ECommerce is a popular topic, spread in every corner of the world, but what does it entail? Electronic Commerce ( eCommerce) is the buying and selling of goods or services through an electronic mode. One can buy and sell anything, clothes, books, beauty products, and much more, along with utilities like online payment. An online business usually consists of an e-commerce store/platform, digital marketing, and online sales activities. E-Commerce is rapidly changing the way business is done; instead of brick-mortar stores, businesses are opening online stores. Due to the many advantages of online stores, eCommerce is the preferred method compared to physical stores.
The four traditional types of e-commerce are- B2B(Business to Business), B2C(Business to Consumer), C2B(Consumer to Business), and C2C(Consumer To Consumer). A Business to Consumer e-commerce consists of selling the products directly to the customer through online modes, like Amazon. Selling the goods to a business instead of consumers is the business-to-business model, like IndiaMART. Consumer to business involves consumers selling goods to a company, and consumer to consumer entails one customer selling products to another customer. A C2C example is eBay, and C2B is job portals like Monster.com, TimesJob.com, etc.
So, what are the reasons for the exponential growth of e-commerce? The chief reason is the internet and mobile phones. Increased users in both of these factors have people buying and selling commodities from the tips of their fingers. The Internet has introduced different modes of online payment, and easy access through the phone has people hooked to eCommerce stores. Furthermore, unique or personal touches in each store increase customer engagement; they are eager to find products at low and affordable costs. Also, in Business to Consumer models, the stores track customer preferences and make recommendations based on those, increasing the sales. Lastly, charges for owning a physical store are non-existent, dramatically reducing costs in the eCommerce industry and with easy global access, anyone can order sitting at home. As internet users increase, mobile commerce advances, progress in the use of cashless transactions, the rate of eCommerce steadily expands.
During Covid, e-commerce was the chosen method for obtaining day-to-day supplies due to social distancing and lockdowns. It increased the number of online shoppers and the number of orders placed, and the sudden surge in orders caused breakdowns in eCommerce stores. Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities have a more noticeable increase as online shoppers, as the pandemic has forced all to be reliable on digital means. Due to work from home, we have a high demand for grocery, electronics, and personal grooming products. However, challenges like transportation of goods and movement of personnel arrived. Initially, only essential items were allowed like grocery, healthcare, pharmaceutical products but allowed later on. The most popular payment methods were digital wallets at 40 percent credit and debit cards at 15 percent each. In total, Indian e-commerce sales rose to 7-8%, mainly due to essential items.
Since the launch of ecommerce almost 40 years ago, e-commerce has risen exponentially, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Indian E-Commerce industry market value climbed from US$39 billion in 2017 to US$120 billion in 2025 and reaching US$ 200 billion by 2027. E-commerce will grow from 4% in grocery, apparel, and electronics to 8% by 2025. In the next five years, online shoppers will increase to 300-350 million. In conclusion, as time moves on, the number of customers for e-commerce platforms will only increase, with the Covid situation forcing them to adapt to e-commerce faster than before.