E-Commerce

Electronic commerce, commonly known as E-commerce or eCommerce, is trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction's life cycle, although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail. Provide Etail or virtual storefront on websites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall" Buy or sell on online marketplaces. Gather and use demographic data through web contacts and social media. Use electronic data interchange, the business-to-business exchange of data. Reach prospective and established customers by e-mail or fax (for example, with newsletters). Use business-to-business buying and selling. Provide secure business transactions. Engage in pretail for launching new products and services.


Business Application

Some common applications related to electronic commerce are:
1. Document automation in supply chain and logistics 2. Domestic and international payment systems 3. Enterprise content management
4. Group buying 5. Print on demand 6. Automated online assistant
7. Newsgroups 8. Online shopping and order tracking 9. Online banking
10.Online office suites 11.Shopping cart software 12.Teleconferencing
13.Electronic tickets 14.Social networking 15.Instant messaging
16.Pretail



Forms

Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce.

On the institutional level, big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce.

Aside from traditional e-Commerce, m-Commerce as well as the nascent t-Commerce channels are often seen as the current 2013 poster children of electronic I-Commerce.

Governmental Regulations

In India, the Information Technology Act 2000 governs the basic applicability of e-commerce. It is based upon UNCITRAL Model but is not a comprehensive legislation to deal with e-commerce related activities in India. Further, e-commerce laws and regulations in India are also supplemented by different laws of India as applicable to the field of e-commerce. For instance, e-commerce relating to pharmaceuticals, healthcare, traveling, etc. are governed by different laws though the information technology act, 2000 prescribes some common requirements for all these fields. The competition commission of India (CCI) regulates anti competition and anti trade practices in e-commerce fields in India. Some stakeholders have decided to approach courts and CCI against e-commerce websites to file complaint about unfair trade practices and predatory pricing by such e-commerce websites.

In the United States, some electronic commerce activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These activities include the use of commercial e-mails, online advertising and consumer privacy. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 establishes national standards for direct marketing over e-mail. The Federal Trade Commission Act regulates all forms of advertising, including online advertising, and states that advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive. Using its authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices, the FTC has brought a number of cases to enforce the promises in corporate privacy statements, including promises about the security of consumers' personal information. As result, any corporate privacy policy related to e-commerce activity may be subject to enforcement by the FTC.

Global Trends

In 2010, the United Kingdom had the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita. The Czech Republic is the European country where ecommerce delivers the biggest contribution to the enterprises´ total revenue. Almost a quarter (24%) of the country’s total turnover is generated via the online channel.

Among emerging economies, China's e-commerce presence continues to expand every year. With 384 million internet users, China's online shopping sales rose to $36.6 billion in 2009 and one of the reasons behind the huge growth has been the improved trust level for shoppers. The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online. China's cross-border e-commerce is also growing rapidly. E-commerce transactions between China and other countries increased 32% to 2.3 trillion yuan ($375.8 billion) in 2012 and accounted for 9.6% of China's total international trade In 2013, Alibaba had an e-commerce market share of 80% in China.

Other BRIC countries are witnessing the accelerated growth of eCommerce as well. Brazil's eCommerce is growing quickly with retail eCommerce sales expected to grow at a healthy double-digit pace through 2014. By 2016, eMarketer expects retail ecommerce sales in Brazil to reach $17.3 billion. India's ecommerce growth, on the other hand, has been slower although the country's potential remains solid considering its surging economy, the rapid growth of internet penetration, English language proficiency and a vast market of 1.2 billion consumers (although perhaps only 50 million access the internet through PCs and some estimate the most active group of e-commerce customers numbers only 2-3 million). E-commerce traffic grew about 50% from 2011 to 2012, from 26.1 million to 37.5 million, according to a report released by Com Score.[citation needed] Still much of the estimated 14 billion dollars in 2012 ecommerce was generated from travel sites.[citation needed]

E-Commerce has become an important tool for small and large businesses worldwide, not only to sell to customers, but also to engage them.

In 2012, ecommerce sales topped $1 trillion for the first time in history. Mobile devices are playing an increasing role in the mix of eCommerce. Some estimates show that purchases made on mobile devices will make up 25% of the market by 2017.[56] According to Cisco Visual Networking Index, in 2014 the amount of mobile devices will outnumber the number of world population.