What is e-commerce? Who are online shoppers? Why buying online is so beneficial? The term e-commerce has been used since the 90s of the 20th century. The rise of the e-commerce industry is even more visible in recent years. Hence, it is worth knowing, what e-commerce is and who are the online shoppers.

What is e-commerce – table of contents:

  1. What is e-commerce?
  2. Online store
  3. How e-commerce has developed?
  4. Basic statistics
  5. Online shoppers – global statistics
  6. What is e-commerce? – Summary

What is e-commerce?

E-commerce or electronic trade is a way of trading with the usage of high-tech, modern technological, and communicative solutions. The most popular forms of e-commerce are online stores, but there are other models such as auction sites, electronic banking, or classified websites. Electronic trade may be conducted online only – for example, e-book trade, or be a mix of techniques – the selection and payment are made online, but the delivery is realized traditionally. E-commerce allows selling both physical goods and digital goods and services.

The main types of e-commerce are:

  • B2C, business to consumer – transactions between companies and individual consumers
  • B2B, business to business – transactions between two companies
  • C2C, consumer to consumer – transactions between two private individuals

Online store

Online stores are the most popular e-commerce business models. Their offer is usually dedicated to natural persons. Several elements influence the popularity of e-shops and those are:

  • Lack of cost related to renting of the premises usually needed for a stationary store
  • Shopping is possible 24/7
  • Quick comparison between the prices of many sellers
  • Store management and purchasing can be done from any place in the world
  • Saving time

Despite the form of activity and type of e-commerce platform, each online store has:

  • Main site – that is a kind of business card that is seen by the potential customer. It should be well-made to encourage the client to browse the assortment of the shop and make a purchase.
  • Categories – the client can find a product easier if the assortment is divided into categories. This should shorten the purchasing process and provide the client with a positive experience while using the platform.
  • Product card – that presents the given offer. It should contain the description of the product and images, as well as information about the availability, time needed for delivery, and price.
  • Basket – well-designed basket should be intuitive for the client to know, what to do at each stage of the purchasing process.
  • Terms and conditions – is the most important documents that should be written with help of a lawyer. The document informs the client about the conditions of the agreement, conditions for repayment or return, and information about forms of payment and forms of delivery. Additionally, in this document, the user can find information about the company such as TIN, address, and full company name.
What is e-commerce

How e-commerce has developed?

The popularity of online shopping is growing year by year. The pandemic has influenced the increase of e-commerce development and reshaped the habits of customers. Accordingly to the estimations, electronic trade will continue to grow, but loosening the restrictions, longing for stationary shopping, and spending on travel and entertainment may lead to a slowdown in growth rates.

Convenience has an impact on the popularity of online shopping. Many customers feel more and more secure during online shopping. There is a wider choice when it comes to forms of purchasing as well as methods of payment and delivery options.


The further development of the e-commerce industry is inevitable. Market competition is stiffening and companies are forced to introduce solutions that may give them a competitive advantage. More and more new technologies are used to help the sellers to keep up with the trends.

Basic statistics

The analysis of statistics may help the companies to take the right course of development and predict trends in the coming months. Basis statistics related to the e-commerce and online shopping industry are:

  • China is the leading country in retail trade and the largest e-commerce market in the world.
  • There are 7.9 million e-commerce retailers in the world.
  • 18% is the value of e-commerce in retail sales.
  • 70% of all online visits were made via smartphone.
  • Internet users decide to purchase online when the delivery is free of charge.
What is e-commerce

Online shoppers – global statistics

There are 7,9 milliard people currently living in the world, while 27,2% are people who purchase their goods on the Internet. There are differences in purchasing choices related to the gender of the buyer. Women more frequently make online shopping to purchase: clothes, sports accessories, food accessories, books, and pharmaceuticals. Men buy computer parts, electronic items, and trips. Buyers from all over the world choose PayPal as their favorite method of payment.


Accordingly to statistics, in the USA 38,4% of online shoppers are individuals below 35 years of age. The most numerous group of online shoppers are the people that are between 25 and 35 years of age. 

There are several reasons to buy products online and those are:

  • Free delivery
  • Coupons and discount
  • Reviews and opinions left by other clients
  • Transparent returns policy
  • Easy and fast purchasing process
  • The next day’s delivery
  • Loyalty points
  • Product friendly to the environment

What is e-commerce? – Summary

Millions of online shoppers have become a driving force of e-commerce development. They cannot be ignored anymore as the peripheral area in trade. E-commerce is a constantly growing industry. The possession of an online store has become a standard way of trading. Some branches don’t sell online, but there is a prediction that they will be forced to move their trade online forced by the market and customers’ habits.

What is e-commerce? You found the answer! Read also: Website traffic and web conversion rate – 2 good reasons to measure them

If you like our content, join our busy bees community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest.

What is e-commerce and who are online shoppers? martin sparks avatar 1background

Author: Martin Sparks

E-commerce enthusiasts which constantly digs around the internet in order to make sure he hasn’t missed any important information on the topic of starting and scaling profitable online stores.