Ecommerce (or electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods or services on the Internet.
Firstly, It encompasses a wide variety of data, systems and tools for online buyers and sellers, including mobile shopping and online payment encryption.
Most businesses with an online presence use an online store and/or platform to conduct ecommerce marketing and sales activities and to oversee logistics and fulfillment.
According to eMarketer, in 2022, global retail ecommerce sales will surpass $5 trillion for the first time, accounting for more than a fifth of overall retail sales.
And by 2025, total spending will exceed $7 trillion, despite slowing growth.
Secondly, To fully understand ecommerce, let’s take a look at its history,
growth and impact on the business world.
We will also discuss some advantages and disadvantages to ecommerce as well as predictions for the future.
For more expert insights on the go, check out our biweekly audio series,
the Make it Big Podcast, where global thought leaders discuss all things ecommerce —
from industry news and trends to growth strategies and success stories.
Sizes of Ecommerce Businesses
Thirdly, From small startups to large enterprises, ecommerce businesses can come in all sizes. Let’s look at the main four you’re likely to come across.
A startup is a business or project in the first stages of development,
often built by an entrepreneur to pursue an innovative business model.
Typically a startup has less than 100 employees, however a startup is often defined not by size but by profitability. According to Alex Wilhelm, writer for TechCrunch, a company is no longer considered a startup after it reaches a $50 million revenue run rate or is worth more than $500 million, on paper or otherwise.
Small businesses are sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations that sell products or services and make less money and have fewer employees than large multinational corporations. The U.S. Small Business Administration further defines a small business in terms of employment
(from 100 to over 1,500 employees) or average annual receipts over time (ranging from $1 million to over $40 million).
According to Sangoma, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), also known as “mid-market,” businesses, typically have between 101-500 employees and generate between $10 million and $1 billion in annual revenue.
Large enterprise businesses can have over 1000 employees and usually generate over $1 billion in annual revenue.
Since the beginning of 2020, 45% of ecommerce software buying activity has come from enterprise-level companies.