E-commerce vs. E-tailing

What's the Difference?

E-commerce and e-tailing are both forms of online retail, but they differ in their scope and focus. E-commerce refers to the broader concept of conducting business transactions online, encompassing not only retail but also services, B2B transactions, and other commercial activities. On the other hand, e-tailing specifically refers to the online retailing of products, where businesses sell their goods directly to consumers through digital platforms. While e-commerce includes various types of online transactions, e-tailing is solely focused on the online sale of products to individual customers.


DefinitionElectronic commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services over the internet.E-tailing specifically refers to the online retailing of goods and services.
ScopeIncludes all types of online transactions, including B2B, B2C, C2C, etc.Primarily focuses on B2C (business-to-consumer) transactions.
Business ModelsCan involve various business models such as dropshipping, marketplace, subscription, etc.Primarily involves the direct sale of products or services to consumers.
Physical StoresMay or may not have physical stores in addition to the online presence.Does not have physical stores, operates solely online.
Product RangeCan offer a wide range of products and services, including physical and digital goods.Primarily focuses on the sale of physical products.
Customer InteractionCan involve various forms of customer interaction, such as live chat, reviews, etc.Customer interaction is primarily through the online platform, including reviews and ratings.
Order FulfillmentCan involve various methods of order fulfillment, including in-house or third-party logistics.Order fulfillment is typically handled by the e-tailer itself or through partnerships.
Marketplace PresenceCan operate through various online marketplaces in addition to their own website.Primarily operates through its own website, although may partner with marketplaces for additional reach.
ExamplesAmazon, eBay, AlibabaASOS, Zappos, Etsy

Further Detail


E-commerce and e-tailing are two terms often used interchangeably, but they have distinct attributes that set them apart. E-commerce refers to the broader concept of conducting business transactions online, while e-tailing specifically focuses on the retail aspect of e-commerce. In this article, we will explore the attributes of both e-commerce and e-tailing, highlighting their similarities and differences.


E-commerce encompasses a wide range of online business activities, including buying and selling products or services, online banking, online auctions, and more. It involves the use of electronic means, such as the internet, to conduct these transactions. One of the key attributes of e-commerce is its global reach. With e-commerce, businesses can reach customers from all around the world, breaking geographical barriers and expanding their customer base.

Another attribute of e-commerce is its convenience. Customers can browse and purchase products or services from the comfort of their own homes, at any time of the day. This convenience factor has significantly contributed to the growth of e-commerce in recent years. Additionally, e-commerce offers a wide variety of products and services, often providing customers with more options than traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Furthermore, e-commerce allows for personalized and targeted marketing. Through data analysis and customer tracking, businesses can tailor their marketing strategies to individual customers, providing them with personalized recommendations and offers. This level of customization enhances the overall shopping experience and increases customer satisfaction.

Lastly, e-commerce provides businesses with valuable insights and analytics. Through various tools and technologies, businesses can track customer behavior, preferences, and purchase patterns. This data can be used to optimize marketing campaigns, improve product offerings, and make informed business decisions.


E-tailing, on the other hand, specifically refers to the online retail aspect of e-commerce. It focuses on the sale of products directly to consumers through online platforms. E-tailing has gained significant popularity in recent years, with the rise of online marketplaces and dedicated e-commerce websites.

One of the key attributes of e-tailing is its ability to provide a seamless shopping experience. E-tailers invest in user-friendly interfaces, intuitive navigation, and secure payment gateways to ensure a smooth and hassle-free shopping process for customers. This emphasis on user experience sets e-tailing apart from traditional retail, where customers may face long queues or limited store hours.

E-tailing also offers a wide range of product categories and options. Customers can find virtually any product they desire, from clothing and electronics to groceries and home decor. This extensive product range, combined with the convenience of online shopping, makes e-tailing an attractive option for consumers.

Moreover, e-tailing allows for easy price comparison. Customers can quickly compare prices across different e-tailers, enabling them to find the best deals and make informed purchasing decisions. This transparency in pricing benefits both customers and businesses, as it fosters healthy competition and encourages fair pricing.

Lastly, e-tailing provides businesses with valuable customer feedback and reviews. Customers can leave reviews and ratings for products they have purchased, helping other potential buyers make informed decisions. This feedback loop allows businesses to improve their products and services based on customer insights, ultimately enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.


While e-commerce and e-tailing are closely related, they have distinct attributes that set them apart. E-commerce encompasses a broader range of online business activities, offering global reach, convenience, personalized marketing, and valuable insights. On the other hand, e-tailing specifically focuses on the online retail aspect, providing a seamless shopping experience, a wide range of product options, easy price comparison, and valuable customer feedback. Both e-commerce and e-tailing have revolutionized the way businesses operate and customers shop, contributing to the growth of the digital economy.

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