E-commerce: what is it and why create an online shop

What is an e-commerce?

Today we are talking about the phenomenon that has revolutionised and redefined the world of marketing in recent years: E-commerce.

Giving a single, comprehensive definition is not easy, but we could define e-commerce as the sale and purchase of products and services on the web via online payment methods.

We must be clear right away. E-commerce is much more than a transaction in electronic form: it is the ability to intercept the customer’s need in a clear and measurable way.

The fact that the customer has many more products available online than a traditional shop can contain implies that your e-commerce is taken care of in every detail.

This involves several factors: from the IT aspect to the communication aspect, from the care of graphic elements to the development of an engaging user experience.

Why do you need to sell your products online?

E-commerce is the result of the digital transformation process that has now affected every sector. If until recently being online was a choice, today it is a compulsory step for any business that wants to innovate, be closer to the needs of its customers and, last but not least, resist the blows of competition.

 Let’s see why!

Does your target audience need your online presence?


The emergence of e-commerce has revolutionised the concept of retailing, expanding its possibilities. By exploiting the potential made available by new technologies, e-commerce makes it possible to devise ad hoc strategies to address specific targets.

The use of valuable tools such as online communities ensures that even very distant slices of users can be reached, reducing the costs of a much more time-consuming process in traditional commerce.

People play a central role: they determine which direction the market will go. Users browse online, inform themselves, compare similar products and ultimately choose the one they think is best. In such a situation, being absent on the web can only be a disadvantage.

Covid-19: digital transformation becomes necessary

As if all this were not enough, the latest developments in the global pandemic that have led to the ever-increasing spread of Covid-19, disrupting customers’ habits even in terms of purchasing basic necessities, have caused the digital transformation process to accelerate even further. Indeed, the pandemic has prompted more and more consumers to turn to online commerce for purchases that were previously conducted in person.

This shift inevitably leads one to wonder how user behaviour is changing. Online transaction volumes in Italy are estimated to have grown by 15.4 per cent in the last year, leading e-commerce to face 10 times more demand than in the pre-Covid period. The need to maintain social distancing leads to the exploration of new ways of buying online, with the high probability that these trends will remain unchanged even after the pandemic.

It seems that the transition to e-commerce is something inevitable, which is why having a valuable web presence is necessary and indispensable.

If you are not yet online, now is the time to do so!

What are the benefits for a company with e-commerce?

The benefits you may derive from setting up an online e-commerce are manifold.

  • Analysing data from online user behaviour allows you to create a tailor-made communication strategy, minimising criticality and maximising the effectiveness of your action.
  • Study the behaviour of your competitors, identify the strategies adopted and understand what to focus on to overcome them.
  • Find out which keywords appeal most to your audience and use them to improve the visibility of your business.
  • Attract new customers through traffic generated by search engines and social media, increasing your user base.
  • Having the ability to provide all the necessary information to reassure the potential customer in order to induce him/her to buy, through an efficient customer care service.
  • Gain flexibility by ensuring that users can buy anytime, anywhere.
  • Multiply business opportunities by devising a coherent strategy that combines online and offline marketing.

The 4 types of e-commerce and which one is best suited to your business?

Are all e-commerce businesses the same? The answer to this question is “no!”. We tend to think that selling ‘online’ is exclusive to the B2C market.

When we talk about e-commerce we almost always refer to 4 main categories that are strongly related to your target market:

  • B2B (business to business): This type of e-commerce refers to exchanges between companies of products, services or information. These are product or supply exchange websites that allow companies to support each other in the activities necessary to produce a product or service.
  • B2C (business to consumer): indicates the relationship that is established between companies selling products, services or information and people, understood as consumers and the target of the marketing strategy. Retail shops are the most common example.
  • C2C (consumer to consumer): The term refers to the type of electronic commerce in which consumers exchange products, services or information online. This is made possible by the provision of sites on which transactions are carried out. The earnings of these platforms are derived from the percentage derived from user transactions. Online auctions can be classified as examples of C2C e-commerce.
  • C2B (consumer to business): is a type of e-commerce in which consumers make their products and services available online, with the aim of selling them to companies. This takes place on intermediary platforms. Common examples are blogs or forums that offer the possibility of including links to the company’s website, promoting its products.

What is involved in having an online shop?

In order to start an e-commerce from scratch, one should not underestimate certain steps prior to going online.

Having a business plan and carrying out a convincing online promotion activity are fundamental operations, which must, however, be conducted by a specialised team.

E-commerce business plan

Having a strategic guide that allows you to focus on the goals your company aims to achieve is as challenging as it is necessary.

An effective business plan is based on a detailed description of the company and the reasons for taking certain actions.

  • What needs do you intend to satisfy?
  • What is the target audience of the online shop?
  • What professional skills are available for the realisation of the project?

The plan should illustrate the offer to be presented to the target market, as well as a collection of information on the environment within which the business is to operate. It should then outline the traits of the companies that represent the competition: from describing the competitor’s offer to highlighting its weak points, and finally to elaborating a strategy that aims to make the difference between your business and its rivals.

All this without neglecting the elaboration of economic-financial forecasts that will allow you to derive projections on the progress of the project.

Another point to focus on concerns the communication plan adopted. Equipping yourself with a corporate blog that deals with topics related to the field you operate in, doing good SEO optimisation and focusing on social media marketing… Everything is necessary to gain online visibility for your e-commerce!

Getting people to engage with your communication channels through informative content on blogs, email marketing and social media activities is an important step towards gaining loyal and satisfied customers.

Rely on professionals to create your e-commerce from A to Z

Any website that wants to gain and maintain contacts and visibility needs an investment. Not all investments are successful, however, so a wise choice must be made.

Relying on professionals who can understand your needs and guide you in the implementation of your business project is absolutely necessary. Great care must be taken when choosing the most suitable web agency: one wrong step and the risk of losing time and money is just around the corner.

At Biscuitway, we are a Growth Agency with a focus on the all-round growth of entrepreneurial projects.

Tell us your project and together we will find the right key to grow your business!

Written By

Gabriella Massara

Marketing Specialist

Hai un progetto?

Creiamo insieme
qualcosa di speciale!

Adoriamo collaborare con persone e brand ambiziosi.
Raccontaci cosa ti frulla in testa!