WHAT IS ELECTRONIC COMMERCE?
The advance and growth in IT & internet have enabled revolutionary vast changes in the way businesses and people trade. Trading in its simplest definition is all about communication. The spread of computers worldwide and the usage of information technology have played a major role in facilitating and enhancing the communication between traders therefore gave the ignition for E-commerce to come to light.
Electronic commerce (e-commerce) has many definitions found in several publications; the definition is in some way arbitrary. According to different publications:
"Electronic Commerce (EC) is where business transactions take place via telecommunications networks, especially the Internet." 1 "Electronic commerce describes the buying and selling of products, services, and information via computer networks including the Internet." 2
The first forms of Electronic commerce was in the 1960s/70s when banks introduced Electronic Funds (EFT) to exchange information within the industry in a secure matter. Later on, by the 1970s to 1980s Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) was found which business used for data transmition between companies. And by the 1990s, the World Wide Web helped ecommerce flourish by providing easy to use technology for information publishing and reach.
TYPES OF E-COMMERCE
There are many ways to categorize and identify the types of E-commerce. One of the ways of representing the different and various models is by distinguishing and by identifying the participants directly involved within the transaction. Those are divided into different schemas: -
Business to business ecommerce represents the largest form of Ecommerce. This type of E-commerce model defines that Buyer and seller are two different entities. A valid example of that is a manufacturer issuing goods to a wholesaler or to the retailer.
This e-commerce model is where businesses offer the government agencies products, services or information. An example of this form of e-commerce is when businesses offers services for the purchasing needs of a government agency.
This ecommerce model basically represents direct selling or trade of a product, service or information between a company and customers through the internet in a retailing manner. E.g. Amazon.com
This is the ecommerce model where there is an exchange between customers and business entities wither it was information, a product or a services. In this model, the customers is offering the business the service.
Consumer-to-Consumer (C-to-C) This e-commerce model is basically customers directly interacting with each other. In this model, they exchange information such as: They share expert knowledge where one person asks a question about anything and gets a reply from an expert within the community of this knowledge area. They can also exchange or swap goods e.g. ebay.com and also opinions about companies and products.
Government-to-Business (G-to-B) This e-commerce model represents the relationship between Governments and business entities. In this model, Government sites enable exchange in-between government and the business entities to exchange services, products and information.
Examples of governmental – business ecommerce:
The government can offer a database of regulations, policies and laws for the industry the business is competing in. •
The government can offer an online service for the business to apply and submit official forms. •
The government can offer an online service to the business for online payment facilities....
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