Topics: Electronic commerce, Marketing, Business-to-business Pages: 10 (3139 words) Published: January 18, 2014
Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction's life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices, social media, and telephones as well. Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions. This is an effective and efficient way of communicating within an organization and one of the most effective and useful ways of conducting business.

In traditional commerce, a marketplace is a physical place you visit in order to transact. For example, television and radio typically motivate the consumer to go some- place to make a purchase. E-commerce, in contrast, is characterized by its ubiquity: it is available just about everywhere, at all times. It liberates the market from being restricted to a physical space and makes it possible to shop from your desktop, at home, at work, or even from your car, using mobile commerce. The result is called a market- space—a marketplace extended beyond traditional boundaries and removed from a temporal and geographic location. From a consumer point of view, ubiquity reduces transaction costs—the costs of participating in a market. To transact, it is no longer necessary that you spend time and money traveling to a market. At a broader level, the ubiquity of e-commerce lowers the cognitive energy required to transact in a market- space. Cognitive energy refers to the mental effort required to complete a task. Humans generally seek to reduce cognitive energy outlays. When given a choice, humans will choose the path requiring the least effort—the most convenient path .

Global Reach
E-commerce technology permits commercial transactions to cross cultural and national boundaries far more conveniently and cost-effectively than is true in traditional commerce. As a result, the potential market size for e-commerce merchants is roughly equal to the size of the world’s online population (over 2.4 billion in 2012). In contrast, most traditional commerce is local or regional—it involves local merchants or national merchants with local outlets. Television and radio stations, and newspapers, for instance, are primarily local and regional institutions with limited but powerful national networks that can attract a national audience. In contrast to e-commerce technology, these older commerce technologies do not easily cross national boundaries to a global audience. Universal Standards

One unusual feature of e-commerce technologies is that the technical standards of the Internet, and therefore the technical standards for conducting e-commerce, are universal standards—they are shared by all nations around the world. In contrast, most traditional commerce technologies differ from one nation to the next. For instance, television and radio standards differ around the world, as does cell telephone technology. The universal technical standards of the Internet and e-commerce greatly lower market entry costs—the cost merchants must pay just to bring their goods to market. At the same time, for consumers, universal standards reduce search costs—the effort required to find suitable products. And by creating a single, one-world market space, where prices and product descriptions can be inexpensively displayed for all to see, price discovery becomes simpler, faster, and more accurate . How so? Consider the cost of bring goods to a market

Consider the cost of setting up a virtual, web-based store, vs. a real brick-mortar store?

Information richness refers to the complexity and content of a message....
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