In today’s’ scenario, e-commerce is expanding in all over the world at a high rate with the help of internet. People are becoming more computer savvy and finding it comfortable to deal with online transactions in their day to day life. E-commerce statistics confirm the explosive pace at which this industry has developed as worldwide. B2C e-commerce sales amounted to more than 1.2 trillion US dollars in 2013.
The beginnings of e-commerce can be traced to the 1960s, when businesses started using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to share business documents with other companies and its use has increased at a rapid rate. Today, the majority of companies have an online presence. In fact, having the ability to conduct business through the Internet has become a necessity. Everything from food and clothes to entertainment and furniture can be purchased online.
E-Commerce is the latest trend in days and (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily on the internet. These business transactions take place either as business-to-business (B2B), Business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer (C2C) or consumer-to-business (C2B). The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to transactional processes for online shopping.
IMPORTANCE OF E-COMMERCE
E-commerce is now one of the hottest trends in business. Some important points of E-Commerce are mentioned below:
- Influences Purchase Decisions
- E-commerce Taps into Social Media
- E-commerce Is Convenient
- E-commerce Can Broaden Your Brand
- E-commerce Offers a Personalised Experience
So, in-order to attain the maximum gain from E-commerce you should have the knowledge about E-commerce, its importance and how it can increase your business.
E-commerce is conducted using a variety of applications, some of them are as follows:
When messages distributed by electronic means from one computer user to one or more recipients via a network, it is known as E-mail (electronic mail).
- Online catalogs
Online catalogs and shopping carts are also one of the important e-commerce applications. An e-commerce catalog is commonly defined as any online catalog that showcases the products or services of a company that operates primarily online.
- EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)
It is an electronic communication method that provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic means.
- File Transfer Protocol
It is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a computer network. FTP is built on client-server model architecture and uses separate control and data connections between the client and the server.
- Web services
Any piece of software that makes itself available over the internet and uses a standardised XML messaging system. XML is used to encode all communications to a web service.
Types of E-commerce
E-commerce businesses may employ some or all of the following:
- Business to Business (B2B): In this type of E-commerce business, companies sell products or services to other companies over the Internet.
For Example, Company Vanhostit sell websites, and hosting services to other businesses.
- Business to Consumer (B2C): In this type of E-commerce business, companies sell products or services directly to consumers over the Internet.
For example, an individual can purchase a pair of sneakers through Nike’s website.
- Consumer To Business (C2B): This type of E-commerce, involves practices where consumers sell products or services to the businesses.
For Example, Paid online survey, where you have given your opinion about a product or service of a company.
- Consumer To Consumer (C2C): This type of E-commerce, consumers sell products to other consumers.
For example, with the help of Quikr or OLX; one consumer can sell something that he or she no longer needs or wants to.
Online shopping web sites for retail sales direct to consumers, Providing or participating in online marketplaces, which process third-party business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer sales, Gathering and using demographic data through web contacts and social media, Business-to-business (B2B) electronic data interchange, Marketing to prospective and established customers by e-mail or fax (for example, with newsletters),Engaging in pretail for launching new products are some other examples of E-commerce Business often used for E-Commerce.
Seven Unique features of E-commerce
- Ubiquity– E-commerce is ubiquitous meaning that it can be everywhere and don’t need a physical place like traditional business.
- Global Reach– It allows business transactions on the cross country bound can be more convenient and more effective as compared with the traditional commerce
- Universal Standards– E-commerce technologies is an unusual feature, is the technical standard of the Internet, so to carry out the technical standard of e-commerce is shared by all countries around the world standard.
- Richness- Advertising and branding are an important part of commerce. E-commerce can deliver video, audio, animation, billboards, signs and etc. However, it’s about as rich as television technology.
- Interactivity– It poses interactive feature and allow for two-way communication between businesses and consumers.
- Information Density– The E-commerce technology reduces the information collection, storage, communication and processing cost. At the same time, accuracy and timeliness of the information technology increases greatly, information is more useful, more important than ever.
- Personalization– E-commerce allows for personalization. Business can be adjusted for a name, a person’s interests and past purchase message objects and marketing message to a specific individual. The technology also allows for custom. Merchants can change the product or service based on user preferences, or previous behaviour.
All these features of E-commerce make it a preferential place for business and online buying or selling of product and services as it provide a variety of features to its users.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF E-COMMERCE
The invention of faster internet connectivity and powerful online tools has resulted in a new commerce arena ; E-commerce. E-commerce offered many advantages to companies and customers but it also caused many problems.
Advantages of Ecommerce
- Faster buying/selling procedure, as well as easy to find products.
- Buying/selling 24/7.
- More reach to customers, there is no theoretical geographic limitations.
- Low operational costs and better quality of services.
- No need of physical company set-ups.
- Easy to start and manage a business.
- Customers can easily select products from different providers without moving around physically.
Disadvantages of Ecommerce
- Any one, good or bad, can easily start a business. And there are many bad sites which eat up customers’ money.
- There is no guarantee of product quality.
- Mechanical failures can cause unpredictable effects on the total processes.
- As there is minimum chance of direct customer to company interactions, customer loyalty is always on a check.
- There are many hackers who look for opportunities, and thus an ecommerce site, service, payment gateways, all are always prone to attack.
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