What is E-Commerce?
E-Commerce, also known Electronic Commerce consists of business activities that take place via electronic media (computer). It involves buying and selling of goods online using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).The best examples for E-Commerce are electronic payments, internet banking, online ticket booking, online shopping and online auctions.
Types of E-Commerce
Business to Business (B2B) – In this category, both the parties are business entities that carry on trading online. Example: Trading between Manufacturer and Retailer.
Business to Consumer (B2C) - This deals with trading between business and consumers.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C)–In this section the transactions takes place online between two people. Here the consumers perform business activities with an intermediary which is the common platform. The best example for this is eBay.
Peer to Peer (P2P)–In this both the parties install particular software with which they can transfer the files in computer without the assistance of a web server.
M-Commerce -This refers to the usage of mobile devices to conduct the necessary transactions. Nowadays the website companies optimize their websites so that it can be viewed with more clarity on mobile devices too.
- By going to the physical store, you are limiting yourself in a particular geographical area but in e-commerce the whole world is yours and trading get a wider scope.
- The search engine brings more new customers to look into the various products available and it also increases traffic for the website which is profitable to e-commerce business too.
- It is a low cost venture as the marketing expenses, management expenses and location expenses are reduced as all transactions happen online.
- Instead of going to physical store and search for the products, locating a product is possible in just one mouse click. Some of the websites also remember the preferred searches of the customers which makes repeated purchases easy.
- It eliminates travelling expenses and also long distance travels as the trading can take place virtually at home itself.
- Comparing prices between different products is easy as there are many websites that provides this option.
- There are many additional features such as bargains, coupons and various deals which make shopping convenient.
- In physical store, not much information is available about every product but in search engines abundant information is available.
- It is available 24*7 as websites are available all the time.
- Security and privacy is a matter of concern and this prevents customers from purchasing online.
- Online fraud is high and many public policy issues remain unsolved.
- Customers wishing to buy product would want to touch and feel the product before making decision for buying, which is not possible in the virtual store like e-commerce.
The following are the top E-Commerce portals: