Electronic Commerce can be defined as the "use of electronic transmission mediums (telecommunications) to engage in the exchange, including buying and selling of products and services requiring transportation either physically or digitally from location to location" As expected electronic commerce requires the digital transmission of transaction information. While transactions are conducted via electronic devices, they may be transported using either traditional physical shipping channels or digital mechanisms, such as the download of product from the internet. It all depends on what we order. If we buy software we can download it from the internet, while a CD may be delivered through a courier.
E-commerce is the use of electronic information technology for the business transactions such as displaying catalogues, selling and buying goods and services, processing, payments, etc.It has accelerated the pace and tempo of business, minimized time lag between transactions and reduced intermediation. Though the initial cost of creating an infrastructure for E - commerce may appear to be high, in the long run it has proved to be cost effective. The direct contact between the producer and the consumer can boost sales and the time and money spent on printing, stationery, dispatch etc. can be cut down dramatically.
The use of web based E-commerce a subset of internet technology, has considerably increased in recent times. Many companies which had established websites mainly corporate or brand identity or for dissemination of information about their products are now using it also for sales purposes. The number of web users has grown both at work and at home and so through this method a large market can be captured.Web business is international and to open to transaction 24 hrs a day on all 365 days.
Business to business E-commerce has been expanding faster than business to consumer E-commerce because many reputed companies are already in possession of necessary technology infrastructure. And those which do not have, are likely to acquire this facility in view of fierce competition endangered by the ever increasing advancements in the field of information technology.
E-COMMERCE occurs within business organization. The objective to link the constituents together and increase the flow of information within organization. Thus we see that there are three stages of E-Commerce namely interorganisational, retails and interorganisational.
Though many technologies fit within the definition of E-commerce the main ones are :-
Product data exchange
Electronic data exchange
It has been pointed out that "companies worldwide are challenged with taking advantage of the business benefits the web has to offer while minimizing risk to their operations and their bottom line". The security of data transmitted over the Internet is a subject of serious concern for businesses all over the world. In the survey of nearly 1600 information technology professionals from 50 countries, 73% of all companies reported some security breach or corporate espionage in just one years