Electronic commerce or e-commerce is the ability to perform transactions involving the exchange of goods or services between two or more parties using electronic tools and technique. The explosion of E-commerce has created new phenomena in our lifestyle especially in shopping activities. Consumers can easily buy products or services like magazines and airlines tickets via Internet.
Electronic commerce, like any other business, deals with the exchange of money for soft or hard goods and services.
E-commerce has different perspectives which are
- Communication Perspective According to this perspective, E-commerce is the delivery of information, product/services or payments over tele-communication channels, computer networks or any other electronic mode of communication.
- Business Process Perspective: This says that E-commerce is the application of technology towards the automation of business transactions and work flow.
- Service Perspective: E-commerce is defines as a tool that addresses the desire of firms, consumers and management to cut service cost while improving the quality of goods/services and increasing the speed of service delivery.
- Online Perspective: E-commerce provides the capability of buying and selling products and information on the internet and other online services.
E-commerce is the new, profitable way to conduct business which goes beyond the simple movement of information and expands electronic transactions from point-of-sale requirements, determination and production scheduling, right through to invoicing, payment and receipt. E-commerce uses key standards and technologies including Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Technical Data Interchange (TDI), Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML), Extensible Mark-up Language (XML), and the Standard for Exchange of Product model data (STEP). E-commerce is made possible through the expanded technologies of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and Value-Added Networks.