What is eCommerce?

“eCommerce” is the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. This buying and selling is typically facilitated through a website specifically designed to handle the buying and selling, as well as the transfer of money between the parties.

The internet and eCommerce has turned the world of traditional retail upside down. Consumers can shop in their pajamas at home on different internet websites, and have those good shipped directly to their house. Global retail eCommerce internet sales reached 22 trillion in 2016 and are expected to reach 27 trillion in 2020.

What are the different types of eCommerce businesses?

When asking, “What is eCommerce?” you find that eCommerce businesses can be classified in several different ways with different customer and product models.

What can you sell?

eCommerce stores can sell almost anything that you can buy in “brick-and-mortar” retail stores. It is up to your imagination to find what you want to sell to your customer. 

Here is a general outline of the different types of things you can sell online:

Services Sales

This eCommerce model sells services to a user for a fee. An example is SEO and digital marketing services for clients. Poet Media or Brandgy are examples of SEO companies selling digital marketing services to clients.

Subscription Sales

This eCommerce model is based on automatic recurring subscription sales directly to the user. An example is a monthly investment newsletter or a data information service (like Bloomberg).

Digital Product Sales

This eCommerce model sells digital products to users. This can be in the form of a software as a service (SaaS) product, or an ebook for example. A great example is the Apple iTunes store.

Physical Product Sales

  • Retail Product Sales – Direct product sales to the customer that bypasses all intermediaries.
  • Wholesale Product Sales – product sales to other businesses (wholesalers) who then market and sell to the end customer.
  • Dropshipping Sales – product sales made by the eCommerce website to the customer that is then shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer (seller holds no inventory)

Who can you sell to?

Selling to Businesses

“Business to Business” (“B2B”)

One business sells a product or service to another business to use. An example is a linen sales website for restaurants.

Selling to Consumers

“Business to Consumer” or “B2C”

A business sells a product or service directly to a consumer. An example is an domain resale website selling premium domains directly to a consumer.

“Consumer to Consumer” or “C2C”

A person sells an item directly to another person over the internet. This is typically done through an auction or classified site like eBay, Autotrader or Craigslist.

What are some Examples of ECOMMERCE Platforms?

75 Lever Rank

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There are quite a few different platforms out there that support creating an online store and selling products.

Here is a short list of some of the top eCommerce platforms available to open an online store.

  1. Amazon: One of the largest and most popular eCommerce platforms in the world, offering a wide range of products and a huge customer base. Many people don’t realize that Amazon serves as a platform for individuals to sell their items.
  2. Shopify: A leading eCommerce platform that allows businesses and individuals to set up an online store and sell products. I currently have 2 Shopify stores, which are very simple to launch and operate. The most expensive single product I have sold online ($12,500) was done through one of our Shopify stores.
  3. BigCommerce: A platform that offers businesses a range of tools and features to help them create and manage an online store.
  4. WooCommerce: An open-source eCommerce platform built on the WordPress content management system. I really like WooCommerce for its flexibility, price (free), and that it is built on WordPress.
  5. EBay: an eCommerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to buy and sell various goods and services worldwide. The platform is essentially an online marketplace where users can browse, bid on, and purchase items listed by other users. Users can list items for sale, auction, or fixed price, and buyers can search for items, view item details, and make purchases using the platform. The platform also provides tools for sellers to manage their sales and buyers to track their purchases. It is also a great integration channel of other eCommerce stores, and we have done over 6 figures in sales from our eBay sales channels.
  6. OpenCart: A free, open-source eCommerce platform that is easy to use and customize.
  7. Salesforce Commerce Cloud: An enterprise-level eCommerce platform that offers a range of features and tools for businesses of all sizes.
  8. Squarespace: A website building and eCommerce platform known for its simplicity and user-friendly interface.
  9. Wix: A cloud-based website building and eCommerce platform known for its ease of use and flexibility.
  10. Ecwid: I saved the best for last, and it is currently my favorite option. Ecwid is an e-commerce platform that allows businesses to easily create and manage an online store. It is a cloud-based solution that can be integrated with a variety of websites, including those built on popular content management systems like WordPress, just by pasting a code snippet. Wow – one store that you can embed everywhere!

I have only linked to eCommerce platforms that I have used and like – check them out to learn more.

What is eCommerce - Ecwid eCommerce Platform - Levered Income

eCommerce is a great way to Generate Residual Income.

eCommerce as a business model has a Lever Rank of 60 and is a great way to generate residual income.  The reason for the high Lever Rank is that eCommerce businesses are very inexpensive to start and operate.

There are several great eCommerce platforms (some are listed above) that provide tremendous amounts of education and support for new store owners, making starting an eCommerce store easy, even for people with no coding or web design background.