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E-commerce Fundamentals  «Prev  Next»
Lesson 2What is e-commerce?
ObjectiveDefine e-commerce.

Define e-commerce

Commerce is the exchange of goods (products) and services, usually but not exclusively for money. E-Commerce, short for electronic commerce, is simply commerce that is transacted over electronic media.

Web business processes

Electronic media infers all kinds of media including television, radio, fax, and email; but increasingly, e-commerce has come to mean commerce transacted on the Web.
A "transaction" typically involves three basic business processes, including:
  1. Supplying potential customers with the information they need to understand the features and benefits of products and services, as well as disclosing terms for payment and servicing, and sometimes techniques to negotiate the terms.
  2. Providing customers the means to actually purchase and deliver the products and/or services, which includes all the related services to the purchase, including invoice copies, payment histories, and shipment tracking.
  3. Giving customers the ability to obtain support for products and services they have purchased.

History of e-commerce

Before delving into the basic business models of e-commerce, here is a quick history of e-commerce .

The term electronic commerce came into widespread use after was developed in 1993 and freely distributed around the world. Drawn by the ease of use of the browser, millions of home consumers, businesses, and educators connected to the Internet, creating the conditions for Internet-based commerce. Businesses flocked to the Internet, attracted by the ease of setting up electronic storefronts and the potential access to a global market of Internet subscribers. Sales of goods and services to consumers, often referred to as (B2C) business-to-consumer e-commerce have grown steadily each year, despite the failure in 2000 and 2001 of so many new Internet businesses (known as dot-coms because of the domain name in their Internet address). Even more dramatic has been the extent to which businesses have adopted the Internet for supporting exchanges with other firms, such as suppliers and business customers. This is generally called business-tobusiness (B2B) e-commerce. Because of this rapid growth, e-commerce has become an important subject of study in its own right, and many schools now offer courses and degree programs focusing on it.

ecommerce history
In the next lesson, how e-commerce influences and changes the dynamics of business will be discussed.