Electronic Commerce Commonly Known As E-Commerce

The process of buying and selling of products or services online is termed as Electronic commerce commonly known as E-Commerce. Developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying everything can be under this process. Because of the extensive usage of internet now days the quantity of trade that is done online has increased. Commerce is used in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, inventory management systems and automated data collection. World Wide Web is the major tool and is used at least once in the transaction and e-mail, mobile devices and telephones are also widely used.

Most of the e-commerce is done in virtual form but also does transportation of physical products. E-tailers are online retailers and e-tail is retail and World Wide Web consists of almost all big retailers. There are different kinds of e-commerce. E-Commerce between two businesses is called Business to Business or B2B which can be either open to all or for specific qualifiers. The e-commerce between businesses and consumers is termed as Business to consumer or B2C. Here the buyer is directly in contact with the business like online shopping. There is no presence of intermediary service in most of the cases. E-commerce involves the sales and the transfer of data to enable the financial transactions of businesses.

Some applications where e-commerce is used are Document automation, domestic and international payment systems, group buying, instant messaging, enterprise content management, teleconferencing, electronic tickets, etc. Data integrity and security are burning issues in electronic commerce.

International trends:

As the usage of internet has increased drastically the business models also changed to the same extent with the help of e-commerce and are not confined to a certain country. This has increased the competition for advertising industry to grab the interests of the customers. If we take the developing countries china is the fastest growing economy in this field. They have made the consumers comfortable shopping online. E-commerce has emerged as a vital tool to hold the customers and to sell worldwide.

Effect of E-commerce on markets and retailers:

The internet has facilitated the customers to do a product research and find the best price for any product online there by created a price competition among various companies. The industry structure of book shops and travel agencies has been influenced by e-commerce because of the increased online shopping. This helped the larger companies to grow as they can give best prices which can be afforded by smaller companies.


There are two channels for distribution which are ‘pure click’ and ‘brick and click’. Many companies have shifted to these two channel systems.

Pure Click: These companies do not exist as a firm. They purely work through the website. Such companies should maintain their e-commerce websites with utmost care as the customer service is of great preference here.

Brick and Click: These companies already exist as a firm and they add a website for online business. These companies doubted initially that the relationship status with their offline retailers, agents or their own stores would be in peril but finally internet found its way to their distribution channels after witnessing the business generated by their online counterparts.

Electronic Commerce 101

Electronic Commerce is the buying and selling of products and services via the Internet. E-Commerce sites range from a simple page with products and a phone number, to real-time credit card processing for downloadable products such as software and music, and even to sophisticated auction sites acting as marketplaces. The most convenient aspect of e-commerce is the freedom from time zones and time restrictions. It allows the ability for one to shop and procure items anytime of day. The Internet consultancy, eMarketer, reports that the number of active business sites in the U.S. engaging in e-commerce activities has grown to significantly.

Common buzzwords divide the industry into two areas of focus:
B2B represents business to business transactions and B2C represents business to consumer transactions. B2B e-commerce projections for 2003 range from $1.2 trillion to $10 trillion. B2B encompasses e-commerce, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and supply chain management, to name a few. Large corporations such as GE and Citicorp are developing their own e-commerce/procurement business sites to bring all the players together in a particular sector. Using aerospace as an example, Boeing, Lockheed, Loral Inc., would be able to buy and sell equipment, recruit engineers, auction older airplanes, find the optimal leasing/financing option, and perform many other business functions all on one site. This process would be more cost-effective and ultimately increase communication.

B2C e-commerce projections for 2001 surpass $17.8 billion. B2C web sites complement traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. Kmart is an example of a traditional store that has an e-commerce web site to complement itself. Amazon.com has branded itself as a stand-alone e-commerce, with no affiliation with a traditional store. Today, entrepreneurs have the ability to start B2C sites with very little upstart cost. With a product niche and strong business plan, one can layout the concept of a web site, get it professionally designed, and ultimately launch an online business. Online marketing is also extremely helpful, but must be incorporated successfully into the scheme of the business.

Finding your way in the EC world
With the dot-com explosion has come a new breed of job titles encompassing both worlds, B2B and B2C. It still stands to reason that there are two paths offered: business and technical positions. On the business side, employees tend to work in the following arenas: Business Development, Account/Client Development, Consulting Services, Sales, Marketing, Online Marketing, and Public Relations. Executive management titles include Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Technical Officer.

The most common technical and creative titles include Webmaster, Applications Programmer, Content Developer, Engineer, Designer, Project Manager, System Admin, Database Development, QA, Network Support, Graphic Designer, Art Producer, Video Editor, and Sound Editor, among others.

Succeeding in Business Development
First of all, you need to start with a great product. It’s hard to sell or develop new business relationships if the product cannot sell itself. You should be the instrument to market it and bring it into the limelight. It’s your job to educate a client on the benefits of your product. Become familiar with the product to the point of being able to talk about it in your sleep. When giving a product presentation, the information should be second nature to you.
Learn every facet of the business and get to know the key players within your own organization. Treat your upper management as your favorite client. Be mentally prepared with your product knowledge and listen to your clients. Your sincerity – or lack thereof – will definitely shine through any phone call, presentation, or meeting. Research and understand your target audience before meeting with the decision-making executives. Preparation is extremely important, as it may make or break the deal.

If you do not have answers to clients’ questions, tell them that you will look into the matter and call them back. Never let them know that you are not prepared with the right answers. They may start to question your ability or even the strength of the product. Remember, your client is a lifelong friend. Nurture each business relationship as it will lead to referrals and help increase your business. Communicating with clients on a scheduled basis prevents problems from arising. The worst feeling is having done business with clients, only to lose site of their progress. Keep a calendar of your clients’ special events and stay in touch.

Historical Development of Electronic Commerce

The meaning of the term “electronic commerce” has changed over time. Originally, “electronic commerce” meant the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, usually using technology like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI, introduced in the late 1970s) to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically.

Later it came to include activities more precisely termed “Web commerce” — the purchase of goods and services over the World Wide Web via secure servers (note HTTPS, a special server protocol which encrypts confidential ordering data for customer protection) with e-shopping carts and with electronic pay services, like credit card payment authorizations.

When the Web first became well-known among the general public in 1994, many journalists and pundits forecast that e-commerce would soon become a major economic sector. However, it took about four years for security protocols (like HTTPS) to become sufficiently developed and widely deployed (during the browser wars of this period). Subsequently, between 1998 and 2000, a substantial number of businesses in the United States and Western Europe developed rudimentary Web sites.

Although a large number of “pure e-commerce” companies disappeared during the dot-com collapse in 2000 and 2001, many “brick-and-mortar” retailers recognized that such companies had identified valuable niche markets and began to add e-commerce capabilities to their Web sites. For example, after the collapse of online grocer Webvan, two traditional supermarket chains, Albertsons and Safeway, both started e-commerce subsidiaries through which consumers could order groceries online.

As of 2005, e-commerce has become well-established in major cities across much of North America, Western Europe, and certain East Asian countries like South Korea. However, e-commerce is still emerging slowly in some industrialized countries, and is practically nonexistent in many Third World countries.

Electronic commerce has unlimited potential for both developed and developing nations, offering lucrative profits in a highly unregulated environment.