You engage in electronic commerce when you purchase a product or service from a vendor's website instead of from a physical,brick-and-mortar store. There are two primary types of e-commerce -- B2B and B2C. You are engaging in B2B, or business-to-business e-commerce when you buy products or services for your own business. B2C, or business-to-customer, is far more common; it occurs when you buy products online for yourself. Additionally, there are two types of online stores. These are "Pure Click" and "Brick and Click." The first denotes an online operation that has no physical store, and the second refers to an online operation that has at least one physical store. The Process
When you do business over the Internet, you put a complex chain of events into motion. First, you land on the vendor's website and are presented with its catalog of items. You read descriptions and compare prices. When you find the item you want, you click a button to signify that you would like to purchase it. In the background, software that the vendor has installed to its site keeps a running tally of all the items that you select. This is known as "shopping cart" software. When you have finished shopping, you click the "Check Out" button. The site redirects you to a page where the shopping cart software presents you with your grand total. You then enter your name, address, birth date and credit or debit card number to complete the transaction. Payment Methods
Typically, you must use either a credit or debit card to purchase items online. There are exceptions to this. There are sites that will accept checks, money orders or electronic wallets, such as PayPal. When you pay with a credit or debit card, note that the information you provide must match the information that the issuing bank has on file. If it does not, the bank will not approve the transaction. This safeguard exists to prevent unauthorized use of your cards.
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