Introduction to e-commerce
To understand the complexity of e-commerce and its many facets.
To explore how e-business and e-commerce ﬁt together.
To identify the impact of e-commerce.
To recognise the beneﬁts and limitations of e-commerce.
To use classiﬁcation frameworks for analysing e-commerce.
To identify the main barriers to the growth and development of e-commerce in organisations. WHAT IS ELECTRONIC COMMERCE?
Even today, some considerable time after the so called ‘dot com/Internet revolution’, electronic commerce (e-commerce) remains a relatively new, emerging and constantly changing area of business management and information technology. There has been and continues to be much publicity and discussion about e-commerce. Library catalogues and shelves are ﬁlled with books and articles on the subject. However, there remains a sense of confusion, suspicion and misunderstanding surrounding the area, which has been exacerbated by the different contexts in which electronic commerce is used, coupled with the myriad related buzzwords and acronyms. This book aims to consolidate the major themes that have arisen from the new area of electronic commerce and to provide an understanding of its application and importance to management.
In order to understand electronic commerce it is important to identify the different terms that are used, and to assess their origin and usage.
According to the editor-in-chief of International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Vladimir Zwass, ‘Electronic commerce is sharing business information, maintaining business relationships and conducting business transactions by means of telecommunications networks’.1 He maintains that in its purest form, electronic commerce has existed for over 40 years, originating from the electronic transmission of messages during the Berlin airlift in 1948.2 From this, electronic data interchange (EDI)
References: com/business/mis/zwass/ecpaper.html (accessed May 2001). 4 www.whatis.com/ecommerce (accessed September 2000). 7 www.ibm.com/e-business (accessed September 2000). September 2001). September 2001). 11 The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Vol. I, p. 376. Book Club Associates, 1983. 12 The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Vol. I, p. 256. Book Club Associates, 1983. 13 ‘Crisis continues as fuel blockades lift Thursday’, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/ english/uk/newsid_924000/924478.stm (accessed 14 September, 2000). 14 R. Kalakota and A.B. Whinston, Frontiers of Electronic Commerce, AddisonWesley, 1996. 15 DTI Report – Government’s Expenditure Plans for 2001–2002 (March 2001): http:// www.dti.gov.uk/expenditureplan/expenditure2001 (accessed December 16 DTI Report – Government’s Expenditure Plans for 2001–2002 (March 2001), Chapter 1 – ‘Delivering Better Public Services’ (Figure 1.2): http://www. dti.gov.uk/expenditureplan/expenditure2001/intro_chap1/chap1/section3.htm (accessed December 2001). Choi et al., The Economics of Electronic Commerce. Macmillan Technical Publications, 1997, p ‘A study of on-line retailing 2000 – Forrester Research’: www.forrester.com (accessed March 2000). net/research/barriers-inhibitors/2000/Barriers2000study.html (accessed December 2001)