Ecommerce and Online Store - What is the Difference?
Updated: Oct 28, 2018
If you look around in the world of the Internet, then you always meet the terms ecommerce and online store . However, many people do not know the meaning of these terms or use both for the same thing. Ecommerce and online store are two completely different things, which - even if they have something to do with each other - are not one and the same!
The following is a detailed explanation of what the terms ecommerce and online store mean and what the differences are.
The online store
The online store may already be familiar to you, like most users of the Internet. It refers to a platform or website on the Internet, where you can shop online.
The offer of such an online store can range from simple services via the Internet, such as e-books, to houses, vehicles or food. This provides the interested party with a portal on which
he can make online purchases of any kind via the Internet.
The online store is thus a portal for selling to the customer, in a certain way a shop on the Internet, as the word already says. It is important to know that the online store is just that, but not anymore. Payment processing, e-mails and invoicing, even if you are part of the software of the online store, are no longer in this area.
Ecommerce means the distribution over the Internet, thus the electronic sales. Ecommerce encompasses the entire package, ie not just the shop. Customer acquisition, marketing, special offers, newsletters or advertising on Twitter and Facebook are just as much part of ecommerce as the corresponding management software and CRM Systems that improve customer management and customer contact and, ideally, make the customer buy from you.
Also part of ecommerce is the billing, a possible after-sales service, as well as the transaction itself. How is it paid? What options does the customer have to contact the operator with questions or problems? All these points are part of ecommerce.
An important point is that ecommerce is about electronic commerce and exchange, not physical. This means that while an email or a newsletter certainly belongs to electronic commerce, telephone calls, brochures or flyers are more a part of conventional marketing and do not count towards ecommerce.
The situation regarding the of sending SMS or MMS messages, is sometimes still controversial. There are opinions that count this form of contact with electronic commerce, as well as opinions that count these things more in the area of mobile marketing or general PR measures. This opinion is also held by other sources, such as Wikipedia and computer experts.
The differences between an online store and ecommerce at a glance
According to the above statement, the differences between electronic commerce and the online store are now obvious:
the online store is like a shop on the Internet. It offers the customer a portal or platform to buy all sorts of products and services. It provides the customer with product descriptions and images and of course offers the opportunity to buy products.
The entire purchase, the payment process as well as the advertising and any after-sales support are no longer part of an online store. So everything that goes beyond the simple shop page or the offer is part of electronic commerce.
However, at the present time both things are usually combined in one system. This means that an online store software today also includes the functions of electronic commerce. Most online store programs today are sold as an ecommerce suite and no longer as a pure shop. With these systems, you get both from one source.
The customer can shop in your online store, while appropriate tools and additional functions cover the area of electronic commerce. So you get a complete package and can cover both areas with just one software.
It's obvious that an online store is just a small part of the big picture. Without electronic commerce, the online store could not work. On the other hand, the electronic commerce would have no sense without the shop, so that the one cannot act without the other.
In short, one can say:
the platform for shopping itself or the website is the online store. Everything that has to do with sales and advertising, however, is part of ecommerce and has nothing to do with the actual shop. However, at the present time the software is usually grouped together into a program, so that an online store generally also contains ecommerce tools and programs. This may give the impression that both terms are one and the same.