||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Part of a series on|
|Online goods and services|
||This article uses bare URLs for citations. (June 2013)|
Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, is a type of industry where buying and selling of product or service is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction's life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well.
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions. This is an effective and efficient way of communicating within an organization and one of the most effective and useful ways of conducting business.
E-commerce can be divided into:
- E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on websites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall"
- The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data
- E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospective and established customers (for example, with newsletters)
- Business-to-business buying and selling
- The security of business transactions
A timeline for the development of e-commerce:
- 1971 or 1972: The ARPANET is used to arrange a Marihuana sale between students at the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, later described as "the seminal act of e-commerce" in John Markoff's book What the Dormouse Said.
- 1979: Michael Aldrich demonstrates the first online shopping system.
- 1982: Minitel was introduced nationwide in France by France Telecom and used for online ordering.
- 1983: California State Assembly holds first hearing on "electronic commerce" in Volcano, California. Testifying are CPUC, MCI Mail, Prodigy, CompuServe, Volcano Telephone, and Pacific Telesis. (Not permitted to testify is Quantum Technology, later to become AOL.)
- 1984: Gateshead SIS/Tesco is first B2C online shopping and Mrs Snowball, 72, is the first online home shopper
- 1984: In April 1984, CompuServe launches the Electronic Mall in the USA and Canada. It is the first comprehensive electronic commerce service.
- 1984: California becomes first US state to enact an Electronic Commerce Act defining basic consumer rights online.
- 1990: Tim Berners-Lee writes the first web browser, WorldWideWeb, using a NeXT computer.
- 1992: Book Stacks Unlimited in Cleveland opens a commercial sales website (www.books.com) selling books online with credit card processing.
- 1992: St. Martin's Press publishes J.H. Snider and Terra Ziporyn's Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change the Way We Shop and What We Buy.
- 1992: Terry Brownell launches a fully graphical, iconic navigated Bulletin board system online shopping using RoboBOARD/FX.
- 1993: Paget Press releases edition No. 3 of the first AppStore, The Electronic AppWrapper
- 1994: Netscape releases the Navigator browser in October under the code name Mozilla. Netscape 1.0 is introduced in late 1994 SSL encryption that made transactions secure.
- 1995: The US National Science Foundation lifts its former strict prohibition of commercial enterprise on the Internet.
- 1995: Thursday 27 April 1995, the purchase of a book by Paul Stanfield, Product Manager for CompuServe UK, from W H Smith's shop within CompuServe's UK Shopping Centre is the UK's first national online shopping service secure transaction. The shopping service at launch featured WH Smith, Tesco, Virgin/Our Price, Great Universal Stores/GUS, Interflora, Dixons Retail, Past Times, PC World (retailer) and Innovations.
- 1995: Jeff Bezos launches Amazon.com and the first commercial-free 24-hour, internet-only radio stations, Radio HK and NetRadio start broadcasting. Dell and Cisco begin to aggressively use Internet for commercial transactions. eBay is founded by computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb.
- 1996: IndiaMART B2B marketplace established in India.
- 1996: ECPlaza B2B marketplace established in Korea.
- 1996: Sellerdeck, formerly Actinic, the UK's first PC/LAN e-commerce platform established.
- 1998: Electronic postal stamps can be purchased and downloaded for printing from the Web.
- 1999: Alibaba Group is established in China. Business.com sold for US $7.5 million to eCompanies, which was purchased in 1997 for US $149,000. The peer-to-peer filesharing software Napster launches. ATG Stores launches to sell decorative items for the home online.
- 2000: The dot-com bust.
- 2001: Alibaba.com achieved profitability in December 2001.
- 2002: eBay acquires PayPal for $1.5 billion. Niche retail companies Wayfair and NetShops are founded with the concept of selling products through several targeted domains, rather than a central portal.
- 2003: Amazon.com posts first yearly profit.
- 2004: DHgate.com, China's first online b2b transaction platform, is established, forcing other b2b sites to move away from the "yellow pages" model.
- 2007: Business.com acquired by R.H. Donnelley for $345 million.
- 2009: Zappos.com acquired by Amazon.com for $928 million. Retail Convergence, operator of private sale website RueLaLa.com, acquired by GSI Commerce for $180 million, plus up to $170 million in earn-out payments based on performance through 2012.
- 2010: Groupon reportedly rejects a $6 billion offer from Google. Instead, the group buying websites went ahead with an IPO on 4 November 2011. It was the largest IPO since Google.
- 2011: Quidsi.com, parent company of Diapers.com, acquired by Amazon.com for $500 million in cash plus $45 million in debt and other obligations. GSI Commerce, a company specializing in creating, developing and running online shopping sites for brick and mortar businesses, acquired by eBay for $2.4 billion.
- 2012: US eCommerce and Online Retail sales projected to reach $226 billion, an increase of 12 percent over 2011.
- 2012: Us eCommerce and Online Retail holiday sales reach $33.8 billion, up 13 percent.
Some common applications related to electronic commerce are the following:
- Document automation in supply chain and logistics
- Domestic and international Payment systems
- Enterprise content management
- Group buying
- Automated online assistants
- Instant messaging
- Online shopping and order tracking
- Online banking
- Online office suites
- Shopping cart software
- Electronic tickets
Internationally there is the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), which was formed in 1991 from an informal network of government customer fair trade organisations. The purpose was stated as being to find ways of co-operating on tackling consumer problems connected with cross-border transactions in both goods and services, and to help ensure exchanges of information among the participants for mutual benefit and understanding. From this came econsumer, as an initiative of ICPEN since April 2001. www.econsumer.gov is a portal to report complaints about online and related transactions with foreign companies.
There is also Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 with the vision of achieving stability, security and prosperity for the region through free and open trade and investment. APEC has an Electronic Commerce Stearing Group as well as working on common privacy regulations throughout the APEC region.
In Australia, Trade is covered under Australian Treasury Guidelines for electronic commerce, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regulates and offers advice on how to deal with businesses online, and offers specific advice on what happens if things go wrong.
In the United Kingdom, The FSA (Financial Services Authority) is the competent authority for most aspects of the Payment Services Directive (PSD). The UK implemented the PSD through the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (PSRs), which came into effect on 1 November 2009. The PSR affects firms providing payment services and their customers. These firms include banks, non-bank credit card issuers and non-bank merchant acquirers, e-money issuers, etc. The PSRs created a new class of regulated firms known as payment institutions (PIs), who are subject to prudential requirements. Article 87 of the PSD requires the European Commission to report on the implementation and impact of the PSD by 1 November 2012.
Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" content for immediate online consumption, to ordering conventional goods and services, to "meta" services to facilitate other types of electronic commerce.
On the institutional level, big corporations and financial institutions use the internet to exchange financial data to facilitate domestic and international business. Data integrity and security are very hot and pressing issues for electronic commerce.
Aside from traditional e-Commerce, m-Commerce as well as the nascent t-Commerce channels are often seen as the current 2013 poster children of electronic I-Commerce.
In 2010, the United Kingdom had the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita.
Among emerging economies, China's e-commerce presence continues[when?] to expand. With 384 million internet users, China's online shopping sales rose to $36.6 billion in 2009 and one of the reasons behind the huge growth has been the improved trust level for shoppers. The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online. eCommerce is also expanding across the Middle East. Having recorded the world's fastest growth in internet usage between 2000 and 2009, the region is now[when?] home to more than 60 million internet users. Retail, travel and gaming are the region's top eCommerce segments, in spite of difficulties such as the lack of region-wide legal frameworks and logistical problems in cross-border transportation. E-Commerce has become an important tool for businesses worldwide not only to sell to customers but also to engage them.
In 2012, ecommerce sales topped $1 trillion for the first time in history. 
Impact on markets and retailers
Economists have theorized that e-commerce ought to lead to intensified price competition, as it increases consumers' ability to gather information about products and prices. Research by four economists at the University of Chicago has found that the growth of online shopping has also affected industry structure in two areas that have seen significant growth in e-commerce, bookshops and travel agencies. Generally, larger firms are able to use economies of scale and offer lower prices. The lone exception to this pattern has been the very smallest category of bookseller, shops with between one and four employees, which appear to have withstood the trend.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2013)|
E-commerce has grown in importance as companies have adopted Pure-Click and Brick and Click channel systems. We can distinguish between pure-click and brick and click channel system adopted by companies.
- Pure-Click or Pureplay companies are those that have launched a website without any previous existence as a firm.
- Bricks-and-Clicks companies are those existing companies that have added an online site for e-commerce.
- Alternative Payments
- Mobile commerce
- Comparison of shopping cart software
- Digital economy
- Electronic bill payment
- Electronic money
- E-commerce credit card payment system
- List of free and open source eCommerce software
- Non-store retailing
- Online marketplace
- Paid content
- Payments as a service
- Payment card
- Social commerce
- Virtual economy
- Wire transfer
- Mike Power (19 April 2013). "Online highs are old as the net: the first e-commerce was a drugs deal". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Tkacz, Ewaryst; Kapczynski, Adrian (2009). Internet — Technical Development and Applications. Springer. p. 255. ISBN 978-3-642-05018-3. Retrieved 28 March 2011. "The first pilot system was installing in Tesco in the UK (first demonstrated in 1979 by Michael Aldrich)."
- "E Commerce – Essays – Hpandurang92". Studymode.com. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Aldrich, Michael. "Finding Mrs Snowball". Retrieved 8 March 2012.
- "The Electronic Mall". Gsbrown.org. 30 April 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Tim Berners-Lee: WorldWideWeb, the first Web client". W3.org. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Snider, J.H.; Ziporyn, Terra (1992). Future Shop: How New Technologies Will Change the Way We Shop and What We Buy. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-06359-7. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- "PRESS RELEASE: AppWrapper Volume1 Issue 3 Ships".
- Kevin Kelly: We Are the Web Wired, Issue 13.08, August 2005
- IMRG Special Report – £100 bn spent online since 1995[dead link]
- "eBay acquires PayPal". Investor.ebay.com. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Diane Wang: Rounding up the "Ant" Heroes". Sino Foreign Management. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
- "R.H. Donnelley Acquires Business.com for $345M". Domain Name Wire. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Amazon Buys Zappos; The Price is $928m., not $847m.". TechCrunch. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Saqib Iqbal Ahmed (27 October 2009). "GSI Commerce to buy Retail Convergence for $180 mln". Reuters. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- "Groupon rejects Google's $6 billion offer". MSNBC. 3 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Groupon's IPO biggest by U.S. Web company since Google". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- "Amazon buys Diapers.com parent in $545 mln deal". MarketWatch. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "eBay Acquires GSI Commerce For $2.4 Billion in Cash And Debt". TechCrunch. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "US Online Retail Forecast, 2011 To 2016". Forrester Research, Inc.
- "Holiday E-Commerce Sales Up 13 Percent To $34B; This Past Week Was Heaviest Online Shopping Period on Record". TechCrunch. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Advertising and Marketing on the Internet: Rules of the Road". Federal Trade Commission.
- "Enforcing Privacy Promises: Section 5 of the FTC Act". Federal Trade Commission.
- "H.R. 6353: Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008". Govtrack.
- "Australian Treasury Guidelines for electronic commerce". Australian Federal Government.
- "Australian Competition and Consumer Commission". Australian Federal Government.
- "Dealing with Businesses Online in Australia". Australian Federal Government.
- "What to do if thing go wrong in Australia". Australian Federal Government.
- "Australian government ecommerce website". Australian Federal Government.
- "FSA official website".
- "The Payment Services Regulations 2009". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Hacon, Tom. "T-Commerce – What the tablet can do for brands and their consumers". Governor Technology. Retrieved 2013-03-233.
- James Robinson (28 October 2010). "UK's internet industry worth £100bn — report". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Olsen, Robert (18 January 2010). "China's migration to eCommerce". Forbes.
- "Now a Digital Mall Boom in the Middle East | Thomas White International". Thomaswhite.com. 6 January 2012.
- Eisingerich, Andreas B.; Kretschmer, Tobias (2008). "In E-Commerce, More is More". Harvard Business Review. 86 (March): 20–21.
- "Ecommerce Sales Topped $1 Trillion for First Time in 2012". eMarketer. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Economics focus: The click and the dead". The Economist. 3–9 July 2010. p. 78.
- Humeau, Philippe; Jung, Matthieu (10 September 2012). In depth comparison of 8 ecommerce solutions (PDF)
- Chaudhury, Abijit; Jean-Pierre Kuilboer (2002). e-Business and e-Commerce Infrastructure. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-247875-6.
- Frieden, Jonathan D.; Roche, Sean Patrick (19 December 2006). "E-Commerce: Legal Issues of the Online Retailer in Virginia" (PDF). Richmond Journal of Law and Technology 13 (2)
- Graham, Mark (2008). "Warped Geographies of Development: The Internet and Theories of Economic Development" (PDF). Geography Compass 2 (3): 771. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2008.00093.x
- Kessler, M. (2003). More shoppers proceed to checkout online. Retrieved January 13, 2004
- Nissanoff, Daniel (2006). FutureShop: How the New Auction Culture Will Revolutionize the Way We Buy, Sell and Get the Things We Really Want (Hardcover ed.). The Penguin Press. pp. 246 pages. ISBN 1-59420-077-7.
- Seybold, Pat (2001). Customers.com. Crown Business Books (Random House). ISBN 0-609-60772-3.
- Miller, Roger (2002). The Legal and E-Commerce Environment Today (Hardcover ed.). Thomson Learning. pp. 741 pages. ISBN 0-324-06188-9.
- Kotler, Philip (2009). Marketing Management. Pearson:Prentice-Hall. ISBN 978-81-317-1683-0.
|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: The Information Age|