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What is an Ecommerce Website?

By Kerrie Main
Updated May 16, 2024
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Most savvy business owners know that tapping into the Internet market typically opens the door to new markets and customers. They create company websites to promote their businesses and attract new clients. When a business actually sells its products or services online, the website is considered an ecommerce website. There are several types of ecommerce websites, depending on the size of the company, the company’s budget and the functionality of the website. The common denominator in all types of ecommerce websites is that the customer is able to view prospective products or services, choose one and order it online.

The ecommerce website model is an integral part of modern business plans. Most customers want the convenience of identifying and purchasing products in the privacy of their homes. Most major retailers have ecommerce websites to expand their customer base and tap into new markets. For example, customers who don’t live near the retail establishment can now purchase the company’s product. Some companies don’t even have to have a retail storefront — they can do all of their business on an ecommerce website, and they can conduct operations remotely to save money on staffing, rent and utilities.

There are many types of ecommerce websites. Some are very cost-efficient and simple, and others are extremely expensive and complex. Many types of online merchants, such as online florists, bookstores, major department stores, industrial product stores and others, use ecommerce website software.

Some companies incorporate shopping cart providers on their ecommerce website, which gives customers the ability to collect products and then purchase them as a group. The Internet services that provide shopping cart solutions for ecommerce websites typically benefit small companies that want ordering and payment systems that are secure but simple. The company is charged a payment-processing fee, usually based on a percentage of the purchase price. Hosted ecommerce solutions are hosted by a web provider and provide various customization options for a high-volume online store. For example, these types of websites usually have large product catalogs, shopping carts, transaction management systems and order management systems.

Ecommerce businesses that make more than $10 million US Dollars per year often utilize dedicated servers and comprehensive ecommerce solutions. These types of ecommerce websites can be customized to fit the company’s particular sales and product needs. The company hires an outside ecommerce expert company that typically designs the site and hosts the dedicated server. The ecommerce host company usually provides marketing assistance; customer support, such as a call center; and fulfillment solutions. The hosting company, however, typically requires a large upfront payment and takes about 20 percent of the profits from the ecommerce website.

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