What is E-Commerce?

E-commerce (or electronic marketing as it was originally called) is a term used to describe the online buying and selling of products and services.


E-commerce is so common now, that the use of the Internet to buy and sell is replacing more traditional forms of commerce, such as retail boutique shops and even larger shopping mall chains.

One example of this displacement is most apparent in the music industry, where while our grandparents can remember sifting through record store stacks, looking for that holiday album or special music gift for a loved one, our children of today probably won't.

Shopping for music and other media is most likely done via e-commerce online through Apple's iTunes Store, where you can shop for music, video, and even TV shows and pay just for one track of an album, or one episode of a TV show, for just a few pounds, and you use your credit card or PayPal account to purchase and download your selections in seconds.

This popular instance of e-commerce is all but killing the old mom & pop music shop type business. One of the benefits of e-commerce for a seller is that very little in the way of “Bricks and Mortar” has to be rented or maintained to run the business.

Online showrooms are now flashy web pages instead of expensive retail office spaces. In short, the benefits of e-commerce are great for the consumer and even greater for the seller. All major retailers have an online e-commerce presence these days. Take for example one of the largest: Walmart.