E-commerce vs. E-business: What’s the Difference?
Analysts predict that an estimated 218.8 million consumers in the US will shop online in 2023.
They also predict that e-commerce sales will account for 20.8% of retail sales worldwide in 2023.
Yet, more than 33% of small businesses in the US do not have a website. (1)
If you fall into the category of not having a website, you may be thinking, “I don’t do e-commerce, so why would I need one?” Or, if you do have a website to sell your goods and services, are you using it to the fullest potential to support your e-business? Are you thoroughly confused because you thought there was no difference between e-commerce vs. e-business? Allow us to add some clarity.
What Does E-commerce Mean?
E-commerce is likely a term you are familiar with, but you may not realize it (and the fact that you’re probably on a first name basis with your local package delivery guy proves it.) E-commerce, or electronic commerce is the online transaction of goods and services. There are a few main types of e-commerce online business including:
- Business to Business (B2B): selling goods and services between businesses
- Business to Consumer (B2C): selling goods and services from a business to a customer
- Customer to Customer (C2C): selling goods and services between customers
- Customer to Business (C2B): selling goods and services from customer to business
What Does Electronic Business Mean?
So, what’s e-business, or electronic business? Electronic business means using the internet or other online information exchange to facilitate and operate your business. It is your online presence that helps your customers get to know you and your products/services. Even if you don’t, or can’t, sell them online, the function of your electronic business can inform consumers on what to expect. It can also help you communicate and interact with your employees and offer customer support to your buyers.
Like e-commerce, there is more than one type of e-business. The types of e-business include:
- Pure-Play: a business that only has an electronic existence. Examples of e-businesses of this type include Hotels.com and Kayak.com. This can also refer to businesses that specialize in a particular product, like Starbucks or Dunkin’.
- Brick and Click: a business that exists online and in a physical space, like a brick-and-mortar store. Many large retailers offer online sales and allow you to see if you can pick up that product in a local store.
The key components of electronic business are transaction (like e-commerce), communication, and information. E-business strategy utilizes many outlets to incorporate these components including online marketplaces, stores, and communities as well as e-procurement. Some of the features of e-business that make it a popular choice for company operations include:
- It’s cost effective.
- It can be done anywhere in the world at any time.
- It is easy to set up and use.
- It offers flexibility.
E-commerce vs. E-business: The Difference
When thinking about e-commerce vs. e-business, people often use the concepts interchangeably. An easy way to think about the difference between e-commerce vs. e-business is to remember that e-commerce is only part of e-business. E-business refers to business operations that use technology. E-commerce includes a transaction, where e-business also means transaction, but information sharing and communication as well. While e-commerce operates only on the internet, e-businesses often use an intranet and extranet in addition to the internet.
In the matchup of e-commerce vs. e-business, it isn’t a competition. But knowing the difference between the two can help you poise your business for success.
Another key difference in e-commerce vs. e-business are the tools you need. While you may require different technologies to facilitate aspects of your e-business, you also have to ensure they all work together cohesively. That’s where we come in. At Paradigm, we believe that technology has the power to radically enhance sales and marketing strategies, improve data analysis, and support profitable decision making that allows you to scale faster. We offer a holistic approach that combines expertise and customization to help your technology solutions work for you and for each other. Together we can design sales, marketing, and workflow processes that align with your strategic objectives and revenue goals. Contact us today to get started.