E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer, or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to the transactional processes for online shopping.
In the last decade, the widespread use of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay has contributed to substantial growth in online retail. In 2007, e-commerce accounted for 5.1% of total retail sales; in 2019, e-commerce made up 16.0%.
The pandemic is rapidly changing our behavior toward online channels, and the shifts are likely to stick post-pandemic. While many companies are challenged to survive in the short-term, the crisis also presents an opportunity; bold companies that invest ambitiously and timely in their online business are likely to emerge as market leaders. We propose seven initiatives that are critical for business leaders to act on now to successfully transition your business to the new e-commerce reality.