Definition of terms
Electronic commerce is defined as the conduct of business on the Internet; this is not however limited to the conventional buying and selling but it is diversified to encompass servicing clients and client request as well as collaborating with organizational partners and stakeholders.
Exemplars of E-commerce implementation
Several electronic commerce technologies and types have been implemented globally including in Europe and in UK in particular. The type of e-commerce type an organization is a consequent of the organization’s strategic objectives as argued by Currie, (2004) to suit the stakeholders needs such as e-shops, e-marketing and collaboration platform, therefore having a clear cut definition on what exactly constitutes the type of e-commerce, since some researchers have suggested types such as electronic payment only, electronic order taking, online catalogue and electronic payment, and a fully integrated e-business as the types of e-commerce. However other authors such as Ralph & Reynolds, (2008), have suggested e-commerce types to include collaboration platform e-commerce, Marketing e-commerce and E-auctions portal as the types of e-commerce. However, other authors who form the basis of the paper have suggested e-commerce types to include Business to Consumer (B2C) commerce, Business to Employee (B2E), Government to Business (G2B) and Government to Citizen (G2C), Business to Business (B2B) commerce, Peer to Peer (P2P), m-Commerce and Consumer to Consumer (C2C).
Business to Consumer (B2C)
The Business to Consumer type of e-commerce engages businesses and consumers and it is the most prevalent type e-commerce segment Reynolds, (2004). This involves online businesses offering for sale products to specific consumers. Business to Consumer has experienced exponential grown since its inception, and it operates on the principle of marketers utilizing online and web based technologies to consumers through online marketing, in this case, the business persons can avail products to the consumers through the internet, this is the most common type of electronic commerce. An example is the common transaction where a person buys an item from the internet, Schneider, (2008).
Business to Business (B2B)
This involves substantial amounts of money as it involves trading partners; in this case both buyers and sellers are business parties and do not involve the end line consumer, such as manufactures offering goods to wholesalers or retailers. This is a type of e-commerce with the highest amount of financial transactions. An example is Dell Company selling its products to other sellers.
Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
This is a type of e-commerce between two consumers, where the internet acts as a facilitator and an intermediary which facilities the buyers and sellers. This includes web facilities such as e-bay.
E-commerce has offered several opportunities to the business environment, suppliers and consumers alike. In the recent past, Electronic Commerce has evolved as a crucial facet of the internet, in which e-commerce has enhanced the growth of the internet, while at the same time the internet has fostered the growth of electronic commerce. E-commerce permits consumers to transact business without being bound by constrains of time, furthermore e-commerce reduces direct cost-of-sale compared to traditional since electronic commerce virtually eliminates processing errors, and becoming faster and more convenient for the consumers, moreover e-commerce is suitable for niche products to generate substantial sales, while being the cheapest means of transacting business as argued by Tan,(2003), at the same time e-commerce provides the opportunity of substantial dissemination of information to consumers while escalating chances of buying alternative products, Ecommerce therefore offers various opportunities centered in decreasing the time and human resource needed to complete business processes, and decreasing strain on other organizational resources.
Whereas e-commerce offers various opportunities, it has substantial threats; E-commerce has been a challenge to conventional business models hence saturating the marketplace when the client base is constrained. Moreover, there are threats in terms of security and efficiency by such sources of threat like viruses, spay ware, ad-ware, hackers crackers and Trojans. In this case, security components have however, been a threat where client information such as personal information and financial data have at times been compromised, content management components have at times failed to be successful where clients have been offered content, not appropriate with their needs and financial data being hacked.
There exists varied types of e-commerce depending on the trading partners, but regardless of the type, e-commerce has offered several strategic benefit and opportunitiesof in the sense of decreasingthe delivery time, labour cost and cost incurred in the marketing of products and dissemination of information. E-commerce has moreover impacted on improving the work environment, enhanced client satisfaction, personalised communication and enhanced communication therefore enhancing profitability and strategic position of organizations.
Currie, W 2004, Value creation from e-business types, Butterworth-Heinemann, London.
Ralph, S & Reynolds, G 2008, Principles of Information Systems, Cengage Learning, Boston.
Reynolds, J2004, The complete e-commerce book: design, build & maintain a successful Web-based business, Focal Press, Chicago.
Schneider, G 2008, Electronic Commerce, Cengage Learning, Cape Town.
Tan, P 2003, Success with Online Retailing: For Small Businesses, iUniverse, Indianapolis.