Introduction to E-commerce



  • E-Commerce stands for Electronic commerce which involves buying and selling of products and services on the internet.
  • E-commerce includes retail shopping, banking, online stock trading, auctions, real estate transactions, airline booking etc…
  • Typically a customer uses a web browser to access a web based virtual store through internet.
  • It involves searching and selecting products and services online.
  • Add the selected items to the shopping cart and making the payment online using credit cards.

Types of E-Commerce

B2B-(Business- to- Business)

Companies do businesses with each other such as manufacturers selling to distributors and wholesalers selling to retailers.

Supply Chain management is done through this type of e-commerce.

B2C-(Business- to- Consumer)

Businesses sell to general public typically through online catalogs and shopping carts.

Web retailer sells to unknown users.


Buying and selling takes places between customers. Example of consumer to consumer e-commerce is online auctions.

EBay is a popular auction site

Advantages of e-Commerce


  • Being able to conduct business 24 x 7 x 365
  • Access the global marketplace
  • Speed of conducting business is high
  • Reduces cost
  • Employee and salesperson cost can be avoided
  • Rental cost can be avoided


  • Customer can choose from a variety of suppliers without having to physically visit each shop
  • More convenient and saves time
  • Reduced cost of traveling

Disadvantages of e-commerce


  • Perishable goods cannot be sold on internet
  • No personal contact with the customer
  • Difficult to get customer feedback


  • Time taken for physical delivery of goods
  • Customer has to pay for shipment charges
  • Customers cannot feel the product physically
  • Privacy, Security and Payment issues
  • Hesitation to give credit card details online

Elements of E-Commerce

  • Promote your Web site presence
  • Have an online catalog or store
  • Have the capability to receive payments
  • Be able to deliver the item
  • Provide after-the-sale support


About the Author

Akash Padhiyar

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One Comment

  1. please send the e-commerce notes in my mail address

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