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The cutting edge for business today is electronic commerce (e-commerce).Broadly, defined, electronic commerce is a modern business methodology that addresses the needs of organizations, merchants, and consumers to cut costs' while improving the quality of goods and services and increasing the speed of service delivery. The term also applies to the use of computer networks to search and retrieve information in support of human and corporate decision making.
For a common man e-Commerce is known as buying and selling of products (business transactions) and service over Internet. However, it is more than just handling purchase transactions and transfer of funds over Internet. Despite electronic commerce fast roots in transactions between large companies, use of Internet in banks and other financial institutions given way to bring electronic commerce ...
... to the individual consumer, there by increase in the online commercial transactions. Fast developing electronic media opens door for business of all sizes. Smaller companies too can conduct business online, with lower cost. This is achieved either by replacing other networks or by using Internet as another communication medium and converting business data into digital and incorporating it with business parties.
The meaning of electronic commerce has changed over the last 30 years. Originally, electronic commerce meant the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).
.A large percentage of electronic commerce is conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content on a website, but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. Almost all big retailers have electronic commerce presence on the World Wide Web.
Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce.
On the consumer level, electronic commerce is mostly conducted on the World Wide Web. An individual can go online to purchase anything from books or groceries, to expensive items like real estate. Another example would be online banking, i.e. online bill payments, buying stocks, transferring funds from one account to another, and initiating wire payment to another country. All of these activities can be done with a few strokes of the keyboard.
On the institutional level, big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce today.
The effects of e-commerce are already appearing in all areas of business, from customer service to new product design. It facilitates new types of inforÂ¬mation-based business processes for reaching and interacting with
cusÂ¬tomers-on-line advertising and marketing, on-line order taking, and on-line customer service, to name a few. It can also reduce costs in managing orders and interacting with a wide range of suppliers and trading partners, areas that typically add significant overhead to the cost of products and services. Finally, e-commerce enables the formation of new types of information-based products such as interactive games, electronic books, and information onÂ¬ demand that can be very profitable for content providers and useful for conÂ¬sumers. In sum, companies believe that e-commerce can result in improved efficiency in finding and interacting with customers, in communicating with trading partners, and in developing new products and markets.
Although no one knows what applications of electronic commerce will be successful in the long run, the potential payback for those who hold the winning numbers is a powerful driving force behind the development of the infrastructure and the convergence of numerous industries.
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