The Web has become a global vehicle for electronic commerce (e-commerce), creating new ways for business to interact with one another and their customers. E-commerce means doing business online, such as when a consumer buys a product over the Web instead of going to a store to buy it.
E-commerce Technologies are rapidly changing the way individuals and companies do business. You can go online to buy a book, lease a car, shop for groceries, or rent movies. You can even get a pizza delivered to your door without picking up the phone.
But these kinds of transactions are only the tip of the e-commerce iceberg. In fact, the vast majority of e-commerce activities do no involve consumers at all. They are conducted among businesses, which have developed complex networking systems dedicated to processing orders, managing inventories, and handling payments.
Electronic Commerce at the Consumer Level
Tens of thousands of online businesses cater to the needs of consumers. These companie’s websites provide information about products and services, take orders, receive payments, and provide on-the-spot customer service. Consumer-oriented e-commerce websites take many forms and over the gamut of products and services, but can be divided into two general categories: Online Shopping Sites andb Personal Finance Sites.
1. Online Shopping
Online shopping means buying a product or service through a website. Another term for online shopping is business-to-consumer (B2C) transaction. Even if you have never shopped online, you probably have heard of websites such as Amazone.com and ebay.com. They are just two of the many popular websites where consumers can buy all sorts of things.
2. Personal Finance
Retailers are not the only business reaching out to consumers over the web. No matter where you live, there’s a good chance that your local bank has a website where you can manage your accounts. If you are interested in investing, borrowing money, buying insurance, applying for a credit card, or doing some other task involving personal finance, you can do that online too.