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What does e-commerce mean?

 E-commerce is the process of buying and selling goods and services over the Internet. E-commerce customers can make purchases from their computers as well as other touch points, including smartphones, smartwatches, and digital assistants, such as Amazon's Echo devices.


E-commerce thrives in both B2C and B2B sectors. In the B2C model, a retailer or other company sells directly to end customers. In B2B e-commerce, you sell one business to another. In both sectors, the goal of most companies is to enable customers to buy anything they want, anytime, anywhere, using any digital device.


Simply put, Big Data is larger and more complex data sets, especially from new data sources. These data sets are so huge that traditional data processing programs cannot manage them. But these massive amounts of data can be used to tackle business problems that you wouldn't have been able to tackle before.


What does e-commerce mean?

The value of e-commerce for business:

The e-commerce sales growth rate is expected to be a staggering 265%. In 2017, worldwide retail e-commerce sales reached $2.3 trillion, and by 2021 - just four years later - revenue is expected to reach $4.88 trillion.1

The explosive growth of e-commerce makes it an increasingly valuable and essential tool that enables businesses to do the following:

  • Distinguishing from its competitors.
  • Reach more customers in more regions of the world.
  • Reduce costs by selling directly to customers and keeping fewer traditional stores.
  • Empowering customers to buy anytime, anywhere, using their favorite devices – a capability essential for millennials and other digital natives.
  • Capture valuable customer data through online metrics.
  • Testing new products, services, brands and companies on the market with minimal upfront investment.
  • Expand quickly and at low cost.

How e-commerce is changing the shopping experience:

To keep pace with customers' increasing demands for more choice, easier access, and faster delivery, companies are integrating their in-store and e-commerce offerings to create seamless, multi-channel shopping experiences in which customers can:

  • Find and explore online products and services before making a purchase either online or in-store.
  • Try on in-store items through interactive kiosks, personal guides, and other offerings before making a purchase either online or in-store.
  • Use any device - computer, smartphone, smartwatch, digital assistant, and more - to shop whenever and wherever they want.
  • Receive tailored recommendations, coupons and other online offers based on information collected online or in-store.
  • Ship items wherever they want (to their home or to their local store), often in just a day or two.
  • Ordering items online from within a traditional store, when that physical store lacks preferred stock (style, size, color, etc.).

 Examples of e-commerce companies:

E-commerce became a prevalent phenomenon in the early 1990s. - which is now the largest e-commerce platform in the world - first appeared in 1995, and other large e-commerce companies such as Alibaba, PayPal, and eBay soon followed. By the early 2000s, businesses of all sizes were offering e-commerce experiences.


Some companies that embrace B2B and B2C transactions, such as Amazon, arise as e-commerce businesses without traditional retail outlets. These single-business companies typically identify a gap in the traditional retail market that can be filled with only an e-commerce solution.


Warby Parker is an example of a company that realized that consumers wanted to experience glasses in the comfort of their own home. The company was founded in 2010 as an online-only eyeglasses retailer, and by 2015 it was valued at over US$1 billion. Today, Warby Parker operates a limited number of brick-and-mortar stores to complete e-commerce sales. (Single-business companies that add physical locations later are called physical and online selling companies.).


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