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This Business English ESL lesson plan on ecommerce has been designed for business professionals or other adults and young adults at an intermediate (B1/B2) to advanced (C1/C2) level and should last around 45 to 60 minutes for one student.

E-commerce experienced a boom in the 90s and has only grown since then. Amazon steals the headlines when it comes to online selling, but e-commerce has allowed millions of other businesses to reach customers where once they couldn’t. Some may even say that in the modern world, it is not possible to conduct business without some kind of online presence. In this Business English lesson plan on e-commerce, students will have the opportunity discuss and express their opinions on issues such as how businesses can take advantage of the internet to sell more products and reach more customers.

For advice on how to use this English lesson plan and other lesson plans on this site, see the guide for ESL teachers.


Reading activity
Before the English class, send the following article to the students and ask them to read it while making a list of any new vocabulary or phrases they find (explain any the students don’t understand in the class):

The Balance Small Business | Advantages of E-Commerce

The article gives a number of reasons why businesses should take advantage of ecommerce, including reaching more customers, lowering costs, and collecting customer data. At the start of the class, hold a brief discussion about what the students thought about the article. What do they think about the issues raised in the article? Do they agree with what was written? Can they think of any ways they can add to the content of the article?

Video activity
To save time in class, the English teacher can ask the students to watch the video below at home. In the class, the students will answer a number of conversation questions directly or indirectly related to the content of the video.

The video for this class is called “How Jeff Bezos Became the King of E-Commerce” by Bloomberg which looks at the rise of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.


The focus in the class is on conversation in order to help improve students’ fluency and confidence when speaking in English as well as boosting their vocabulary.

This lesson opens with a short discussion about the article the students read before the class. Next, the students can give their opinion on the quote at the beginning of the lesson plan – what they think the quote means, if they agree with it and how it could relate to business. This is followed by an initial discussion on the topic including the history of ecommerce, how the students’ companies use ecommerce, and how ecommerce can improve customer service.

After this, students will learn some vocabulary connected with ecommerce such as brick-and-mortar shop, chatbot and web traffic. The vocabulary is accompanied by a cloze activity and a speaking activity to test the students’ comprehension of these words.

If the students didn’t watch the video before the class, they can watch it after the vocabulary section and answer the conversation questions. Before the conversation, ask the students to give a brief summary of the video and what they thought about the content.

Finally, there is a more in-depth conversation about ecommerce and online selling. In this speaking activity, students will talk about issues such as online shopping habits in the students’ countries, problems companies have when selling online, and how online shopping affects competition.


After the class, students will write a business report outlining how to provide a good service when selling online. The writing activity is designed to allow students to practise business-style writing as well as improving their grammar with the feedback from their teacher.


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