Site Search

Course Navigation

Home| Course Catalog| Career Planning

FREE online courses on ECOMMERCE FUNDAMENTALS - What is E commerce?

Defining E-commerce

Kalakota and Whinston define E-commerce as, “A modern business methodology

that addresses the needs of organizations, merchants and consumers to cut costs while improving the quality of goods and services and increasing the speed of 

service delivery. The term also applies to the use of computer networks to search and retrieve information in support of human and corporate decision-making.”


They further add that EC involves, “The buying and selling of information, products and services via computer networks today and in the future via the myriad of networks that make up the Information Superhighway”.


Kestenbaum and Straight say, “E-commerce is the integration of e‑mail, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and similar techniques into a comprehensive electronic-based system of business functions.”


The Buyer's Guide to E-commerce gives yet another definition: “E-commerce is

 using information technology to improve relationships between business partners.”


Classification scheme


Kalakota and Whinston articulate a classification scheme for E-commerce, which involves transactions:


·         Between a company and consumer over public networks for the purpose of home shopping or home banking;

·         With trading partners using EDI (electronic data interchange);

·         For information gathering such as market research;

·         For information distribution including advertising, sales and marketing.


                       Convergence of previously disparate functions around E-commerce

Vital issues


Matters of particular importance in E-commerce are:

·         Consumer protection and confidence

·         Competition

·         Financial and payment systems

·         Taxation

·         Intellectual Property Rights

·         Security

·         Legal safeguards against criminal activities and

·         Dispute settlement mechanisms


Non-transactional elements


Some elements of E-commerce are ‘non-transactional' - geared to the provision of information about products and services, the delivery of information-based (‘intangible') products to customers and the support of supply chains. The complete process, however, is ‘transactional' - geared directly to processes of trade in goods and services.


Many non-transactional E-commerce elements like catalogues, advertising are oriented towards an eventual face-to-face transaction. E-commerce interacts not only with electronic distribution systems, as in electronic publishing or financial service applications, but also with the physical infrastructure for the distribution

of manufactured products.


                                  E-Commerce: A conceptual framework


Application services




Brokerage and data management

Order processing---mail-order houses Payment schemes---electronic cash Clearing house or virtual mall

Interface layer

Interactive catalogues,

Directory support functions,

Software agents

Secure messaging

Secure hypertext transfer protocol, Encrypted e-mail, EDI,

Remote programming (RPC)

Middleware services

Structured documents (SGML, HTML), Compound documents (OLE, Open Doc)

Network infrastructure

Wireless---cellular, radio, PCs

 Wireline---POTS, coaxial, fibre optic.


Participant groups

E-commerce occurs within and between three basic participant groups - business, government and individuals.

Participant groups in E-Commerce




Different types of Electronic Commerce Applications


Organizations use E-commerce to simplify and streamline business processes by substituting electronic means for paper documents. The most prevalent and well-known applications of EC are:

·         Electronic Data Interchange (EDI),

·         Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT),

·         Electronic Mail (e-mail) and

·         The World Wide Web (WWW)



Our Network Of Sites:
Apply 4              |  |  |
Anatomy                | Anesthesiology  | Architecture | Audiology
Cardiology            | Computer Science| Computer Science| Dermatology
Epidemiology         | Gastroenterology  | Hematology     | Immunology
IT                | Kinesiology  | Language  | Music
Nephrology             | Neurology  | Neurosurgery | Obstetrics
Oncology    | Ophthalmology | Orthopedics       | Osteopathy
Otolaryngology| Pathology  | Pediatrics  | Physical Therapy
Plastic Surgery| Podiatry  | Psychiatry   | Pulmonary 
Radiology| Sports Medicine| Surgery | Toxicology
US Law| US Med | US Dental

About Us Terms of Use | Contact Us | Partner with Us | Press Release | Sitemap | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy

©1999-2011 OpenLearningWorld . com - All Rights Reserved