What is e-commerce? We hear so many "e" words today; e-mail,e-book, e-trade and more. "E" stands for electronic.E-commerce is conducted over the Internet, electronically.This might refer to business to business transaction, orpurchases consumers make online. If you purchase goods froma website, you are participating in e-commerce. If you sellgoods online, this is also e-commerce. E-commerce can alsoapply to services that are sold or exchanged online.
You may pay for goods and services online with a creditcard, an electronic check or a previously established onlineaccount such as Paypal. These are sometimes called"cybercash" accounts. When using these cyber-accounts, themoney is transferred from your account to the other withoutreleasing or revealing any of your personal information suchas credit card numbers and bank accounts.
This added security led a lot of people to feel more securewith e-commerce and "secured transactions". The FederalElectronic Signatures Act in 2000 set standards forcontracts and forms that are signed electronically. Theinternet had created a whole new world in which new lawswould have to be formed.
The new laws have diminished the problem of online purchaseand e-commerce. Retail sales were over 7 million dollars bythe end of 1990's. An advantage of e-commerce is that we canpurchase things and receive them without going to the storeand fighting crowds. There is no need for even dressing up.
Other online commerce includes trading of stocks, purchasesof airline tickets and groceries, and participation inauctions. Everyone has heard of Ebay.com. Millions of peopleevery day participate in eBay auctions. People can doresearch of the online markets and easily find the best dealon their product without any legwork. In addition topurchasing, people can set up their own e-commerce storeseasily. If you have a product, want to sell a hobby such asneedlework, or if you have a service to offer, you can reacha much greater crowd by opening an online store.
E-mail, faxes, teleconferencing and telephone or onlinebanking are all forms of e-commerce also. These forms havemostly been around longer but they are all still part of thee-commerce industry. More and more people are takingadvantage and choosing to pay bills online, receivestatements and more.
Beside making our lives easier, it looks like E-commerce is here to stay!