E-commerce is the use of the internet and the web to transact business. More formally, digitally enabled commercial transactions between and among organization and individuals is e-commerce. E-commerce is more than just buying, selling products online. It encompasses the entire online process of developing , marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for goods or services transacted on internet worked, global marketplace of customers with the support of a worldwide network of business partners.
Basic categories of electronic commerce applications:
• Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-Commerce
In this form of electronic commerce, businesses must develop attractive electronic marketplaces to entice and sell products and services to customers. Companies may offer:
1. e-commerce websites that provide virtual storefronts and multimedia catalogs.
2. Interactive order processing
3. Secure electronic payment systems
4. Online customer support
Amazon.com is an example of B2C e-commerce site
• Business-to-Business (B2B) e-Commerce:
This category of electronic commerce involves both electronic business marketplaces and direct market links between businesses. Companies may offer:
1. Secure Internet or extranet e-commerce websites for their business customers and suppliers.
2. Electronic data interchange (EDI) via the Internet or extranets for computer-to-computer exchange of e-commerce documents with their larger business customers and suppliers.
3. B2B e-commerce portals that provide auction and exchange markets for businesses. esteel.com is an example of B2B e-commerece
• Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) e-Commerce:
C2C e-commerce provides a way for consumers to sell and buy to each other. In C2C e-commerce the consumer prepares the product for market, place the product for auction or sale and relies on the market maker to provide catalog, search engine and transaction clearing capabilities so that product can be easily displayed, discovered and paid for. Successes of online auctions like e-Bay allow consumers (and businesses) to buy and sell with each other in an auction process at an auction website.
• P2P: peer to peer technology enables internet users to share files and computer resources directly without having go through a central web server.Napster.com which was established to aid internet users in finding and sharing online music files known as MP3 files is an example of Peer to Peer e-commerce.
• M-Commerce: Mobile commerce refers to the use of wireless digital devices to enable transaction on the web.