The term electronic commerce is sometimes referred to as electronic marketing. It is abbreviated as e-commerce or eCommerce. The main activity in electronic commerce is exchanging goods and services using systems that have been programmed electronically. This form of modern trading has tremendously grown especially with the advent of an international network popularly known as the internet. As a result, there has been a series of technological innovations to cater to the increasing demand for its usage in eCommerce. For instance, electronic funds transfer, internet marketing, inventory management, and online transaction processing are specific examples of electronic marketing which are gathering pace at a very high rate.
To be more precise, modern eCommerce makes use of the World Wide Web which is very crucial in networking transactions on a global scale. In this context, electronic mails arean an equally vital tool in eCommerce.
An overview of eCommerce and its impont in the market is discussed in this presentation.
Much of electronic commerce is carried out fully on electronic systems which involve purchasing goods and services which are still not within the reach of the buyer. Example of virtual products includes having accessibility to some website content. However, at some point and in most cases, products that are physical in nature have to be transported from one point to another.
In eCommerce, we still have retailers who operate online and they are referred to as e-tailers. Most e-tailers who are well established operate on the World Wide Web (Peterson et al.1997)
Roles of eCommerce
There are several applications of eCommerce in the fast-growing global trade today. These roles are central to the growth and development of electronic marketing. The common roles of e-commerce are:
This is the short form for Electronic mail. It can also be abbreviated as e-mail. It is a correspondence method in eCommerce whereby people can exchange digital messages through the internet and World Wide Web. The model is based on othehe storage and forwarding of messages. A computer server plays the role of receiving, storing, disseminating, and delivering of messages which are sent. Usually, messages are sent through servers after being exchanged through hosts (Peterson et al 1997). There are two parameters in electronic mail namely the message body and the header. This form of sending and receiving digital messages is very fast and has extraordinarily increased the speed of eCommerce. Moreover, it is very simple to comprehend and use email, unlike postal mails. It has solved two main challenges as far as correspondence is concerned. The first one is logistics while the second one is synchronization (Jarvenpaa & Todd 1997)
Enterprise Content Management
Enterprise Content Management commonly abbreviated as ECM is a broad application in business which has been well captured in eCommerce. It refers to technology, procedure, competence and skills that are used to professionally to harmonize organizational content and management processes (Peterson et al.1997). Hence the structure of Enterprise Content management entails capturing, managing, storing, preserving and delivering the details that affect day- to- day running of a business enterprise. Business organizations involved in eCommerce are currently developing a lot of interest in this e-product. It is helping them tackle information management quite easily whether their organizations are structured or not.
This involves one on one text-based correspondence. It may involve more than two people at the same time communicating to a common client. The text message is transmitted through a network device. It is commonly referred to as chatting. This correspondence mode is very much similar to the World Wide Web or electronic mail. It is very fast than emailing and clients can share a lot of information within a very short time. There are quite a number of risks and liabilities associated with instant messaging in spite of the many benefits it has. For example, security threats to computers at work places are rife. Infection by worms, viruses, Trojans and spy ware is common. Moreover, unauthorized use of intellectual property and lack of compliance by users is a challenge.
This is the process whereby buyers purchase goods or services using the internet. Products and services are bought virtually unlike in the physical involvement as it is the case with buying from shopping malls or retail shops (Jarvenpaa & Todd 1997). Similar shopping procedures to physical transactions are carried out here. For instance, a mailing catalogue with mailing order is applicable in online shopping.
In online shopping, business transactions are carried out between an enterprise with another and also between an enterprise and a consumer. The transactions are very fast and efficient but not void of emerging challenges.
Online stores have several advantages. They are very convenient because they operate on a twenty four hour period while at the same time most consumers have access to internet. Buying from a physical retail store require both time and extra spending in terms of traveling.
Online stores have shrewd description of products on sale. Consumers are served with sufficient information before they can make any decision unlike in a physical retail store.
Customers can carry out financial transactions through the internet. This can also be done on a safe website being run by a client’s financial institution.
Online banking has several features through which it operates. There are financial entries that are transactional for example, funds transfer while others are non-transactional for instance requesting financial statements online. Also, administration of financial institutions is considered another feature. However, there are features that are special to online banking like retrieving data from a personal account (Jarvenpaa & Todd 1997).
Security to online banking is still a debatable issue because a single password authentication is not secure enough in the sense that fraudsters can hack into personal online data. However, there are several counter measures in place to curb online attacks. The use of digital certifications and a class three card reader are already in place as security checks.
Another role played by eCommerce is teleconference. This is the direct and one-on-one exchange and management of information among several parties. It is usually made use of in business seminars and conferences. This has facilitated business growth.
As can be observed from the above presentation, eCommerce has impacted the market in a variety of ways. Several applications of eCommerce have been found to be convenient because they run on a twenty four hour basis. Since most consumers have internet access both at their place of work and homes, they can purchase at any time avoiding the need of having to travel to physical stores.
In addition to this, consumers are also enlightened enough on product details as in the case with online shopping.
However, there are challenges that are currently facing eCommerce. For instance, fraudsters have taken advantage of the virtual environment of banking, purchasing to develop new forms of online crimes. Credit card use in eCommerce has become a sensitive undertaking because merchants have to be extra cautious not to leak their card information to potential online criminals.
Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Todd, P. A.(1997).Consumer reactions to electronic shopping on the World Wide Web. International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 1, 59–88.
Peterson, R. A., Balasubramanian, S. & Bronnenberg, B. J. (1997). Exploring the implications of the Internet for consumer marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 25,329–346.