Electronic commerce, commonly known as ecommerce, is a type of industry where buying and selling of product or service is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well.
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions.
E-commerce can be divided into:
- E-tailing or “virtual storefronts” on websites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a “virtual mall”
- The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data
- E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospective and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
- Business-to-business buying and selling
- The security of business transactions