SPECIAL REPORT: Electronic Commerce, Revolutionizing the Way We Do Business
ELECTRONIC commerce – also called ecommerce, e-commerce or ecomm – refers to the selling and buying of merchandize or services through electronic systems such as the Internet or computer networks.
However, e-commerce can also include the whole process of marketing, developing, shipping and paying for services and merchandize.
The volume of trading done through electronic means has risen remarkably as a result of people’s extensive reliance and usage of the Internet.
E-commerce is executed through this process, stimulating and advocating on technological breakthroughs in electronic cash transactions, management of supply chain, online cash processing, internet marketing and electronic data interface, automated data and inventory management.
The latest e-commerce basically uses the internet in the transaction’s cycle, though it may cover a broader scope of technologies, like mobile gadgets, electronic mail (email) and land-based telecommunications systems.
E-commerce that occurs between businesses is called a B2B (business to business), while e-commerce that takes place between a business and consumer is called B2C. This is the kind of business being done by online firms like eBay and Amazon.com.
E-commerce is basically online shopping, where the one buying is actively online and monitoring the target seller’s network through the Internet.
E-commerce usually doesn’t require the services of an intermediary and transactions are conducted interactively and electronically in real-time mode.
In some cases, the presence of an intermediary is needed for handling one-time or recurring acquisition transactions, especially for video or online games that can only be purchased on the internet.
Generally, e-commerce is known as the sales basis of electronic business that comprises the exchange of information to process the payment and financing aspects of all types of online transactions.
Some of the common applications related to e-commerce, are: logistics and document automation, international and domestic payment systems, enterprise management, instant messaging, newsgroups, online banking and shopping, electronic ticketing and teleconferencing.
Some e-commerce transactions, which include usage of commercial e-mails, consumer privacy and online advertising, are being regulated and controlled by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTA controls all types of ads, which include internet advertising, and regions that advertising must be consistent with facts, and are non-deceptive.
Across the globe, business structures and models continue to evolve rapidly with the introduction of e-commerce and this change is not just exclusive to the United States.
Other nations also contribute to the development of electronic commerce. The United Kingdom, for example, has the largest electronic commerce in the globe when gauged by the volume spent per capita.
China’s electronic commerce presence, meanwhile, continues to grow at a massive rate. Chinese online sales climbed to more than $36 billion in 2009 courtesy of its close to 400 million internet users.
E-Commerce is rapidly changing the online business landscape and is now emerging as a very important tool for businesses not only as an avenue to sell, but also to engage and connect with all kinds of people from all corners of the globe.