Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or ecommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services 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 (EDILinventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.
Modern electronic commerce typically uses he 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" Buying or Selling on various websites and/or online marketplaces The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media Electronic Data Interchange (ED'), 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 Types of e-commerce The major different types of e-commerce are:
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Business-to-Business (82B): 82B e-commerce is simply defined as e-commerce between companies. This is the type of e-commerce that deals with relationships between and among businesses. About 80% of e-commerce is of this type, and most experts predict that 82B e- commerce will continue to grow faster than the B2C segment. The 82B market has two primary components: e-frastructure and e-markets. Business-to-consumer (B2C): Business-to-consumer e-commerce, or commerce between companies and consumers, involves customers gathering information; purchasing physical goods i. . , tangibles such as books or consumer products) or information goods (or goods of electronic material or digitized content, such as software, or e-books); and, for information goods, receiving products over an electronic network. It is the second largest and the earliest form of e-commerce. Business-to-Government (826): Business-to-government e-commerce or B2G is generally defined as commerce between companies and the public sector. It refers to the use of the Internet for public procurement, licensing procedures, and other government-related operations.
This kind of e-commerce has two features: first, the public sector assumes a pilot/ leading role in establishing e-commerce; and second, it is assumed that the public sector nas the greatest need tor making its procurement system more ettective. Web- based purchasing policies increase the transparency of the procurement process (and reduces the risk of irregularities). To date, however, the size of the B2G e- commerce market as a component of total e-commerce is insignificant, as government e-procurement systems remain undeveloped. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C):
Consumer-to-consumer e-commerce or C2C is simply commerce between private individuals or consumers. This type of e-commerce is characterized by the growth of electronic marketplaces and online auctions, particularly in vertical industries where firms/businesses can bid for what they want from among multiple suppliers. It perhaps has the greatest potential for developing new markets. Mobile Commerce (m-commerce): M-commerce (mobile commerce) is the buying and selling of goods and services through wireless technology-i. e. , handheld devices such as cellular telephones and personal digital assistants (PDAs).
Japan is seen as a global leader in m-commerce. As content delivery over wireless devices becomes faster, more secure, and scalable, some believe that m-commerce will surpass wireline e-commerce as the method of choice for digital commerce transactions. This may well be true for the Asia-Pacific where there are more mobile phone users than there are Internet users. Governmental regulation In the United States, some electronic commerce activities are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These activities include the use of commercial e- mails, online advertising and consumer privacy.
The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008, which came into law in 2008, amends the Controlled Substances Act to address online pharmacies.  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 nformation among the participants for mutual benefit and understanding.
From this came Econsumer. gov, an ICPEN initiative since April 2001. It 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 tor 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.  Also Australian government e-commerce website provides information on e-commerce in Australia. 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 (Pls), 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. 33] Forms Contemporary electronic commerce involves everything from ordering "digital" ontent 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. Global trends In 2010, the United Kingdom had the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita.  The Czech Republic is the European country where ecommerce delivers the biggest contribution to the enterprises' total revenue. Almost a quarter (24%) of the countrys total turnover is generated via the online channel. 36] 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.  China's cross-border e-commerce is also growing rapidly. E-commerce transactions between China and other countries increased 32% to 2. 3 trillion yuan ($375. 8 billion) in 2012 and accounted for 9. % of China's total international trade  Other BRIC countries are witnessing the accelerated growth of ecommerce as well. In Russia, the total ecommerce market is projected to total somewhere between 690 billion rubles ($23 billion) and 900 billion rubles ($30 billion) in 201 5, at 2010 values. This will equal 5% of total retail volume in Russia. Longer-term, the market size of Russian e-commerce could reach $50 billion by 2020. Brazil's ecommerce is growing quickly with retail ecommerce sales expected to grow at a healthy double-digit pace through 2014.
By 2016, eMarketer expects retail ecommerce sales in Brazil to reach $17. 3 billion.  India's ecommerce growth, on the other hand, has been slower although the country's potential remains solid considering its surging economy, the rapid growth of internet penetration, English language proficiency and a vast market of 1. billion consumers (although perhaps only 50 million access the internet throug n PCs and some estimate the most active group of e-commerce customers numbers only 2-3 million). E-commerce traffic grew about 50% from 2011 to 2012, from 26. 1 million to 37. million, according to a report released by Com Score. Still much of the estimated 14 billion dollars in 2012 ecommerce was generated from travel sites. 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 0 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 small and large 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 rice 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, bookshopsand 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. 
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