Explanation of e-commerce for beginners – a comprehensive guide

f e-commerce for beginners

You may have seen many success stories of many e-commerce stores around you,
then you started asking yourself, what is e-commerce?
Is it significantly different from traditional trade?
Or is the only difference between the two businesses is the creation of a website?
Can anyone start an e-commerce business?
Or is it limited only to big traders and big investors?
And other questions that I will answer you in detail in this article

What is e-commerce?

Electronic commerce (or E commerce) refers to the buying and selling operations that take place over the Internet for a certain amount of money that is often transferred through digital platforms. The concept of e-commerce is broad and includes all sales of digital and tangible products as well as services, but the term itself is often applied to the sale of tangible products.

The difference between e-commerce and traditional trade

E-commerce and traditional commerce agree to sell the same products and services, but they differ in the method of payment and delivery. 

In e-commerce, the entire process takes place through digital platforms (starting from browsing the products, selecting the desired product, completing the payment, and delivering the product).

As for the traditional trade, it depends mainly on the face-to-face interview, so the buyer goes himself to meet the seller and starts browsing the products and examining them well, then he chooses the appropriate product and gives the merchant the price of the product in hand. The process often takes place through an interview in this way. If the seller cannot meet the buyer to view the product and receive the money, he will not be able to complete the sale.

This difference may be in theory, but what is the difference in practice?

There are 10 differences between e-commerce and traditional trade, which I will show you in this infographic

The importance of e-commerce

In fact, I cannot tell you that the future of business is now e-commerce. Perhaps this saying was true 5 or 6 years ago.. but now we are in the future and e-commerce has become the lion’s share in the buying and selling process🙂

Let me tell you some statistics that show the importance of e-commerce in the current era, and the need for all commercial activities of all sizes to move towards the world of digitization.

The volume of online purchases

Currently, the largest selling stores on the Internet are online stores, the most famous of which is the Amazon store, whose sales exceeded $ 75.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020, and in 2019 Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) surpassed the richest people in the world. The volume of e-commerce sales around the world has been estimated at $3.53 trillion, according to Statista . 

As for e-commerce in the Arab country, the size of the e-commerce market in the Middle East was estimated at $48.6 billion in 2022 compared to $26.9 billion in 2018. The volume of e-commerce sales in the UAE alone amounted to about $16 billion in 2019. .

There is no need for me to mention more statistics for you, because you may look around you and see the rapid growth of electronic stores in the Gulf (Amazon, Noon, Namshi, Jarir … and others), and see the volume of purchases made by your friends and you will know the validity of these numbers.

E-commerce in crises

In the recent crisis that passed (the Corona epidemic), it affected many sectors due to the tendency of most people to home quarantine, and this was a strong reason for the tendency of millions of users to buy online, as they want to complete the purchase process without leaving the house, and electronic stores helped them in that. The online stores were the ones who benefited the most from this event.

It is also expected that if any crisis occurred that prevented people from leaving their homes, then buying from electronic stores would be the best alternative for them.

Of course, we do not like to climb on the shoulders of crises and ask God for safety for all, but this gives you an idea of ​​the importance of e-commerce in that it really helps people in light of these crises, so imagine if such crises occurred and there were no online stores for purchase? Users will experience hardship in making purchases.

The result is that e-commerce facilitates people’s daily lives and healthy habits, and preserves their time, whether in light of crises or not.

The future of e-commerce

When you look at the e-commerce index since its inception in the nineties, it is rising and increasing very quickly year after year, especially because of what I explained to you in facilitating purchases and having many advantages if we compare it to traditional trade, in addition to the orientation of all business sectors to the world of digitization and artificial intelligence. This should contribute to a greater boom in e-commerce.

But until I tell you about the future of e-commerce itself and the expected developments, God willing, let me tell you some expectations that some experts mention, and some statistics from the United States:

  • It is expected that the volume of e-commerce will reach $29 billion by 2023, with an increase of 4.5%.
  • Increase sales quotas for stores that sell products made by a third party (Private label).
  • The percentage of mobile purchases reached 53.9% of the total purchases.
  • Increasing automation processes (relying on automated systems) in electronic stores to be able to expand to a larger customer segment.
  • Online stores are keen to increase the speed of product delivery and reduce shipping costs.
  • Using Voice recognition


Types of electronic commerce 

As we said, e-commerce in its comprehensive concept includes all online buying and selling operations, but so that you have a broader perception of the types of online stores that you can start with.
Note: Letter B means Business and letter C means Customer.

  • Merchant Selling to Individuals (B2C)

It is the most well-known type of e-commerce, where the target customer for the purchase are ordinary individuals (such as selling food and consumer products to consumers). This includes all products sold in the retail sector where the target customer is the ordinary members of society.

  • Merchant to Merchant Sale (B2B)

In this case, the target customer to buy the product is another company represented by the company’s management. Such as selling accounting software. In this case, the accounts manager, purchases manager, or executive director of the company are the targeted people to buy the product, and not any person in the community who will buy such products.

  • Selling from individuals to individuals (C2C)

In this case, the seller is an ordinary member of society (not a trader or manufacturer) and the buyer is also an ordinary individual, and he enters into this intermediary platforms where users exchange products for sale. (such as selling your old home furniture on a Haraj website )

  • Selling to Individuals to Dealers (C2B)

In the fourth case, the seller is a private individual and the buyer is a merchant. This includes companies that offer to purchase certain products or services from private individuals. Like a photographer who sells his creative images to companies in return for the right to commercial use.

In these four areas, the sale can be in different forms, whether selling a tangible product or a digital product directly between the merchant and the buyer, or through a third party or through an intermediary, or selling a digital service or a service on the ground for an agreed amount of money or for a subscription Monthly or pay in advance.
Whatever method of buying and selling is applicable through e-commerce.

areas of electronic commerce

If you decide to start selling online, you do not need to stress your mind thinking carefully about choosing the most appropriate field that you rely on when entering the field of e-commerce. Any product that a group of consumers needs, you can sell it online.

I will mention some of these areas for you:

  • food products
  • Sports supplies
  • Auto accessories
  • Kids Games
  • Clothes and shoes
  • Watches and jewelry 
  • Innovative accessories and products
  • Personal care supplies
  • Household and electrical appliances
  • home furniture 
  • desktop gadgets
  • Flowers and accessories
  • Electronics and televisions
  • Computers and accessories
  • Smartphones and accessories
  • Protection and security tools: such as surveillance cameras
  • Digital or print books
  • solar products
  • 3D printing
  • Selling fresh meals
  • educational courses
  • software services
  • Marketing and business management services
  • Writing and translation services
  • Maintenance and repair services 
  • Sale and rental of real estate
  • Hand Made Tools
  • Selling photographs
  • Building an intermediate platform between the merchant and the buyer

In fact, there are many ideas and markets that you can break into one of them, but the important thing is to choose products that you can deliver to customers with high quality and service. Now let’s move on to the right way to build a successful online store.

How do I get started in e-commerce?

The simple equation is: obtaining products + creating an online store + marketing campaigns = a successful online store.

This simple equation includes the basic elements of building an online store, but let me tell you more about these elements:

Market selection

You need to choose a market first: are you going to specialize in selling clothes, electronics, or what? Specialized stores have an opportunity to compete with large stores, because specialized stores are distinguished in what they offer more than others, as is the case in the Namshi store .

Also read: How To Make Money Online With Wordpress

Selection of products

You need to determine the valuable products that users get, whether you are the one who manufactures these products or you import them from abroad, you need to take care of every product of your store and make sure that it is the best product in the market.

I do not mean by that having unparalleled fabulous features in the product, but I mean to ensure the quality of the products before they are offered to consumers, and that they are really distinguished products if you compare them to most competitors.

Storage and shipping

You need to put in place an integrated shipping system that starts from the date of importing the products and receiving them in your warehouses, then supplying these products from your warehouses to the customer’s residence as soon as possible.

 Despite the obviousness of the process, some friends were facing problems at the time of receiving the products from the supplier and in the product storage system, especially some products that need a special storage system (such as food products), and also at the time of product delivery, as the customer gets angry if the product arrives late, especially with so many Shipping problems in Arab countries.

Create an online store

There are many methods that you can rely on to build your store, but the best thing I advise you to start with low cost and high performance is relying on WoCommerce through

  • Get a domain name: the website address that represents your site.
  • Get hosting: It is the service that enables you to host your website files and make them visible to users.
  • Installing WordPress: It is an open source content management system that you can use to build and customize your website or online store.
  • Installing WooCommerce: It is the most popular add-on that enables you to add products and customize sales processes in your online store:
  • Install an attractive template: It means the appearance that you will rely on to build your online store from store pages, product pages, and more.
  • Store settings : This includes adding products and customizing technical issues to make your store look interactive and enhance the user experience

I explained these steps in detail throughout this video, from owning the idea to fully launching your store, and offering a discount for hosting and domain

I recommend you to see this video

Also read: Why WordPress is the perfect solution for many to start an online store

Create marketing campaigns

If you have implemented all the previous steps professionally, you will still need to create marketing campaigns on the various platforms in order to reach these ads to your potential customers and make purchases from your store.

There are many methods that you can rely on to promote your store, but I will mention some of them to you:

  • PPC paid ads
  • Search engine marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Video marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Business partnerships

For more methods of promoting your online store, I advise you to read this article, which fully explains e-marketing .

These and other methods help you reach potential customers, and your role continues to gain customer confidence and provide an integrated service and a distinct experience in online shopping until they return to buy from you again and pass on their friends to buy from you. 

At the beginning of launching your online store, I will not think that you will achieve all these factors 100%, and it is expected that you will have some failures in some aspects, but if you take into account these factors as much as possible, they will have an impact on the success of your online store on the first day.

What is your admiration?

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