What is Electronic Commerce?
"E-commerce has the potential to unleash enormous savings and business efficiencies, but the practicalities remain elusive. How will e-commerce change the global planning and purchasing of transport and logistics in the supply chain? Logistics has been described as the key enabler for e-business - but how can individual logistics and transport companies ensure that they benefit from, rather than perish in, the e-commerce revolution?" Alan Waller, partner, PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPERS, EMEA.
Electronic Commerce (e-commerce) is electronic business. It's using the power of computers, the Internet and shared software to send and receive product specifications and drawings; bids, purchase orders and invoices; and any other type of data that needs to be communicated to customers, suppliers, employees or the public.
E-commerce is the new, profitable way to conduct business which goes beyond the simple movement of information and expands electronic transactions from point-of-sale requirements, determination and production scheduling, right through to invoicing, payment and receipt.
E-commerce uses key standards and technologies including Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Technical Data Interchange (TDI), Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML), eXtensible Mark-up Language (XML), and the Standard for Exchange of Product model data (STEP).
E-commerce is made possible through the expanded technologies of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and Value-Added Networks.
The Internet is a world wide collection of computer networks, co-operating with each other to exchange data using a common software standard. Through telephone wires and satellite links, Internet users can share information in a variety of forms. The size, scope and design of the Internet allows users to connect easily through ordinary personal computers and local phone numbers, exchange electronic mail (E-mail) with friends and colleagues with accounts on the Internet, post information for others to access, and update it frequently, access multimedia information that includes sound, photographic images...