The Definition Dilemma of E-Commerce

The Definition Dilemma of E-Commerce

Aileen Cater-Steel (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) and Shelly Grist (University of Southern Queensland, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-575-7.ch027
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There is confusion among researchers, practitioners and policymakers about the meaning of terms such as e-commerce, and small and medium enterprise (SME) (Krochmal, 1998; Mesenbourg, 2001; Poon, 2002; Xydias-Lobo & Jones, 2003). The lack of standard, universally adopted definitions presents a challenge to researchers and leads to inaccurate comparisons of rates of adoption. This article provides an analysis of various popular definitions of e-commerce and highlights the distinctions between them. A classification system is proposed and applied using examples of e-commerce transactions. Recommendations are provided which should prove helpful for researchers and practitioners interested in developing regional communities with information and communication technology.

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