E-Commerce is a shortened word which means Electronic-Commerce. Vladimir Zwass (2001) defines E-Commerce as the process of carrying out business transactions by the use of telecommunication networks. It involves sharing business information and maintaining business relationships.
E- Commerce started as early as 1948 during the Berlin airlift in the form of electronic transmissions (Seideman, 1996). E-Commerce later developed into electronic data interchange (EDI) and in the 1960s, industries cooperated to produce common electronic data formats. These formats were however only used in purchasing, transportation and finance at the intra industry level transactions. National EDI standards were later developed in late 1970s and these were developed well in the early 1990s.
By definition, EDI is an electronic transfer of standardized transactions between two parties over a private network by use of computers. These transactions are business in nature and the parties would be a sender and a receiver computer. Zwass (2001) argues that internet dynamics have redefined E- Commerce and the traditional E-Commerce is fast moving to the internet. The redefined E- commerce now includes several other facilities such as electronic trading of tangible and intangible goods, online marketing, ordering payment and delivery, consultancy services such as advice, and the online company collaboration. This has lead to several other definitions of E-Commerce that are used in different contexts. For example, Timmers (2000) defined E-Commerce as the process of doing business electronically while Straight-on.com (2000), defined E-Commerce as conducting financial transactions by electronic means. Turban, Lee, King and Chung (1999) defined electronic commerce as transacting business through telecommunication networks, especially the internet.
Key drivers of E-Commerce
E-Commerce is more advanced in different regions than in others. It is claimed that e-commerce is more advanced in the USA than in Europe (Sagepub, 2011). Proper understanding of the key drivers of e-commerce will help in the comparisons of the different countries so as to create a concrete base of unequal advancement of e-commerce in the various regions. These drivers are the external factors affecting the e-commerce and are outlined as the PEST factors, standing for Political, Economical, Social and Technological factors.
The degree of advancement of e-commerce in a country is very much dependent on the government of the country. This involves the government’s support on e-commerce through creation of legislations, initiative and its support on the use and development of e-commerce. The political factors that drive e-commerce include; government incentives, legislations and policies
The use of e-commerce in a country depends on the wealth of a country. E-commerce requires expensive facilities which dictate or may limit poor countries to use it...