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  e-commerce     Decades ago the world was going green to save the ecosystem, by reducing the impact on the ozone layers, through the help of environmental upgrade. The world never remained the same from the inception of computers; it went to another level from the discovery of the internet. Now the world has gone E, meaning electronic, in basically all forms of communication and transaction. The focus here is commerce, basically all that involves commerce in today’s business world has gone electronic, and that’s where the ‘e’ in e-commerce comes from. So what is e-commerce? E-commerce or Electronic commerce is a term for any type of business, or commercial transaction that involves the transfer of information across the Internet. E-commerce can be referred to as a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is carried out over electronic systems such as the World Wide Web and other computer networks. Electronic commerce is regarded 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. Some applications on the internet that are mostly involved in e-commerce is the use of the following: e-mail, instant messaging, shopping carts, Web services, UDDI, (universal description, discovery and integration) FTP (file transfer protocol), and EDI (electronic data interchange) etc. E-commerce covers an array of different types of businesses, from consumer based retail sites, through auction, to business exchanges trading goods and services between corporations. Electronic commerce cuts across technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. E-commerce allows consumers to electronically exchange goods and services with no impediment of time or distance. Electronic commerce has also led to the birth of electronic marketplaces where suppliers and potential customers are brought together to transact business. Electronic commerce can be between two businesses transmitting funds, goods, services and/or data or between a business and a customer. Buying and selling goods on the Internet is one of the most popular examples of e-commerce. There are different types of e-commerce; this is based on the type of participants in the transaction: Business to Business (B2B): B2B transactions, were both the transacting parties are businesses, e.g., manufacturers, traders, retailers and the like. Business to Consumer (B2C): When businesses sell electronically to end-consumers, it is called B2C e-commerce. Consumer to Consumer (C2C): Transactions in the earliest global economic system then, involved barter which is a C2C transaction. Auction sites are a good example of C2C e-commerce. E-commerce can be a very gratifying venture, when implemented suitably; e-commerce is often faster, cheaper and more convenient than the traditional methods of bartering goods and services. Carrying out transactions electronically gives one vast competitive advantage over conventional methods. It eliminates the restraint of time and geographical distance. It streamlines operations and lowers costs. E-commerce helps intensify price competition, as it increases consumers’ ability to gather information about products and prices. So what are you all waiting for? It pays to go ‘E’.

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This article was first published on 13th May 2014

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