Definition: eCommerce

eCommerce refers to buying or selling goods or services online, as well as online transactions. Sometimes written as e-commerce, it can also refer to:

  • Online shops themselves (eg “Amazon is an eCommerce site”)
  • The business model of buying/selling/paying online (eg “We are funded by eCommerce”)
  • Analytics related to financial transactions through a website (eg “Our eCommerce conversion rate increased 10% Week-on-Week”)

While online transactions represent a much easier way for consumers to buy things, it is not so simple from the seller’s side (at least at the beginning). There are many technical challenges around setting up an online store, as well as intense digital marketing challenges due to how competitive the online space is. Due to this eCommerce is considered a unique strand of digital marketing in and of itself.


Top Tip

Sites that sell things are categorised as YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) – which means that Google’s Quality Raters will take a close look at your E-A-T credentials. This is a core part of SEO for eCommerce – read up on E-A-T here >


7 Key Points About eCommerce

  1. Early adopters don’t necessarily win with eCommerce. Pizza Hut has been selling online since 1994, while Blockbuster subscriptions started in 2004.
  2. 26% of shoppers will abandon their cart if forced to register with that site as part of the checkout process.
  3. Almost half (46%) of consumers rely on recommendations on social media when making a purchasing decision. 90% rely on online reviews!
  4. Almost three quarters (71%) of shoppers believe they can get a better deal online than on the high street.
  5. 88% of shoppers say that detailed product description pages are extremely important, and 70% prioritize being able to zoom in on products.
  6. More than 2/3rds of eCommerce traffic comes from smartphones.
  7. According to research, when three abandoned cart emails are sent to consumers conversions more than double (+131%). Note – you should only send abandoned care emails if you have permission from the user.



Glossary Index