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E-Commerce



Ecommerce (e-commerce) or electronic commerce, a subset of ebusiness, is the purchasing, selling, and exchanging of goods and services over computer networks (such as the Internet) through which transactions or terms of sale are performed electronically. 

Contrary to popular belief, eCommerce is not just on the Web. In fact, eCommerce was alive and well in business to business transactions before the Web back in the 70s via EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) through VANs (Value-Added Networks).

eCommerce can be broken into four main categories: B2B, B2C, C2B, and C2C.
  • B2B (Business-to-Business)
    Companies doing business with each other such as manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers. Pricing is based on quantity of order and is often negotiable.

  • B2C (Business-to-Consumer)
    Businesses selling to the general public typically through catalogs utilizing shopping cart software. By dollar volume, B2B takes the prize, however B2C is really what the average Joe has in mind with regards to eCommerce as a whole.

  • C2B (Consumer-to-Business)
    A consumer posts his project with a set budget online and within hours companies review the consumer's requirements and bid on the project. The consumer reviews the bids and selects the company that will complete the project. Elance empowers consumers around the world by providing the meeting ground and platform for such transactions.

  • C2C (Consumer-to-Consumer)
    There are many sites offering free classifieds, auctions, and forums where individuals can buy and sell thanks to online payment systems like PayPal where people can send and receive money online with ease. eBay's auction service is a great example of where person-to-person transactions take place everyday since 1995. 

Advantages of Ecommerce
  • Faster buying/selling procedure, as well as easy to find products.
  • Buying/selling 24/7.
  • More reach to customers, there is no theoretical geographic limitations.
  • Low operational costs and better quality of services.
  • No need of physical company set-ups. 
  • Easy to start and manage a business.
  • Customers can easily select products from different providers without moving around physically.

    Disadvantages of Ecommerce
    • Any one, good or bad, can easily start a business. And there are many bad sites which eat up customers’ money. 
    • There is no guarantee of product quality.
    • Mechanical failures can cause unpredictable effects on the total processes.
    • As there is minimum chance of direct customer to company interactions, customer loyalty is always on a check.
    • There are many hackers who look for opportunities, and thus an ecommerce site, service, payment gateways, all are always prone to attack.


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