Electronic commerce (e-commerce) refers generally to all forms of buying, selling, transforing, exchanging products, services, or information over computer networks (Carter, 2002). Business activities such as communication, business transactions, and data transfer, including both organizations and individual, are conducted online. The “electronic” or “e” in e-commerce or e-business refers to the technology/systems; the “commerce” refers to the traditional business models. Things like funds transfer, order booking, data interchange, automated inventory management, and online marketing all come under the purview of e-commerce (Erber, Klaus, & Voigt, 2001). For instance, people and organizations can shop around the Web to find the products, prices, and services that suit them best and order and pay for items without a physical presence of either the shopper or the merchandise.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Business-to-Business (B2B): Businesses doing business with each other via the Internet. Or the interactions between firms that take place electronically via digital media.
Hacker: A programmer who breaks into computer systems in order to steal or change or destroy information as a form of cyber-terrorism.
Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): Consumers sell to each other with the help of an online market maker.
Hijacking: Used when spyware and a virus write itself in a computer program in such a way that whenever that program starts to work, besides its normal duties it does other things too, which the creator of the virus or spyware meant it to.
Mobile Commerce (m-commerce): E-commerce transactions, conducted through mobile devices (e.g., cellular phones, hand-held or palm-sized computers, and even vehicle-mounted interfaces), using wireless telecommunication networks and other wired e-commerce technologies, are termed mobile commerce (m-commerce).
Computer Virus: A self-replicating program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other executable code or documents.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P): Users share files and computer resources without a common server.
Online Auction: A model use to make business in which participants bid for products and services over the Internet.
BUSINESS-TO-CONSUMER (B2C): Businesses sell products and services to customers via the Internet.
Customer Loyalty: A deeply held commitment to re-buy or re-patronize a preferred product or service consistently in the future, thereby causing repetitive same brand-set purchasing despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior.