What is an Ecommerce Application? (with pictures)

Mary Elizabeth

Ecommerce allows buyers to purchase goods or services from a business online.
Ecommerce allows buyers to purchase goods or services from a business online.

Ecommerce is buying and selling that is conducted in an online environment, through an ecommerce website. An application is a software program designed to accomplish one or more tasks in a particular software environment. An ecommerce application is a software application that is specifically designed to support the creation of an ecommerce website or add functionality to it. Plug-ins and add-ons to ecommerce website software are included, but applications that don’t have specific ecommerce utility wouldn’t be considered. What is integral to one ecommerce site may not be needed at all for another.

Many ecommerce applications also offer options to buy on a smartphone or through a mobile app.
Many ecommerce applications also offer options to buy on a smartphone or through a mobile app.

Typically, ecommerce applications refers to the wide variety of shopping cart programs that are available, as well as other software that incorporates payment options as plug-ins or as part of an entire site application. Shopping carts may add only the shopping cart itself to a website that is built with a software that was not designed especially for ecommerce and has no particular ecommerce features in its basic setup. Alternatively, it may actually be built onto an online store that includes a product catalog, search function, checkout, stock control, shipping, and the means to accept payment in a variety of ways.

An ecommerce shopping cart application may be open source or proprietary. If it is an open source product, it will likely be offered under a GNU GPL (Gnu’s Not Unix! General Public License). It may also be written in several different computer languages. There are several examples of open source ecommerce applications written in Linux. There are also shopping carts for ASP.NET (Active Server Page for dot-net, also known as ASP+), PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor) and MySQL (Structured Query Language), HTML (HyperText Markup Language), JavaScript®, and Perl (Practical Extraction and Report Language).

Other ecommerce applications cover a wide range. For example, there’s an ecommerce application that allows business owners to send and receive faxes through their email accounts. Another ecommerce application can enable a business owner to create a business dashboard based on website data. Another function is to provide a shipping module or foreign exchange currency tables. Useful to ecommerce sites, but not typically referred to as an ecommerce application is the plug-in that carries functionality widely used on personal as well as business sites, like calendars, statistics packages, and surveys.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to EasyTechJunkie about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments


Telesyst, there are a number of templates and software products available to set up ecommerce for your business.

Most businesses do have some sort of technical support help, and those professionals should be able to help you install and run the software, if necessary.


Does a business have to hire a software specialist or engineer to develop an ecommerce web site?

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