How E-commerce capabilities have affected international business

Essay by regis2005University, Master'sA+, May 2006

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Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, is a very broad term. E-commerce conducted between businesses differs from that carried out between a business and its consumers. For business-to-consumer e-commerce, the Web has become the dominant pipeline. E-commerce is not just about buying and selling things over the Internet but also the electronic exchange of business data between two or more organizations' computer systems. E-commerce includes buying and selling any item over the Internet, electronic fund transfer, smart cards, and all other methods of conducting business over digital networks. A good example is The company offers lots of books and merchandise for sale on its Web site. Consumers find what they like, type in their credit card number and unpack the books or merchandise a few days later. Their website even makes recommendations based on items similar to what other consumers had purchased and spending patterns. Conducting individual stock trades, moving money from checking to savings or tracking an overnight package delivery via the Internet are other examples.

Business-to-business e-commerce takes many forms, some of which have been around for years. Electronic data interchange (EDI) is a format for exchanging business information over private networks. It was created to automate and speed the exchange of information between companies that regularly did business together. EDI is still used, and there are many other mechanisms for business interaction, such as electronic catalogs and electronic payment systems. The Web plays an expanding role just as it does in consumer e-commerce.

Increasing competition worldwide, increasing demands made by customers, and the rapid pace of change in technology are forcing companies to review the way they do business, the kinds of products and services they offer, and the speed with which they release products to market. Today, most companies have worked to expand and improve their process...