eCommerce: An Overview

eCommerce: An Overview

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2982-0.ch004
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Abstract

This chapter serves as an expository to readers. The chapter provides enlightenment on the background on electronic commerce. Issues tackled in this chapter include the emergence and the evolvement of electronic commerce, the link between commerce (as it dates back to prehistoric times), and the electronic aspect or component of enterprise electronic commerce or electronic business.
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Introduction

Here we are—a dramatic shift from the brick and mortar way of conducting business to virtual and borderless; credit to technology. The birth of this phenomenon called electronic commerce has changed the face of the business world. Enterprise electronic commerce or electronic business solutions and technologies serve as a conduit to new markets in this global economy. Electronic business or electronic commerce eliminates barriers that relate to brick and mortar and can reach out to markets borderlessly in ways more efficiently than could be done could be done without it. This chapter serves as an expository to readers. The chapter provides enlightenment on the background on electronic commerce. Issues tackled in this chapter include the emergence and the evolvement of electronic commerce, the link between commerce (as it dates back to prehistoric times), and the electronic aspect or component of enterprise electronic commerce or electronic business. Sections and subtopics tackled in this chapter include:

  • The Motivation: In this chapter, readers are driven through the emergence and the rapid evolvement of enterprise electronic commerce or electronic business. The chapter delves into the repertoire of enterprise electronic commerce or electronic business technicalities, models, installations at higher educational institutions and organisations, successes and failures and key issues such legal, cultural, ethical, and social factors.

  • Electronic Commerce: This section gives general overview on electronic commerce. So much of today’s business transactions are conducted through the Internet and other telecommunication channels and with that stated, it is rather obvious that electronic business solutions accentuate the way business organisations, whether public or private, engage in day-to-day business operations.

  • History of Electronic Commerce: Just as the title states, this is a section that illustrates the advent and genesis of electronic commerce. While existing literature does not provide a clear description of the history of electronic commerce, different authors have different variations of what the history of electronic commerce should be. As mention, in this section, readers will be driven through the history of electronic commerce.

  • Electronic Commerce Defined: Definitions are provided in this section. A number of definitions of electronic commerce or electronic business have evolved in the past years. The definition that will be captured in the context of this book will for electronic commerce or electronic business encompass the process of doing business transactions over interconnected networks.

  • Models of eCommerce/eBusiness: Illustrations pertaining to the various several electronic commerce models are elucidated in this section of this chapter. These models include business-to-business (B2B or B to B) electronic business; business-to-consumer (B2C or B to C) electronic business; business-to-government electronic business; and consumer-to-consumer (C2C or C to C) electronic business.

  • Existing eCommerce/eBusiness Installations: A look at some electronic commerce installations are examined in this section. Organisations and higher educational institutions have employed various types of electronic commerce or electronic business solutions; and this has led to the heightened demand in enterprise electronic commerce and electronic business solutions, that has in turn led to the increase in software developers for electronic commerce solutions models for business organisations and higher educational institutions in past years. Popular among these models are the consolidated/integrated models for smaller individual electronic commerce solutions.

  • Factors Pertinent to Success or Failures of eCommerce Installations at Organisations/Institutions: In this section, the elements to the successes and failures of electronic commerce are stipulated. This section discusses pertinent factors with respect to successes or failures of electronic commerce including compliance or non-compliance of organisations and higher educational institutions with respect to legal, ethical, cultural, and social standards as they relate to electronic commerce systems.

  • The Legal, Social, Ethical, and Cultural Factors: Success in the implementation of electronic commerce calls for vigilance in the systemic process. This section sheds some light on the factors that need to be given serious consideration in the deployment and implementation of electronic commerce, in terms of legal, cultural, social, and ethical issues.

  • Summary: The summary section encapsulates the chapter.

  • Key Terms and Definitions: Some of the key words together with their definitions are presented under this section.

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