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Electronic Retailing (E-tailing)


Electronic Retailing (E-tailing) refers to the selling of goods and services through the internet. It enables traditional brick-and-mortar shops to reach a global market, eliminating geographical limitations. It includes transactions for B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) sales.


Electronic Retailing: /ɪˌlɛk.trɒn.ɪk rɪˈteɪ.lɪŋ/E-tailing: /ˈiː.teɪ.lɪŋ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Evolving Market: E-tailing has changed the retail landscape, allowing businesses to reach a global audience. It not only offers a wide range of products and services but also significantly reduces the cost of managing and maintaining physical stores.
  2. Consumer Experience: E-tailing offers an enhanced consumer experience. By integrating advanced technologies, e-tailers can offer personalized shopping experiences, easy comparison shopping, and 24/7 convenience.
  3. Data Utilization: E-tailing allows businesses to track consumer behaviors and preferences, offering invaluable data. This data can be utilized for targeted marketing, improving customer service, and enhancing product offerings.


Electronic retailing, often referred to as e-tailing, is vitally important in the modern business and finance world because it represents a significant shift in the way businesses reach out to their customers and sell their products or services. The rise of the internet and digital technology has given businesses the capability to provide 24/7 services to a global market, thereby increasing potential customer reach and sales. E-tailing eliminates geographical limitations, reduces operational costs related to physical stores, and allows businesses to gather consumer data for personalized marketing strategies. By adopting e-tailing, businesses can stay competitive in an increasingly digital marketplace, meeting customer expectations for ease, convenience, and variety in their shopping experiences.


Electronic Retailing (E-tailing) serves as an important conduit for business transactions in today’s digital age, especially in the retail sector. Its purpose is to simplify the process of purchasing goods and services by allowing consumers to shop from the comfort of their homes, or basically from anywhere at any time. Through e-tailing, businesses can reach a wider range of customers who are beyond their physical location, providing them with a wide variety and selection of products in a single platform. Additionally, with the help of advanced analytics, businesses can also personalize the shopping experience for each customer, enhancing their shopping experience and fostering customer loyalty.

E-tailing enables businesses to operate 24/7, without the need for physical stores and associated costs, thereby increasing profitability. With the help of e-tailing, businesses can effectively and efficiently manage their inventory, pricing, and promotional strategies. They can easily update customers about new products, upcoming sales, or any other promotional activities. Furthermore, e-tailing provides a platform for businesses to collect and analyze customer data, enabling them to understand their customers’ preferences better, predict future trends and adapt their strategies accordingly. In essence, e-tailing has revolutionized the way businesses operate and has become an integral part of the retail industry.


1. Amazon: One of the most successful examples of electronic retailing is Amazon, which started as an online bookstore and expanded into a diversified platform selling everything from electronics to groceries. Today, Amazon is not only a leading e-tailer but also comprises various business models including subscription services, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence.

2. Alibaba Group: The Chinese multinational conglomerate, Alibaba, is another prime example of electronic retailing. The company specializes in e-commerce, technology, and various other industries, with platforms like Taobao and Tmall, enabling millions of businesses to sell their products online to consumers globally.

3. eBay: This is another excellent example of an e-tailing business. eBay operates as an online auction and shopping website, where individuals and businesses can buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services. Despite starting with a C2C model, eBay has also expanded its offering to include B2C transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Electronic Retailing (E-tailing)?

Electronic Retailing, also known as E-tailing, refers to the practice of selling goods or services to the public through an electronic medium, usually the internet. This includes online shops, businesses that sell via social media, or auction websites.

How does E-tailing work?

E-tailing works by allowing customers to browse, select, and purchase products or services online. Customers can often view detailed information about the product, compare with similar products, and read reviews before making a purchase.

What are the advantages of E-tailing for businesses?

E-tailing eliminates geographical limitations, offers a wider range of products, provides cost savings in rent and staffing, allows personalized customer experience, operates around the clock, and provides a wealth of information for tracking customer behavior and preferences.

What are the challenges of E-tailing for businesses?

Challenges of E-tailing can include technical issues (website crashes, security), returning products can be complex, requires strategies to drive online traffic, and issues of customer trust since they cannot physically inspect products before purchasing.

How has E-tailing impacted the traditional retail environment?

E-tailing has significantly impacted traditional retail by forcing many businesses to develop an online presence. The growth of e-tailing has also led to increased competition, a shift towards a global market, and the need to constantly adapt to rapidly changing technology and consumer trends.

Is E-tailing safe and secure for consumers?

While E-tailing can be safe and secure, this depends on the online retailers’ security measures. Consumers should always ensure they are shopping from reputable websites that use secure payment options.

How can a business start E-tailing?

Starting e-tailing involves setting up a user-friendly website with a secure payment gateway, having a good delivery system in place, investing in digital marketing strategies, and ensuring excellent customer service. It may also involve partnering with third-party e-commerce platforms depending on the business model.

What’s the future of E-tailing?

The future of E-tailing is vast as it continues to grow and evolve. Trends like increased mobile commerce, personalized shopping experiences, automation, AI, and omni-channel retailing will continue to shape the future of e-tailing.

Related Finance Terms

  • Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
  • Digital Storefront
  • Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce)
  • Online Shopping Cart
  • E-Commerce Marketing

Sources for More Information

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