E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services, or the transmitting of funds or data, over an electronic network, primarily the Internet. These business transactions occur either business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. The terms e-commerce and e-business are often used interchangeably. The term e-tail is also sometimes used in reference to transactional processes around online retail.
E-commerce is conducted using a variety of applications, such as email, fax, online catalogs and shopping carts, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), File Transfer Protocol, and Web services. Most of this is business-to-business, with some companies attempting to use email and fax for unsolicited ads (usually viewed as spam) to consumers and other business prospects, as well as to send out e-newsletters to subscribers.
Advantages of E-Commerce
- Faster buying/selling procedure, as well as easy to find products.
- More reach to customers, there is no theoretical geographic limitations.
- Low operational costs and better quality of services.
- Buying/selling 24X7.
- No need of physical company set-ups.
- Easy to start and manage a business.