The ecommerce platform is a piece of software which means that it allows you to manage orders, sell products, accept payments, and much more, all from one interface. You can sell both physical and digital products or even services.
The ecommerce platform offers the common functionality required to create and run an online store which sells almost anything. It allows the seller to create items with different colors, prices, sizes, manage inventory or stock levels, accept credit or debit card payments, print and send invoices, create discount codes, create blog posts, manage customer contact, and much more. If it is a reliable ecommerce platform it will allow you to do other things such as integrate with powerful accounting software and connect with your warehouse so all future orders are dispatched smoothly.
There are two types of platforms: hosted and self-hosted ecommerce platforms. A hosted platform is one which is software as a service or SAAS. In other words, it will provide you with everything you need to start selling instantly. These ecommerce solutions have their own software running on their servers. The whole infrastructure is owned by the platform and it is completely maintained by the ecommerce service provider. The self-hosted ecommerce solutions, on the other side, are often open sources. This means that different people contribute to the software which you later install and maintain on your own hosting server.