E - Commerce

Essay by bodrov March 2005

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1. What is E-Commerce?

There exists no exact definition of e-commerce. Generally it is described as any kind of business transaction where information is exchanged electronically.

To some people it means shopping at a website and buying products online, to other people it means just designing a web page in a way to increase the customers' interest. It does not necessarily describe a process of ordering and paying online.

Electronic trading, in which a supplier provides goods or services to a customer in return for payment is just one special case of electronic commerce.

Other equally valid examples include internal transactions within a single company

or provision of information to an external organisation without any charge.

E-commerce is concerned with attracting new customers and therefore it involves advertising, public relations and collecting information for and about customers.

It's not enough to get an online order for a product, it's also necessary to have this product and to deliver it to the customer.

So e-commerce includes, besides of interacting with customers electronically, all the things a "normal" business would also need.

Categories of E-Commerce

There are 3 categories of e-commerce:

- business-to-business (B2B)

- business-to-consumer (B2C)

- business-to-administration

- consumer-to-administration

An example in the business-to-business category would be a company that

uses an electronic way for ordering from its suppliers, receiving invoices and

making payments.

The business-to-consumer category means selling things to consumers via Internet. It is the most well-known form of e-commerce.

The business-to-administration category covers all transactions between companies and government organisations.

The same category exists for consumers and administration, though it is rather seldom.

As the B2C category is the most popular one, we will talk about it.

Advantages of E-Commerce

The following list describes of what may be the main advantages of e-commerce:

- lower transaction...