What is Ecommerce Ecommerce = electronic commerce. In simple terms, it means running an online business. It refers to the selling and purchasing of goods and services over the internet where the exchange of money and data takes place via protected connections in order to execute a transaction. The history of ecommerce goes back to the early 1990s. The ecommerce phenomenon kicked off in 1991 when the online world became more recognizable. It took some time but was open for commercial use sooner than expected. Since then, many businesses took up their residence over the World Wide Web. As soon as the common men became familiar with the internet by 1994, ecommerce become popular. Security protocols like DSL and HTTPS nearly took around four years to effectively develop in order to allow a quick, persistent connection to the Internet.
Ecommerce offers a number of benefits over “brick and mortar” stores. It allows customers to easily find their desired product(s) through a large database. They can research the product beforehand, compare prices, learn more from customer reviews, and then buy it once their concerns are rectified by the online customer support representative. Online retailers on the other hand, also get to enjoy many ecommerce benefits. The internet or more accurately, search engines allow online businesses to reach global markets. They can be found by potential customers without spending hundreds of dollars on expensive advertising campaigns. The internet has allowed them to track customer preferences and then execute perfectly tailored marketing campaigns.
I’m sure this question probably comes in every marketer’s mind. However, the fact remains that it doesn’t create much of a difference. Search engines are smart enough to understand the intent of the person who is making a search. Hence, for instance, if the user searches for either “e-commerce business models” or “ecommerce business models”, the search engine understands the intent behind the search and shows almost similar results for both the searches. Nonetheless, if you’re keyword-conscious, then yes, “e-commerce” wins. According to KWFinder, people search “e-commerce” more than “ecommerce”. Take a look at the average monthly search volume of both keywords in the illustration below.To sum this up, in my opinion, ecommerce is oftenly hyphenated in the online world. However, when it comes to choosing between “e-commerce” and “ecommerce”, I prefer to choose the former. But even if you search with the hyphen, you will get to see similar results on SERPs.
There are four primary types of ecommerce business models. All of them are classified based on the nature of the transactions. The classification of ecommerce businesses are as follows:
Amazon.com Inc. is one of the best examples of a thriving ecommerce business that initially began as a retailing platform, however, with the passage of time; they moved their operations online and became one of the largest ecommerce platforms in the world. They are located in Seattle, Washington (USA) and was founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos. It became one of the first American ecommerce business to sell goods online. Initially, Amazon.com was considered as an online book store. However, with time, they have extended their market reach in a variety of business spheres by adding products like electronic gadgets, software, DVDs, video games, music CDs, MP3s, apparel, footwear, health products, etc. In the year 1999, Time Magazine entitled Jeff Bezos as “Person of the Year” in recognition of Amazon.com’s success. Although their headquarter is located in the USA, Amazon established different websites in various developed countries such as the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and China. Amazon.com supports and operates retail websites for various popular organizations, including Marks & Spencer, Lacoste, the NBA, Bebe Stores, Target, etc. Moreover, Amazon is also one of the first ecommerce websites to establish an affiliate marketing program. Nowadays, Amazon.com generates 40% of its sales from a well-established affiliate program where affiliates sell the goods on their own website. According to the research conducted in 2008, Amazon.com attracted nearly 615 million online customers annually. Their most popular feature is their product review system that allows any customer to submit their review and rate the product on a scale from one to five stars.
GWarby Parker is an American online eyewear retailer that is headquartered in New York City. It was founded in 2010 by Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Gilboa, and Jeffrey Raider. They primarily sell prescription glasses and sunglasses through their website, however, they also have more than 80 retail stores in the USA and Canada. The organization’s official name is JAND Inc. whereas Warby Parker is its trade name.Their “Home-Try-On” program allows any customer to ask for five frames from their website. When they receive the eyewear, they can try them at home for five days, with no additional charges.
Birchbox is an online monthly subscription service based in New York City that sends its subscribers a box of selected samples of beauty related products. These products vary from skincare items, perfumes, organic products, and numerous other cosmetics. Birchbox was founded in September 2010 by Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna. Birchbox’s initial funding began with $1.4 million in seed funding from investors during October 2010. Moreover, Birchbox managed to gather $10.5 million in Series A Funding in August 2011.By April 2014, Birchbox had managed to generate $60 million in Series B funding. In July 2014, Birchbox opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City. They were valued at $485 million by the end of 2014. In October 2014, Birchbox collaborated with Soldsie in order to launch its first Instagram shop. It allowed interested Instagram users to buy directly via Instagram simply by leaving a comment on the photo of the product they liked with the hashtag #birchboxcart. By September 2015, Birchbox had more than a million subscribers catered by 300+ employees. As of May 2018, it has raised a total of almost $90 million in funding.
The Dollar Shave Club is an American company located in Venice, California. It basically delivers grooming products like razors to customers by mail on a monthly basis. The company was founded by Mark Levine and Michael Dubin who met at a party and exchanged their frustrations with the cost of razor blades. After a while, they put in some money from their own pocket as well as garnered an initial investment from Science Inc. The Dollar Shave Club began its operations in January 2011 and went live with their website in April 2011. During March 2012, seed investors offered the Dollar Shave Club a funding of one million dollars from groups like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, Shasta Ventures, and a few more. Moreover, Venrock, provided a Series A funding of $9.8 million in October 2012. The next year, a series B funding of $12 million was raised by Venrock, Comcast Ventures, New World Investors and Battery Ventures. Amidst the fundraising announcement, Dollar Shave Club announced that it would be expanding its product line to include additional products for men in 2014. In June 2015, they secured $75 million in series D funding. Later on, in July 2016, the Dollar Shave Club was acquired by Unilever for a reported $1 billion in cash.