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What is an E-Commerce Website? Here’s All You Need to Know

In a world where people can buy anything, anytime, and from anywhere, there’s no better way for a business to reach a higher number of customers than creating a custom e-commerce website. Learn how we can help your company skyrocket sales.

It’s very likely that most people can’t answer the question, “What is an e-commerce website?” even though they have made online purchases in the past. For a merchant it’s more important than ever to offer their products in an online store, even if they may have a brick-and-mortar store as well. In fact, BigCommerce has said that e-commerce is growing at an amazing rate of 23% each year, and eMarketer points out that e-commerce website sales will top $27 trillion in 2020.

Online shopping is affecting just about every retailer in one way or another, and not positively. A recent Washington Post article indicated that 75,000 electronics and furniture stores will close their doors by 2026. This news bodes very well for the online retailer. 

A big reason the online marketplace is growing so fast is the convenience it offers the consumer. Why fight traffic and drive to the local vitamin store when you can go to your favorite online site, find your desired product, and make your purchase with one click? Today’s customer finds that to be an easy choice to make.

Learn the Difference Between E-Commerce and E-Business

What is the difference between e-commerce and e-business? To answer this question, we first need to define e-business.

E-business is more than just offering products online, it’s a complete way of doing business. It allows businesses to interact with each other in such areas as inventory management and ordering, customer relationship management and market development. It allows one company to interact with another through online communications.
E-commerce is a form of e-business. It facilitates the sale of an item by allowing the user to buy a product online instead of personally travelling to a retail location. It’s a much more efficient way for the customer to buy and the merchant to sell. As you can see, the difference between e-commerce and e-business is quite simple: e-business is simply a more encompassing term that includes a variety of activities.

What Are the Different Types of E-Commerce Websites?

Online shoppers want to buy from a website that makes it easy for them to find what they’re looking for and complete the purchase with ease. In other words, people are busy and they want online purchasing to be quick and easy. 

This makes it very important that the seller have a website built to meet the needs of the customer. Since there are different types of e-commerce sites, the merchant needs to communicate well with the website developer and let them know what type of e-commerce they’re going to specialize in. This allows the designers, developers and SEO (search engine optimization) specialists do their jobs correctly. 

The different types of e-commerce can be broken down into six categories:

Business-to-Business (B2B)Electronic transactions of goods and services between companies
Business-to-Consumer (B2C)Electronic transactions of goods and services between companies and consumers
Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)Electronic transactions of goods and services between consumers, mostly through a third party
Consumer-to-Business (C2B)Electronic transactions of goods and services where individuals offer products or services to companies
Business-to-Administration (B2A)Electronic transactions of goods and services between individuals and public administrations
Consumer-to-Administration (C2A)Electronic transactions of good and services between individuals and public administrations

What Makes a Good E-Commerce Website?

Like anything, there is a lot of competition among online merchants trying to make the sale. Many of them have found that the solution is to have a well-designed and well-built website so the shopper can have a great experience on the site.

If you are wondering what makes a good e-commerce website, the truth is, there are many variables that make one website stand out above the competition. These “must have” features of an e-commerce site include:

Design: The overall look and feel of the website should make a great impression on the site visitor. It’s what keeps people on the site and makes it easy for them to make a purchase.

User Experience (UX): UX is one of the most important e-commerce website requirements. Websites should allow the site visitor to have a great experience when on the site. UX allows that to happen by integrating product, branding, design, usability, and function.

Responsiveness: A website visitor should have a good experience visiting a website on any kind of device. This includes desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

High-Quality Product Photos: When shopping online, people want a good look at what they’re going to purchase. High resolution photos from different angles are necessary for the shopper to see the desired item in fine detail.

Clear and Thorough Product Descriptions: What sizes does it come in? Are different colors available? Is the item in stock at the warehouse? Buyers want to know the specifications of the products they’re buying, and what their options are. Good product descriptions provide this.

Mobile-Friendly Design: People spend countless hours each day on their mobile devices: smartphones, laptops and pads. A website should be easily viewed on any of these devices, making it easy for a potential buyer to see the site in its entirety and make a purchase when they’re ready.

Speed: If a website loads slowly when someone clicks on the link, they’ll be gone in three seconds or less. People searching for products have a number of websites they can go to and find what they’re looking for. People want to find and buy things quickly so they can get on with their day. Speed matters.

Unique Selling Proposition: Before hitting the “Buy” button, online shoppers often need to be sold a little on what they’re looking for. Nobody wants to make a bad buying decision; a good selling proposition will give them a reason to buy now. It reassures them that they’ve found the right product and they won’t be disappointed after buying it.

Shopping Cart: Having a shopping cart on the site boosts sales volume. People use a shopping cart because they’re going to purchase more than one item. It’s not uncommon for online shoppers to keep shopping so they can have multiple items in their cart at checkout.

Related Items: Amazon is great at this. They will show shopper items that others purchased at the same time they bought the desired item. For example, Amazon will show hair brushes to someone who just bought shampoo. It’s a great way to boost sales volume and profits.

Variety of Payment Methods: In addition to accepting major credit cards, merchants need to add payment providers such as PayPal for shoppers that don’t like to enter their credit card numbers online. Security is a big concern nowadays and sellers need to provide options for uneasy buyers.

Top-notch website developers know that incorporating these features into their clients’ websites will result in a great experience for online shoppers and improved profitability for sellers. As new trends develop, they’ll also be proactive and add features to existing clients’ websites.

The Importance of a Mobile E-Commerce Website

According to Google, 40% of people making online purchases use their mobile devices before they buy. This is a large percentage of shoppers for an online e-commerce site to miss because they were working with the wrong mobile web development company. 

The term “mobile e-commerce” is unfamiliar to many people. It simply means the ability for people to make a purchase using their mobile device. The number of merchants developing sophisticated mobile e-commerce websites continues to grow daily.

With 67% of people using Google to find information, they are the search engine to please when it comes to being found by people looking to buy products online. They have very exacting standards when it comes to mobile e-commerce website design, and a great website developer meets all of these standards.

In 2015, Google began letting website owners and developers know that if their website was not mobile optimized, they would not be showing it as often in the results pages. In 2020 sites that are not mobile optimized are not showing up at all on Google. 

Mobile optimization is a must-have for online merchants. When a shopper enters the search term “online furniture stores” in Google, a good online furniture store whose website is not mobile optimized is going to miss out on many sales opportunities. Salesforce estimates that smartphones will account for 46% of online orders this year, which is more than the 44% that desktop computers will generate.

But it’s not enough to have a mobile e-commerce website. How the screen is viewed on mobile devices is extremely important. Only the most important elements should be shown on the screen, drawing the site visitor in and making it easy for them to navigate through the site with the natural movement of the finger. This is why a responsive e-commerce website is crucial if you want to keep visitors on your site longer.

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The E-Commerce Website and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the e-commerce website working together is the difference between a merchant being found online, or not found. A website designed using search engine optimization best practices are going to be found on the first page, instead of on the second page where less than 30% of searchers go.

For example, one of the niches Direct Line Development has just started working in is beard care products. This is an extremely competitive niche. 

Upon searching for “beard oil”, the first page is comprised entirely of advertising, video, sponsored posts, and Amazon advertising:

The “real” search results begin only on the second screen after the “People Also Ask” block. At the same time, it is worth noting: the first two links are industry leaders, these are old, large sites that move from these positions are on the verge of the impossible, and the third link is the well-known edition of Men’s Health. This niche is not the only one in which the Google search results page is dominated by advertising, sponsored posts and industry leaders Competition is everywhere, and the online seller will have a hard time succeeding unless they have created their own unique niche product and are advertising it on the search engines.

Located next to the Google search results is the popular “products block”: Google’s best-selling product recommendations on request.

Another good example is leather iPad cases.

On this results page, it can be seen that there aren’t any paid ads, videos, or question boxes. A merchant with a well-optimized e-commerce website using SEO optimization best practices is going to have a very good chance of showing on this page and generating new sales. SEO is a must-have for free lead generation.

Benefits of E-Commerce Websites to Business Owners

Just about everything, anyone is looking for can be found and bought online these days. Whether it be a dog collar, a big-screen television, or just ordering a pizza on Friday night, e-commerce websites bring in big dollars for businesses. We explain some of the main advantages of e-commerce below.

There are many more benefits of e-commerce websites to business owners who want to improve their sales. As the demand of online purchasing is increasing, so does the number of e-commerce sites. Join their ranks to gain a competitive edge in your industry.


Consumers of all ages are finding it incredibly convenient to do their shopping online, and those businesses that have the most visible and user-friendly sites are reaping the rewards. A fully-featured professional e-commerce website is essential for any online seller. Direct Line Development can provide you the expertise needed to excel in today’s e-commerce environment where successful web development is crucial for any business to flourish.

Direct Line Development team helped dozens of businesses achieve online selling success by building a professional e-commerce website; we can do the same for you. Contact us today and we’ll let you know how we can help you gain the market share you deserve.

We are ready to meet you at the time convenient for you!
CYRIL ALLGEIER, Sales Executive - Austin
(713) 851-7945
We are ready to meet you at the time convenient for you!
STEPHEN GREENSPAN, Senior Sales Executive - Philadelphia
(484) 808-7179
We are ready to meet you at the time convenient for you!
KEVIN DUNN, Sales Manager - Denver
(720) 370-3720


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