The process of buying and selling of products or services online is termed as Electronic commerce commonly known as E-Commerce. Developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying everything can be under this process. Because of the extensive usage of internet now days the quantity of trade that is done online has increased. Commerce is used in electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, inventory management systems and automated data collection. World Wide Web is the major tool and is used at least once in the transaction and e-mail, mobile devices and telephones are also widely used.
Most of the e-commerce is done in virtual form but also does transportation of physical products. E-tailers are online retailers and e-tail is retail and World Wide Web consists of almost all big retailers. There are different kinds of e-commerce. E-Commerce between two businesses is called Business to Business or B2B which can be either open to all or for specific qualifiers. The e-commerce between businesses and consumers is termed as Business to consumer or B2C. Here the buyer is directly in contact with the business like online shopping. There is no presence of intermediary service in most of the cases. E-commerce involves the sales and the transfer of data to enable the financial transactions of businesses.
Some applications where e-commerce is used are Document automation, domestic and international payment systems, group buying, instant messaging, enterprise content management, teleconferencing, electronic tickets, etc. Data integrity and security are burning issues in electronic commerce.
As the usage of internet has increased drastically the business models also changed to the same extent with the help of e-commerce and are not confined to a certain country. This has increased the competition for advertising industry to grab the interests of the customers. If we take the developing countries china is the fastest growing economy in this field. They have made the consumers comfortable shopping online. E-commerce has emerged as a vital tool to hold the customers and to sell worldwide.
Effect of E-commerce on markets and retailers:
The internet has facilitated the customers to do a product research and find the best price for any product online there by created a price competition among various companies. The industry structure of book shops and travel agencies has been influenced by e-commerce because of the increased online shopping. This helped the larger companies to grow as they can give best prices which can be afforded by smaller companies.
There are two channels for distribution which are ‘pure click’ and ‘brick and click’. Many companies have shifted to these two channel systems.
Pure Click: These companies do not exist as a firm. They purely work through the website. Such companies should maintain their e-commerce websites with utmost care as the customer service is of great preference here.
Brick and Click: These companies already exist as a firm and they add a website for online business. These companies doubted initially that the relationship status with their offline retailers, agents or their own stores would be in peril but finally internet found its way to their distribution channels after witnessing the business generated by their online counterparts.