E-commerce is defined simply as electronic business. This means any business done electronically usually over the internet. E-commerce is the means of selling products or services on the internet using web pages. This involves much of the same processes of selling goods elsewhere, but in a digital format. (Lee) E-commerce can be either business to business or business to consumer. Brian Korr presents a broad definition of e-commerce, “It's everything binary," he said. "We are taking our economy and digitizing it."
E-commerce had it’s beginnings with a few enterprising businesses. These businesses were, Amazon.com, and Ebay.com. Both these businesses were launched in 1995. (Amazon) When Amazon.com first opened its virtual doors on July 16, 1995, it was one of several online booksellers. As Amazon embraced the technology to categorize and display millions of books in one space, people embraced the ability to search for and purchase books in a new way. The experience of building a successful business based on an open system like the Web has influenced Amazon throughout its history. The common perception of Amazon.com is that it is a web-based bookstore, but like its namesake river, Amazon.com is much more than merely a place to buy books. Today, Amazon.com is really a complex web application. Instead of just a place to buy various items, Amazon.com is a tool you can customize and adapt to your own uses. (Farris)
EBay was founded in Pierre Omidyar's San Jose living room back in September 1995. It was from the start meant to be a marketplace for the sale of goods and services for individuals. EBay has built an online person-to-person trading community on the Internet, using the World Wide Web. Buyers and sellers are brought together in a manner where sellers are permitted to list items for sale, buyers to bid on items of interest and all eBay users to browse through listed items in a fully automated way. The items are arranged by topics, where each type of auction has its own category. EBay has both streamlined and globalized traditional person-to-person trading, which has traditionally been conducted through such forms as garage sales, collectibles shows, flea markets and more, with their web interface. This facilitates easy exploration for buyers and enables the sellers to immediately list an item for sale within minutes of registering.
E-commerce is best divided into two models, business to business, and business to consumer. Ron Koskinen, marketing director for AT&T's SecureBuy service, explains: "Business-to-business e-commerce takes many different forms. So, as such, you can consider EDI business-to-business e-commerce. You can consider some types of message-enabled applications to be facilitated for business-to-business e-commerce. (Patton) You can also look at Web-based catalogs that provide features of functions that are necessary for businesses to sell to other businesses as business-to-business e-commerce." EDI is electronic data interchange and has been around for several years. It is the earliest form of electronic commerce. EDI was primarily the exchange of documents between application subsystems. Using the web, companies are able to send and receive purchase orders in real time and with no costly paper trail. (Patton) Businesses are able to shop one another’s resources as well as exchange various forms and data through the web.
In the last few years M-commerce has been touted as the future of e-commerce. There are several reasons why m-commerce has failed to live upp to the hype, and practicality is one of them. The whole idea behind m-commerce is that a person can shop for products or services from a mobile device such as a cell phone. While the technology has definitely facilitated the possibilities of m-commerce, the expected boom has yet to arrive. One of the biggest reasons for this may be that there just aren’t existing services that people deem necessary on a mobile device. The ability to buy concert tickets through your cell phone is definitely a plus side of the service, while shopping for consumer durables over a cell phone seems to be pushing the idea a little far. Essentially the attraction of m-commerce is the convenience of being able to perform some task while on the move. Gartner analyst Phil Redman, who said m-commerce "really isn't anywhere today," told Wireless NewsFactor that carriers and others are trying to find applications, but have yet to convince consumers. "No one's succeeded," he said. "Everyone's trying to find the right angle -- the right way to reach customers." (Lyman)
Thus while many more people are turning online to conduct business, the m-commerce boom has yet to arrive. It seems to boild down to theidea that in order for people to do things from mobile devices, it must be a better way of doing things rather than simply a different way. The novelty alone can’t sustain m-commerce as a business model. (Lyman
Lee, D. http://www.web-design-uk.biz/ecommerce/ecommerce_definition.htm
Krochmal, Mo 1998, TechWeb News
Farris, Dale 2003 http://www.oreilly.com/cgi-bin/reviews?bookident=amazonhks
Walsh Brian 2003 http://www.networkcomputing.com/904/904f2.html
Patton, Susannah 2003 http://www.cio.com/ec/edit/b2cabc.html
Lyman, Jay 2002 http://www.wirelessnewsfactor.com/perl/story/18896.html