02 May 2010
Posted in E
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E-Commerce - or electronic commerce is the buying or selling of goods or services utilizing some form of electronic system such as the internet or other computer network. What this means is that a whole new exciting way to both increase the amount of exposure your business has in the market-place, and a way to facilitate your ability to expand your business into just about any part of the world you wish, much faster and easier than it could have ever been before, is now available.
The internet has revolutionized the way the entire world does business. Before the internet most small to medium sized business' focused primarily on regional and local markets within a certain proximty to their physical location. It was just logistically difficult and very costly to effectively market a business the farther you moved away from the physical address of the home office.
Today, this is changing rapidly because of the intetnet. More and more, people are no longer concerned with how far away the company they do business with may be located. The biggest concern now is quality goods and services offered at a good price and excellent customer service. This means that those business' that do not move into this new arena are going to be left behind and the ones that move forward now are going to be that much better prepared for the future.
Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, eCommerce or e-comm, refers to the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. However, the term may refer to more than just buying and selling products online. It also includes the entire online process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown extraordinarily with widespread Internet usage. The use of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction's life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones as well.
A large percentage of electronic commerce is conducted entirely in electronic form for virtual items such as access to premium content on a website, but mostly electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. Almost all big retailers are now electronically present on the World Wide Web.
Electronic commerce that takes place between businesses is referred to as business-to-business or B2B. B2B can be open to all interested parties (e.g. commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants (private electronic market). Electronic commerce that takes place between businesses and consumers, on the other hand, is referred to as business-to-consumer or B2C. This is the type of electronic commerce conducted by companies such as Amazon.com. Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce where the buyer is directly online to the seller's computer usually via the internet. There is no intermediary service involved. The sale or purchase transaction is completed electronically and interactively in real-time such as in Amazon.com for new books. However in some cases, an intermediary may be present in a sale or purchase transaction such as the transactions on eBay.com.
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions.
Originally, electronic commerce was identified as the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). These were both introduced in the late 1970s, allowing businesses to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically. The growth and acceptance of credit cards, automated teller machines (ATM) and telephone banking in the 1980s were also forms of electronic commerce. Another form of e-commerce was the airline reservation system typified by Sabre in the USA and Travicom in the UK.
From the 1990s onwards, electronic commerce would additionally include enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), data mining and data warehousing.
In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee invented the WorldWideWeb web browser and transformed an academic telecommunication network into a worldwide everyman everyday communication system called internet/www. Commercial enterprise on the Internet was strictly prohibited by NSF until 1995. Although the Internet became popular worldwide around 1994 with the adoption of Mosaic web browser, it took about five years to introduce security protocols and DSL allowing continual connection to the Internet. By the end of 2000, many European and American business companies offered their services through the World Wide Web. Since then people began to associate a word "ecommerce" with the ability of purchasing various goods through the Internet using secure protocols and electronic payment services.