E-commerce’s E stand for Electronic . E-commerce is the online transaction of business as well as term for any type of business, or commercial transaction, which involves the transfer of information across the Internet. It covers a range of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction or music sites, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations.
It is currently one of the most important aspects of the Internet to emerge.Ecommerce involves multiple transactions or the transfer of payment information across a secure Internet connection in exchange for goods and services.
Commercial ecommerce represents trade, commercialism, mercantilism and all other business transactions for business, personal or commercial activities that has the sole objective of supplying commodities via an online storefront.
E-commerce is about setting your business on the Internet, allowing visitors to access your website, and go through a virtual catalog of your products / services online. When a visitor wants to buy something he/she likes, they merely, “add” it to their virtual shopping basket. Items in the virtual shopping basket can be added or deleted, and when you’re all set to checkout…you head to the virtual checkout counter, which has your complete total, and will ask you for your name, address etc. and method of payment (usually via credit card).
Once you have entered all this information (which by the way is being transmitted securely) you can then just wait for delivery. Its that simple. According to a CNN Opinion Poll, 62% of respondents who were surveyed said they plan to shop online during the Christmas season. Newsweek devoted its front page story to “shopping.com” in its December 7, 1998 issue (Asian Edition). The title was “Why Online Stores are the Best Thing since Santa Claus”.
E-commerce can be divided into:
a) E-tailing or “virtual storefronts” on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a “virtual mall”
b) The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts
c) Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data
d) E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
e) Business-to-business buying and selling (B2B)
E-tailing or The Virtual Storefronts and the Virtual Mall :
It is a place for direct retail shopping, with its 24-hour availability, a global reach, the ability to interact and provide complete information and ordering, and multimedia prospects, the Web is becoming a multibillion dollar source of revenue for the global businesses. A number of businesses already report considerable success. As early as the middle of 1997, Dell Computers reported orders of a million dollars a day. By early 1999, projected E-commerce revenues for business were in the billions of dollars and the stocks of companies deemed most adopt at E-commerce were skyrocketing. Although many so-called dotcom retailers disappeared in the economic shakeout of 2000, Web retailing at sites such as Amazon.com, CDNow.com, and CompudataOnline.com continues to grow.
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) :
EDI is the exchange of business data using an understood data format. EDI involves data exchange among parties that know each other well and make arrangements for one-to-one (or point-to-point) connection, usually dial-up. EDI is expected to be replaced by one or more standard XML formats, such as ebXML.
E-Mail,and Fax :
E-commerce is also conducted through the more limited electronic forms of communication called e-mail, facsimile or fax, and the emerging use of telephone calls over the Internet. Most of this is business-to-business, with some companies attempting to use e-mail and fax for unsolicited ads to consumers and other business prospects. An increasing number of business Web sites offer e-mail newsletters for subscribers. A new trend is opt-in e-mail in which Web users voluntarily sign up to receive e-mail, usually sponsored or containing ads, about product categories or other subjects they are interested in.
Business-to-Business Buying and Selling :
Most of companies that sell products to other companies have discovered that the Web provides not only a 24-hour-a-day showcase for their products but a quick way to reach the right people in a company for more information.