E-commerce is also known as electronic commerce. Through e-commerce we buy and sell of goods and services, or funds or data transmission, through electronic networks, particularly the Internet. These business transactions occur both as a business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. The term e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to the transactional process for shopping online.
The history of e-commerce
The beginning of e-commerce can be traced to the 1960s, when businesses began using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to share business documents with other companies. In 1979, the American National Standards Institute developed ASC X12 as the universal standard for businesses to share documents through electronic networks.
After a number of individual users to share documents electronically with each other to grow in the 1980s, the advent of eBay and Amazon in the 1990s revolutionized e-commerce industry. Consumers now can buy an unlimited number of items online, from e-tailers, typical brick and mortar store with e-commerce capabilities and to one another.
Type of e-commerce
Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce refers to the exchange of products, services or information between businesses to business rather than between businesses and customers electronically. Examples include online directories and supply products and exchange website that allows companies to search for products, services, and information and to initiate transactions through e-procurement interface.
In 2017, Forrester Research predicts that B2B e-commerce market will top $ 1.1 trillion in the US in 2021, accounting for 13% of all B2B sales in the nation.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) is part of a retail e-commerce on the Internet. This is when the business of selling products, services or information directly to the consumer. The term was popular during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, when online retailers and sellers of goods are nothing new.
Currently, there is a virtual store innumerable and malls on the internet sell all kinds of consumer goods. The most recognized example of this is Amazon's site, which dominates the B2C market.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is a type of e-commerce in which consumers trade in products, services and information with each other online. These transactions are generally done through a third party that provides an online platform where transactions are made.
online auctions and classified ads are two examples of C2C platform, eBay and Craigslist became two of the most popular of this platform. Because eBay is a business, forms of e-commerce can also be called C2B2C - consumer-to-business-to-consumer.
Consumer-to-business (C2B) is a type of e-commerce in which consumers make products and services available online they are for companies to bid on and purchase. This is the opposite of the traditional trading models B2C.
A popular example of C2B platform is a market selling royalty-free photos, images, media and design elements, such as iStock. Another example would be a job board.
Business-to-administration (B2A) refers to transactions conducted online between companies and public administration or government agencies. Many branches of government depends on the e-services or products in one way or another, especially when it comes to legal documents, registers, social security, fiscals and work. These businesses can provide electronically. B2A services has grown in recent years as an investment has been made in the ability of e-government.
Consumer-to-administration (C2A) refers to transactions conducted online between individual consumers and the public administration or government agencies. Government rarely buy products or services from the citizens, but people often use electronic means in the following areas:
- Education: disseminating information, distance learning/online lectures, etc.
- Social security: distributing information, making payments, etc.
- Taxes: filing tax returns, making payments, etc.
- Health: making appointments, providing information about illnesses, making health services payments, etc.
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