E-commerce (electronic commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the internet. These business transactions occur either as business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to the transactional processes that make up online retail shopping.
Types of e-commerce
Business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce refers to the electronic exchange of products, services or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. Examples include online directories and product and supply exchange websites that allow businesses to search for products, services and information and to initiate transactions through e-procurement interfaces.
Business-to-consumer (B2C) is the retail part of e-commerce on the internet. It is when businesses sell products, services or information directly to consumers. The term was popular during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s, when online retailers and sellers of goods were a novelty.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is a type of e-commerce in which consumers trade products, services and information with each other online. These transactions are generally conducted through a third party that provides an online platform on which the transactions are carried out.
Online auctions and classified advertisements are two examples of C2C platforms, with eBay and Craigslist being two of the most popular of these platforms. Because eBay is a business, this form of e-commerce could also be called C2B2C — consumer-to-business-to-consumer.
Consumer-to-business (C2B) is a type of e-commerce in which consumers make their products and services available online for companies to bid on and purchase. This is the opposite of the traditional commerce model of B2C.
Business-to-administration (B2A) refers to transactions conducted online between companies and public administration or government bodies. Many branches of government are dependent on e-services or products in one way or another, especially when it comes to legal documents, registers, social security, fiscals and employment. Businesses can supply these electronically. B2A services have grown considerably in recent years as investments have been made in e-government capabilities.
Consumer-to-administration (C2A) refers to transactions conducted online between individual consumers and public administration or government bodies. The government rarely buys products or services from citizens, but individuals frequently use electronic means in the following areas:
- Education. Disseminating information, distance learning/online lectures, etc.
- Social security. Distributing information, making payments, etc.
Mobile e-commerce (M-commerce) is a type of e-commerce on the rise that features online sales transactions made using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. M-commerce includes mobile shopping, mobile banking and mobile payments. Mobile chatbots also provide e-commerce opportunities to businesses, allowing consumers to complete transactions with companies via voice or text conversations.
Advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce
Benefits of e-commerce include its around-the-clock availability, the speed of access, the wide availability of goods and services for the consumer, easy accessibility and international reach.
- Availability. Aside from outages or scheduled maintenance, allowing visitors to browse and shop at any time. Brick-and-mortar businesses tend to open for a fixed number of hours and may even close entirely on certain days.
- Speed of access. While shoppers in a physical store can be slowed by crowds, e-commerce sites run quickly, which is determined by compute and bandwidth considerations on both consumer device and e-commerce site. Product pages and shopping cart pages load in a few seconds or less. An e-commerce transaction can comprise a few clicks and take less than five minutes.
The perceived disadvantages of e-commerce include sometimes limited customer service, consumers not being able to see or touch a product prior to purchase and the wait time for product shipping.
*Limited customer service: If a customer has a question or issue in a physical store, he or she can see a clerk, cashier or store manager for help. In an e-commerce store, customer service may be limited: The site may only provide support during certain hours of the day, or a call to a customer service phone number may keep the customer on hold.
*Not being able to touch or see:While images on a webpage can provide a good sense about a product, it’s different from experiencing it “directly,” such as playing music on speakers, assessing the picture quality of a television or trying on a shirt or dress. E-commerce can lead consumers to receive products that differ from their expectations, which leads to returns. In some scenarios, the customer bears the burden for the cost of shipping the returned item to the retailer.
E-commerce still represents one of the business methods that take advantage if done the right way, even if the stock market and commodities fell, but E-Commerce still able to survive and receive high transaction. E-commerce has a tremendous opportunity in the course of or business in Malaysia. In addition, it is also to introducing new techniques and styles in a transaction. Use the extensive E-Commerce in the Internet world is actually much better to bring the goodness of the individual or the state.
E-Commerce has undeniably become an important part of our society. The successful companies of the future will be those that take E-Commerce seriously, dedicating sufficient resources to its development. E-Commerce is not an IT issue but a whole business undertaking. Companies that use it as a reason for completely re-designing their business processes are likely to reap the greatest benefits. Moreover, E-Commerce is a helpful technology that gives the consumer access to business and companies all over the world.