connected devices has led to the rapid expansion of buying products and services online (Ecommerce).

There are many opportunities for consumers and business to use Ecommerce on a daily basis – there are also issues and potential problems that come with it as well.