a.k.a. ecommerce -or- e-comm

What is e-commerce? It is the online buying and selling of products or services over the Internet. Selling goods, in the traditional sense, is possible to do electronically because of software programs that run the main functions of an e-commerce Web site, including product display, online ordering, and inventory management. The software resides on a commerce server and works in conjunction with online payment systems to process payments. Since these servers and data lines make up the backbone of the Internet, in a broad sense, e-commerce means doing business over interconnected networks.

The definition of e-commerce includes business activities that are business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), extended enterprise computing (also known as "newly emerging value chains"), d-commerce, and m-commerce. E-commerce is a major factor in the U.S. economy because it assists companies with many levels of current business transactions, as well as creating new online business opportunities that are global in nature.

Here are a few examples of e-commerce:

  • Accepting credit cards for online sales
  • Generating online advertising revenue
  • Trading stock in an online brokerage account
  • Offering products and services in a company via its intranet
  • Driving manufacturing and distribution through a value chain with partners on an extranet
  • Selling to consumers on a pay-per-download basis, through a Web site

Historical perspective: Considered the "online poster child for e-commerce," Amazon.com was launched in July 1995 and it has transformed the way we buy (and sell) products. Led by CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com sells practically anything you'd want to buy. Amazon was able to grab important market share early on, and it is known by millions of users because of its innovative affiliate marketing programs, and its continually-evoloving services such as  Amazon Prime, Amazon Kindle, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In the public sector, e-commerce has always been a hot topic and a complex issue, especially concerning privacy rights and fraud. In private business, B2B e-commerce is projected by Internet analysts to be the biggest sector on the Web. Even though the Nasdaq crash of [[April 14, 2000]], had a negative impact on much of the industry, e-commerce, because of its nature and the robustness of the net, e-commerce is here to stay and evolve.

As of October 2017, PayPal is now worth more than American Express. Since being spun off from eBay in 2015, the mobile-payments company has grown from $47 billion in market value to $83 billion. PayPal is also gaining ground on Wall Street giants: According to The Wall Street Journal, it is worth about $6 billion less than Morgan Stanley and $10 billion less than Goldman Sachs.

NetLingo Classification: Net Technology