Electronic Commerce

Electronic Commerce

electronic commerce (EC) The process of buying, selling, or exchanging products, services, or
information via computer networks

EC can be defined from these perspectives:

  1. Business process
  2. Service
  3. Learning
  4. Collaboration
  5. Community

A broader definition of EC that includes not just the buying and selling of goods and services, but also servicing customers, collaborating with business partners, and conducting electronic
transactions within an organization

Pure versus Partial EC

  • EC can take several forms depending on the degree of digitization
  1. the product (service) sold
  2. the process (e.g., ordering, payment,fulfillment)
  3. the delivery method

  • brick-and-mortar (old economy)

Old-economy organizations (corporations) that perform their primary business off-line, selling physical products by means of physical agents

  • virtual (pure-play) organizations

Organizations that conduct theirbusi ness activities solely online

  • click-and-mortar (click-and-brick)

Organizations that conduct some ecommerce activities, usually as an additional marketing channel


  • Internet versus Non-Internet EC
  • Most EC is done over the Internet, but EC

also can be conducted on private networks, such as value-added networks, local area networks, or on a single computerized machine

  • Non-Internet EC includes the use of mobile

handwriting-recognition computers used by field reps to write their notes in the field

  • electronic market (e-marketplace)

An online marketplace where buyers and sellers meet to exchange goods, services, money, or information

  • interorganizational information systems (IOSs)

Communications systems that allow routine transaction processing and information flow between two or more organizations

  • intraorganizational information systems

Communication systems that enable ecommerce activities to go on within individual organizations

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