WHAT IS E-COMMERCE



“The e-commerce industry is a force that no investor can afford to ignore” truly said by Cushla Sherlock. Electronic commerce also called e-commerce can be easily explained as purchase and sale of goods and services via electronic channels such as internet. It was introduced in 1960’s through an electric data interchange (EDI) on value added network (VANs). With the increase in internet access and the advent of online sellers in the 1990 and 2000’s has helped this medium reach new heights.


There are four principle categories of e-commerce, namely, B2B, B2C, C2B and C2C. Below are the explanations for these.
  • B2B : Companies doing business with each other is called Business to Business or B2B. For example: Wholesalers selling their goods to retailers.
  • B2C : The business in which there is no human interaction is called Business to Consumer (B2C). In this, the services and goods are sold to the general public through shopping cart software.
  • C2B : In Consumer to Business (C2B) e-commerce, consumer post a project with a set budget online, and companies bid on the project. The consumer reviews the bids and selects the company. For example Elance.
  • C2C : When individuals buy and sell their goods within online classified ads, forums or market places, it is named as Consumer to Consumer (C2C) e-commerce.

Mobile commerce has become its own market with fundamental rise in its consumptions and providing various social media platform such as facebook and pininterest. The use of mobile for e-commerce has expanded in various fields such as money transfers, maps, ticketing and what not, all through innumerable apps. The market of android and ios based apps has seen a crazy boom in recent years with increase in mobile sales. Mobile applications are the easiest way to reach the common man, all the major as well as minor businesses and even the startups are making their own mobile based applications.

India’s internet user base is second largest in the world, only behind China. Yet the penetration of e-commerce is low compared to the markets like US and France. But the e-commerce market is growing at unprecedented rate, adding around 6 million users every month. Due to increasing internet usage, discounting and investment by online retailers, India might cross the $100million mark by 2020. Online retail ventures are great hit with Indian market but many new ventures have to still work on their online platform. The new startups still have to come up with better system for easy cash flow. They have to work in providing better security and privacy options and do away with their insecure hosting. One more boosting factor of the e-commerce in India is major funding by well establish companies and brand which is helping new ventures to stand up in their own feet.

E-commerce has created a platform where one can shop or pay their bills without waiting in queues and can select goods from large number of options available from worldwide. One does not have to own large well to do business to be a part of online retail market. It is a perfect platform for new and small ventures to expand their business without investing money on location and other physical requirements necessary for small business. Rather their money is used in creating a good website which has more penetration in the global market and which helps in establishing their business for the long run. In India the rate of growth of Ecommerce is phenomenal but it may slag after some time due to insufficient speed and availability of internet. Strong and uniform e-commerce law is also the need of hour as it will help in easy trading across international borders. The Federal Trade Commission regulates most e-commerce activities such as commercial emails, online advertising and consumer privacy. There are number of other provisions such as copyright infringement liability and service provider’s responsibility that the e-commerce business has to be aware of.

There are many aspects of e-commerce that can be discussed in great details and as the rate of growth is increasing the responsibilities, pros and cons of the e-commerce are also piling up. Therefore it is righty said by John Hagel “What we do know now is that the E in E-COMMERCE doesn’t stand for EASY”. 
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