Electronic Commerce (E-Commerce) and the Global Economy
The world we live in today, revolves around technology, new innovations and constant change. The global economy incorporates these changes into its daily applications forming a technological driven world where businesses thrive on information and competitive markets. Computers and communication networks have planted a seed in this information age where enterprises flourish forming revolutionized market economies. One of the most profound changes emerging in the world of business today is the introduction and use of Electronic Commerce or EC. The impact of EC on customer services as well on businesses is dramatic enough to affect any and every organization. Electronic commerce is the buying and selling of products and services and information via a computer network.. It provides opportunities for companies to expand their business worldwide at a small cost.
Business to Consumer
EC includes business interaction with consumers where companies sell directly to consumers over the Internet. In terms of retail, Business- to – Consumer applications have increased revenues, and eliminated costly intermediaries like distributors, warehousing, etc. In addition, with the development of EC, the use of catalog or television shopping channels are becoming less popular. The former, limits an individual to what is seen on the screen or paper rather than the latter – EC that allows a wide variety of products. Shopping online also offers 24-hour service, the luxury of shopping for an item at your own convenience and detailed information of products and their prices, even when they go on sale! With the use of EC, distribution channels are eliminated making products cheaper and dealer’s profits higher. “It decreases (as much as 90 percent) the cost of creating, distributing, storing, and retrieving paper-based information.” (IT 391) An example of a successful online shopping environment is the very popular e-Bay.com. Founded in September 1995, eBay is the World's largest Online Marketplace for the sale of goods and services by a diverse community of individuals and businesses. It is a global trading platform where people can trade almost anything, from buttons to big ticket appliances. Some other uses of Business to consumer EC applications include:
also known as cyber banking. It allows its clients to pay their bills, view their accounts and any other financial information without having to physically go to a bank. One can access their account by submitting a password at their own convenience. For instance, SNFB- Security First Network Bank was the first virtual bank offering secure bank transactions on the Web. Bank customers can transfer money between accounts, review past statements and credit card transactions, pay bills, check balances of all accounts etc. Their operations were so successful that in 1998 they accepted a buyout...