For centuries, commerce was done either in an actual store, through businesses making in-person deals, or via other means where the transaction was “hands on” that includes all activities in transferring goods or services.
Electronic commerce on the other hand includes the entire online process of developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying for products and services. The ability to make a purchase solely online without having to leave the home was a new, novel idea that has since changed the face of business.
As of now, there are thousands of e-commerce websites that people can purchase items from. The potential for e-commerce to develop worldwide is staggering as it rapidly grows everyday. The fact that a new niche has become so popular is good news for people from all kinds of backgrounds.
E-commerce has made a profound impact on society. People can now shop online in the privacy of their own homes without ever having to leave. This can force larger brick and mortar retailers to open an online division. In some cases, it can also force smaller businesses to shut their doors, or change to being completely online. It also changes the way people look at making purchases and spending money. Undoubtedly, it will continue to influence how companies sell and market their products, as well as how people choose to make purchases for many years to come.
On-line selling allows products to be sold directly to consumers, bypassing traditional retailers. With the stiffer competition within the retailers, businesses may have to reduce their workforce. And because consumers and business can deal directly with suppliers, intermediaries and brokers are potentially affected too.
Comparison-shopping, through e-commerce, has created price and product competition between businesses that benefits the consumer. It is very easy to make price and product comparisons online. Businesses that once compete with the shop in the next town, now find themselves competing on a global scale.
Business to business trade is changed, not only because many intermediaries are removed, but also because it is so much cheaper to issue invoices and purchase orders electronically than it is to do so by traditional paper means.
The costs associated with entry into global markets are very low in an e-commerce environment. Traditionally for somebody to set up an overseas operation often involves significant costs in setting up. Now with the Internet, a website can be read anywhere in the world and anyone can be a global trader.
Many e-businesses have failed because of lack of knowledge about their site. If the e-business fails, the customer will repeat purchase and they will tell their friends about their bad experience. This negative response from customers is the kiss of death to any e-business.
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