E-commerce, in the popular sense, can be defined as: the use of the Internet and the Web to conduct business transactions. A more technical definition would be: e-commerce involves digitally enabled commercial transactions between and among organizations and individuals. Ecommerce differs from e-business in that no commercial transaction, an exchange of value across organizational or individual boundaries, takes place in
e-business. E-business is the digital enablement of transactions and processes within a firm and therefore does not include any exchange in value. E-commerce and e-business intersect at the business firm boundary at the point where internal business systems link up with suppliers. For instance, e-business turns into e-commerce when an exchange of value occurs across firm boundaries.
The unique features of e-commerce technology include:
• Ubiquity: It is available just about everywhere and at all times. • Global Reach: the potential market size is roughly equal to the size of the online population of the world.
• Universal standards: The technical standards of the Internet, and therefore of conducting e-ommerce, are shared by all of the nations in the world. • Richness: Information that is complex and content rich can be delivered without sacrificing reach.
• Interactivity: E-commerce technologies allow two-way communication between the merchant and the consumer.
• Information density: The total amount and quality of information available to all market participants is vastly increased and is cheaper to deliver. • Personalization/Customization: E-commerce technologies enable merchants to target their marketing messages to a person’s name, interests, and past purchases. They allow a merchant to change the product or service to suit the purchasing behavior and preferences of a consumer.
• Social technology: User content generation and social networking technologies The three stages in the evolution of e-commerce are innovation,...
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