Definition & Meaning:

E-commerce, short for electronic commerce, is the buying and selling of goods and services over the Internet. It also includes other activities, such as transferring funds electronically and maintaining online marketplaces.

This digital form of commerce allows you to purchase items from the comfort of your home or on the go, using a variety of devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones.

For example, when you buy a book from an online retailer, you engage in e-commerce.

The process involves browsing an online catalog, selecting an item, adding it to a virtual shopping cart, and completing the purchase by paying through a secure online payment system.

After the payment is processed, the seller ships the item to you, completing the transaction.

E-commerce has revolutionized how businesses operate, offering a global marketplace where even small businesses can reach customers worldwide.

It includes various types, such as B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer), C2C (consumer to consumer), and C2B (consumer to business) transactions.

For instance, a manufacturer selling to a retailer is a B2B transaction, while an online store selling directly to consumers is a B2C model.

The rise of e-commerce has led to the development of supporting technologies and practices, such as electronic funds transfer, online transaction processing, supply chain management, and Internet marketing.

Furthermore, security measures like encryption have become essential to ensure safe transactions.

Moreover, e-commerce has expanded to include mobile commerce (m-commerce), which refers to transactions conducted via mobile devices.

With the increasing use of smartphones for online shopping, m-commerce has become a significant part of the e-commerce ecosystem.