Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ecommerce Defined

by: Jimmy Mayon

In its simplest terms, Ecommerce or E-commerce or eCommerce – how ever which way the word shows up, is an interchange of goods or commodities (products or services) that is very similar to any kind of commerce that exists. It differs from the other types of commerce such as foreign commerce and domestic commerce on only two attributes. One, ecommerce can be both accomplished on foreign and domestic scales; and two, it accommodates every kind of trader, from those trading in small, medium and large scale businesses, to those in micro businesses.

Foreign and domestic commerce both happens on a large scale basis. Foreign commerce is between different countries, while domestic commerce happens with business entities between different parts of the same country.

Ecommerce is a fusion of the words “electronic” and “commerce.” This basically means that all transactions happen over the electronic systems like the Internet or other computer networks - a good example of which is stock brokering, where most of the transactions from bidding to selling can happen via computer links inside and outside the stock markets.

The word “ecommerce” has existed way before the Internet, busting the idea that this type of commerce existed only on the onset of the World Wide Web. The fact is that the original ecommerce or electronically charged commerce was first introduced on the onset of commercial billings over the phone lines and the automation of teller machines. Therefore, any form of business transaction that happened using the wires – phone lines, telegraph line, machine based transactions, etc. – were once considered ecommerce. Even when the Internet became accessible to the public, the term “ecommerce” was not immediately associated with it. That is, not until the development of HTML processes where business transactions became viable as a form of trade.

Trading over the Internet has grown dramatically over these last few years, especially since there have been innovations when it comes to the different aspects of transactions. Advancements have been made in the field of automated data collection systems, automated inventory management systems, electronic data interchange (EDI,) electronic funds transfer, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, and supply chain management. Although almost all modern electronic commerce now uses the Internet as a vantage point of all transactions, other technologies are also put to use, such as e-mail marketing or “virtual” marketing.

This sudden boom in ecommerce has apparently given the global vocabulary two new words that are now coming into active play. These are references to online retailers (e-tailers / etailers / Etailers / E-tailers) and online retail (e-tail / etail / Etail / E-tail.) Therefore, ecommerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of any e-business / ebusiness / Ebusiness / E-business.

There are many forms of ecommerce in the contemporary world, everything from ordering “digital” content for immediate online consumption, to downloading postal stamps for printing, to ordering conventional goods and services for home delivery, to “meta” services to facilitate other types of ecommerce. In some cases, ecommerce companies tend to survive because they offer services not usually associated with many other businesses not web-based. These services are often customer related (people based services) and / or those that offer technical assistance.

With some ecommerce companies, however, organizational assistance to individual companies is being offered. These services include the completion of network infrastructure, post sales services, staging a competent management team, staging a well-organized business structure, staging a well designed but secured website.

Staging a well designed and secured website is know generally known as web development.

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