ecommerce vs online shopping

In the current world, almost everything has gone digital. Things are done online or via other electronic gadgets. Nevertheless, the online world is the most advanced in terms of digital advancement. A lot of things are done via the internet and it is all for the sake of making work easier.

Businesses are done over the internet, and products are also sold online. That brings us to the two main terms used in the internet world; eCommerce and online shopping (e-business).

How related are these two? Do they have any similarities or differences? We will be discussing that in this article;



The first point of focus is in the definition of the two;

ECommerce is a form of business contraction that is utilized for electronic trade. Generally, eCommerce entails the movement, management, purchasing, requesting, or paying of merchandise and enterprises via the internet. It is another word for a web-based business. The dealer can speak with the purchaser even without any need for collaboration.

  • ECommerce comes in different types including;
  • Business to Business (B2B); where businesses buy and sell goods and services between each other
  • Customer to Customer (C2C); customers transact between themselves
  • Customer to Business (C2B); customers trade with a business
  • Business to Customer (B2C); where goods are sold by a business to the customer

Even the transfer of money and other transaction data via the internet can be considered as eCommerce.

On the other hand, online shopping, or e-business, is simply a way of buying [and selling] products online. When a person logs into an online store to purchase specific items, they will be doing online shopping.

Plus, e-business comes in two categories;
  • Brick and Click, which is a model that the business exists both online and offline.
  • Pure-Play is a form of e-business, where all the dealings and operations are done online

Today, most of the e-businesses are Pure-Play, but the most advanced companies run on Brick and Click models. Either way, they are both e-business models.

For example, Best Reviews Guide is an e-business platform that guides users that want to do online shopping.

online shopping
online shopping

How Similar Are They?

There are several similarities between eCommerce and online shopping/e-business. Here is a look at the similarities;

  1. They Both Encourage Customer Interaction 

Both the eCommerce and e-business platforms promote customer/visitor interaction. They use online feedback forms, polls, and surveys that allow customers and visitors to interact. Some e-businesses will have online forums that enhance the interaction between the company and the visitor.

While the eCommerce platforms also promote customer interactions, they center their opportunities on the products that they sell. In that case, eCommerce platforms will usually have product ratings and product reviews to engage the customers.

2. Both Platforms are Service-Oriented

Both the e-business and eCommerce platforms service-oriented. Also, they work in developing a better online presence.

An e-business will specifically help the client or customer to make an informed decision when they want to purchase a product. On the other hand, eCommerce platforms solely focused on selling goods and services. Therefore, it is safe to say that the service offered by e-business is to help customers make the right buying decision by giving them the needed information.

On the other hand, the service offered on an eCommerce website is for sale.

3. They Run on Similar Business Models

The business models used on eCommerce and e-business platforms are similar. They both aim at the idea of selling the goods and services and offering the needed customer support. Plus, these platforms both aim at offering the customer the necessary information. The information, in this case, could be buying guide/product review (e-business) or product description and features (eCommerce).

It’s only that an eCommerce website aims at buying and selling of product while providing the least information to the buyer.

4. Partner Relationships Establishment

Both the eCommerce and e-business platforms promote the relationship between vendor partners and the service provided. Such interaction needed to help companies offer their customers accessories, add-ons, or any other necessary addition.

The Differences

While these business models are similar in many ways, there are also some differences between them. Let’s explore some of them.

  • ECommerce is a major component of e-business
  • Online shopping is all about buying goods online while eCommerce goes a step further than simply offering an online cart
  • ECommerce is all about transactions that are specifically related to money. On the other hand, e-business is any monetary or allied activity done on the internet.
  • ECommerce comes with an extroverted approach, which covers distributors, suppliers, customers, and every other related party. But e-business covers both internal and external processes.
  • ECommerce uses the internet to connect to the target audience, while e-business uses the internet, along with extranet and intranet to connect with the relevant parties.

ECommerce requires a well-developed website that is professional enough to represent the business. On the other hand, e-business requires more than the website. An e-business will require a website, together with proper customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning. All these meant to make the e-business run successfully online.

So yes, both these models run online, but one of them demands more than just an online presence. An e-business takes a step further. When you want your e-business to be successful, the online presence won’t be enough. You must ensure that there is proper customer relationship management. This will help to bring the customers closer to the business and vice versa. When you come close to the customer, you will understand what they think about the products or services.

Furthermore, e-business requires proper resource planning. This entails the distribution and supply of the products. It also ensures that the product or service reaches the specific customer on time, in good condition and at the proper address.

When choosing an e-business platform, you must ensure that you find one that is reputable enough. Do not only go for a platform that popped up your screen when you were accessing the internet. Regardless of the business platform you will be using, always ensure that you trade safely online and avoid unnecessary fraud.


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