Understanding e-commerce: Buying and selling online

The act of buying and selling online is known as e-commerce (electronic commerce). Other common terms are 'online trading' and 'online shopping'.

Understanding e-commence

Any transaction taking place over the internet can be classified as e-commerce. Sometimes e-commerce can even take the form of a good or service being traded for another type of good or service.

As an online business, you may engage in e-commerce using traditional websites, social media channels, and mobile and tablet Apps (often known as 'in-app' purchasing).

The Checklist for Business-to-consumer E-commerce in Australia aims to boost business owners' knowledge of issues surrounding e-commerce. The checklist covers important points to consider, such as:

  • do consumers need specialised software or hardware to trade with you?
  • are contract terms for purchases clear, accurate and easily accessible by consumers?
  • have you taken appropriate steps to protect consumers' privacy?
  • have you provided consumers with payment mechanisms that are easy to use and offer appropriate security?
  • are consumers informed about any specific laws or jurisdiction applicable to transactions with your business?

Read The Australian Guidelines for Electronic Commerce to learn about developing strategies to deal with business to consumer e-commerce.

How do I sell my products or services online?

Will your online business involve buying or selling over the internet? While marketing strategies are a common part of many business plans, marketing and promoting your product or service over the web can be quite different.

Web-specific strategies might not be covered in a traditional business plan, so even if you're experienced in business, it's important to do further research into successful online marketing techniques.

There are tips for using online promotion to your advantage:

© Commonwealth of Australia 2016. 

This content was first published on www.business.gov.au