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Table of Contents

I. E-Commerce: An Introduction

II. History of E-Commerce

III. Economic Impact

IV. Advantages of E-Commerce

V. Disadvantages of E-Commerce

VI. The Future of E-Commerce

E-Commerce ¡V An Introduction

With the astonishing growth of the Internet, many companies are finding new and exciting ways to expand upon their business opportunities. There are very few successful companies that do not use computers in their everyday business activities, which also means there are few companies that do not use e-commerce. To emphasise the point that the effect of the Internet is so widespread in today¡¦s business communities, one online article stated that more than 100000 companies have Internet addresses, and 20000 companies have home pages on the Internet as of February 1999. (DataQuest, 1999). These numbers have more than tripled since 1995, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. But what exactly is e-commerce? To most casual Internet surfers, e-commerce means online shopping ¡V ¡§workaholics pointing their web browser to

to order an emergency present because they forgot someone¡¦s birthday again.¡¨ (Weiss, 1999) As we will soon find out, this is far from the case.

Simply put, e-commerce is the exchange of business information between two or more organizations. An example of this would be buying and selling products or services over the Internet. E-commerce became very popular soon after it proved to be an efficient means to conduct long distance transactions. The purpose of this report is to discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce, as well as examining its potential for the future of business.

Electronic commerce, or e-commerce has developed very rapidly in the last few years and has left some people wondering what it is all about. "Most people think e-commerce is just about buying and selling things over the Internet."...