Thinking about selling online? Read our guide to learn everything there is to know about online selling. With e-commerce surging in demand, it behooves many
entrepreneurs and small business owners to set up an online shop. E-commerce platforms take the work out of selling online. For a monthly fee, customers get access to
an online shop, order and inventory management, app integration, and shipping and logistics services. A top-rated e-commerce platform is easy to use, built with SEO in
mind, accepts several payment options and can integrate with a lot of third-party vendors.
This article is for business owners who are preparing to launch either an online business or an online store for their brick-and-mortar business. Online shopping is
skyrocketing in 2020, as shelter-in-place orders changed consumers’ shopping behaviors. Thanks to e-commerce platforms and marketplaces, it is easy to sell online;
however, before you take the e-commerce plunge, you must first understand the tools available to you so you succeed. Here is a deep dive into selling online, including
the various types of e-commerce platforms, what platforms are the most popular, how much you can expect to spend, and whether it’s best to use a platform to sell
online or use a marketplace seller like Amazon.
E-commerce is the purchase and sales of products or services over the internet. The first e-commerce transaction was in 1994, when a consumer sold a Sting CD on
NetMarket, a retail e-commerce platform. It wasn’t until Amazon and eBay were established in 1995 that e-commerce took off. Today it’s a multi-trillion-dollar industry
that is poised to grow even bigger. At the end of 2019, worldwide e-commerce sales were $3.53 trillion. That’s projected to increase to $6.54 trillion in 2022.
“While selling online was already a growing trend, COVID-19 has accelerated it, and having an online presence has become essential for small businesses,” Ben Richmond,
U.S. Country Manager at Xero told Business News Daily. If we look at how quickly technology adoption has advanced during the pandemic, I believe 2020 became 2025.”
An e-commerce platform is, in essence, a software application that helps a business set up an online store, manage its inventory, and accept and process payments.
E-commerce platforms are cheaper than marketplaces such as Amazon or Etsy, but your business doesn’t get access to a ready-made customer base. For an established store
owner pivoting to online sales or those who are launching an online business, an e-commerce platform is the better choice, according to Tory Brunker, director of
product marketing at Adobe.
“Most e-commerce platforms connect your point of sale mechanism and create that digital catalog for you,” Brunker said. There are several e-commerce platform
providers, serving different aspects of the market.
Key takeaway: A digital commerce platform helps businesses set up an online store, manage inventory, and accept and process payments. The fees for an e-commerce
platform are lower than those charged by marketplaces, but you don’t get access to millions of customers. E-commerce has been around since the 1990s, but companies
like Amazon and eBay propelled its growth. Today it’s a multi-trillion-dollar market.