eCommerce 101: Everything You Need to Know About eCommerce Websites

For now, eCommerce is a daily part of our lives. We order clothes, food, and electronics online, use credit cards every day, and pay via Apple Pay on public transport. So, eCommerce is fully integrated into our lives and it’s so hard to imagine our life without it.

What is eCommerce?

Let’s start with the definition of eCommerce. eCommerce, also known as electronic commerce or eBusiness, is buying and selling goods and services over the Internet.

There’s no agreement on how to write the word but at X-Cart we use “eCommerce”. You can also see the following variants:






When did eCommerce start?

eCommerce appeared, OMG, almost 50 years ago. Can you believe it? Anyway, firstly a basic system of eCommerce appeared, EFT (electronic funds transfer) and EDI (electronic data interchange). Also, don’t forget about teleshopping that started at that time, too (which is still alive and only God knows why).

Later ATM Machines and credit cards gained their popularity so eCommerce had no other choice than to develop. Then the first eCommerce platform in the world appeared.

What is an eCommerce website?

An eCommerce website is a site that sells products and services through means of data transfer and funds over the Internet.

Types of eCommerce websites

One of the first questions you should ask yourself when creating a business is “What is my business model type? (opens in new tab)”. Here’s your chance to pick.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C): Electronic exchanges of goods and services between businesses and consumers – the end users.

Business-to-Business (B2B): Electronic exchanges of goods and services between businesses.

Consumer-to-Business (C2B): Electronic exchanges of goods and services where people offer items or services to businesses.

Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C): Electronic exchanges of goods and services between buyers, normally through a third party.

Consumer-to-Administration (C2A): Electronic exchanges when a consumer sells goods and services to people and public organizations.

Business-to-Administration (B2A): Electronic exchanges of products and services between organizations and public administrations.

Types of merchants & What they sell

Physical goods. This is the most typical kind of store. They show the goods in their online stores, and customers pick what they like and save items or add them to their carts. When a purchase is made, businesses ship orders to the customers.

Services. Educational, repairing, consulting people – anything can be bought online as well. Want to create a website? Okay. Find a tutor? Great. Consider you already found one.

Digital products. eBooks, podcasts, software, online courses (my favorite!) – buy what you want, learn when you want. This trend is just awesome.

Steps you follow on an eCommerce website

A customer chooses one of your products, a sweater, and s/he adds it to the cart. All the information is saved in the database.

The order manager queries your database to find out if the sweater of that exact color and size is actually in stock.

If it’s not in stock, the stock database may order more items from a manufacturer. If it is in stock, the stock database confirms the sweater is available.

A merchant system accepts the payment.

The bank confirms there’s enough money on your customer’s credit or debit card.

When the transaction is successfully processed, the web server is notified. Then the customer gets a message that the transaction is complete.

The order manager requests to dispatch the order from the warehouse to the customer. When it’s dispatched, the customer gets an email.

The order is delivered to the customer.


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