A website that allows people to buy and sell physical goods, services, and digital products over the internet rather than at a brick-and-mortar location. Through an e-commerce website, a business can process orders, accept payments, manage shipping and logistics, and provide customer service.
The term “e-commerce” simply means the sale of goods or services on the internet. In its most basic form, e-commerce involves electronically transferring funds and data between 2 or more parties. This form of business has evolved quite a bit since its beginnings in the electronic data interchange of the 1960s and the inception of online shopping in the 1990s.
E-commerce is powered by the internet. Customers access an online store to browse through and place orders for products or services via their own devices.
As the order is placed, the customer's web browser will communicate back and forth with the server hosting the e-commerce website. Data pertaining to the order will be relayed to a central computer known as the order manager. It will then be forwarded to databases that manage inventory levels; a merchant system that manages payment information, using applications such as PayPal; and a bank computer. Finally, it will circle back to the order manager. This is to make sure that store inventory and customer funds are sufficient for the order to be processed.