I guess you can say that ecommerce started back in the 70’s with EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer), in the 80’s with EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). The 90’s around 1995 is when the internet move from the federal sector to commercial sector when NSF (National Science Foundation) decommissioned NSFNET and move assets to vBNS (Very-High-Speed Backbone Network Services) which serves as a testing ground for the next generation of internet technologies, which allow ISP (Internet Service Providers) to develop.
After the internet was develop we had an explosive growth mostly in “Dot Coms” ventures many professional left the major firm and job security to join start ups for the promise of millions of dollar.
In the mid 2000 when the NASDAQ collapsed in March hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs, stock values plummeted and thousand of company filed bankruptcy, downsized or were taken over by competitors. The subsequent stock market crash caused the loss of $5 trillion in the market value of companies from March 2000 to October 2002.
By the early 2003 companies that were well-conceived internet based companies were proving their values, consumers became confidence in buying over the internet and business began to realize the internet can create true operation efficiencies and increase profit. The explosion in the use of the Internet has paved the way for several path-breaking innovations. One of the most interesting and exciting aspects of this evolution is the emergence of electronic business (e-business) as a mainstream and viable alternative to more traditional methods of businesses being conducted today.
E-business is defined as the process of using electronic technology to do business. It is the day and age of electronic business. Also the structure of the Web is rapidly evolving from a loose collection of Web sites into organized market places. The phenomena of aggregation, portals, large enterprise sites, and business-to-business applications are resulting in centralized, virtual places, through which millions of visitors pass daily. Ecommerce redefines the very foundations of competitiveness in terms of information content and information delivery mechanisms.
Flows of information over international networks have created an electronic market-space of firms that are learning to exploit business opportunities. E-business has become standard operating procedure for the vast majority of companies. Ecommerce is the subset of e-business that focuses specifically on commerce. Commerce is the exchange of goods and services for other goods and services or for cash payment. There are several different types of ecommerce Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Business-to-Government (B2G), Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) and Mobile commerce (m-commerce).
A B2B system exchanges server programs and encoded files while communicating with other businesses. There are two types of B2B websites: vertical and horizontal. A vertical B2B ecommerce website is designed to meet the needs of a specific industry, and helps build connections between business communities in order to generate new business. A horizontal ecommerce website can be used by any company that is involved in buying and selling products or services. B2B ecommerce strategy can reduce operational costs, increase sales, and strengthen relationships between trading partners.
These websites can help expand your presence in the marketplace and lower your procurement costs while handling an unlimited number of products. While B2B ecommerce reduces human intervention, overhead expenses, and errors, it also increases efficiency and advertising exposure and company’s sales team and account managers can concentrate on generating new business. Business to Consumer (B2C) Business to consumer is the second largest and the earliest form of e-commerce. The more common B2C business models are the online retailing companies such as Amazon. com, Barnes and Noble and ToysRus.
Other B2C examples involving information goods are E-Trade and Travelocity. The more common applications of this type of e-commerce are in the areas of purchasing products and information, and personal finance management. The market researchers from eMarketers estimate the number of online buyers to be around 900 million worldwide. This brought in the online traders worldwide a turnover of over one billion US$ for the first time. EMarketers estimate the British to be the biggest spenders per head where on average every online buyer spent 3,885 US$ in 2012.
US ecommerce and Online Retail sales projected to reach $226 billion, an increase of 12 percent over 2011. 2012: US ecommerce and Online Retail holiday sales reach $33. 8 billion, up 13 percent over 2011. B2C e-commerce reduces transactions costs (particularly search costs) by increasing consumer access to information and allowing consumers to find the most competitive price for a product or service, it also reduces market entry barriers since the cost of putting up and maintaining a Web site is much cheaper than building a structure for a firm.
And with information goods, B2C e-commerce is even more attractive because it saves firms from factoring in the additional cost of a physical distribution network and for countries with a growing and robust Internet population, delivering information goods becomes increasingly feasible. Electronic commerce and the Internet are redefining how consumers learn, select, purchase, and use products and services. Hence, B2C or Business-to-consumer retail holds significant business opportunities. A manufacturer with a dedicated ecommerce website can use it to increase margins, monetize existing brand loyalty and leverage competitive advantage.
At the same time, he can increase awareness for the brand, provide important product information to customers, and gather valuable customer data to improve business prospects. There are a number of benefits which make owning a B2C ecommerce website inevitable for manufacturers. The ecommerce brings the shopping experience to the consumer’s home. By launching a B2C ecommerce website, the manufacturers’ bring the convenience and comfort of shopping to the consumers thereby increasing their prospective customers. When the manufacturer owns the retailing operations also, it can create brand awareness more prominently.
By reaching out to new markets the manufacturers can increase their business’s brand name and about their product line. The e-shopping is accessible from anywhere anytime, thus it proves to be a quick and easy mode of providing information. Manufacturers can provide extensive updated information of their product range through their customized ecommerce website design. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is the business of conducting goods and services over the Internet to consumers from consumers. Another way to describe C2C is that it conducts e-commerce with consumers and themselves or to a third-party.
Before any consumer-to-consumer business can be formed over the Internet, there needs to established of a space where individuals can come together. These “gathering spaces” are called online or virtual community in which a collection of people come to one site to communicate, connect, and get to know one another. From there, people can establish a multitude of community themes to bring similar minded people. Some examples of communities: * Communities of interest – people who come together over the Internet to share a common interest like professions, sports, hobbies, philosophy, trading, and others. Communities of relations – people who come together over the Internet to share stories of relations such as friends, families, and/or relationships. Some examples of these communities would be like Myspace or Facebook. * Communities of fantasy – people who come together over the Internet to share fantasies over the internet like fantasy football or baseball. Another example would be a site that allows people to write their own stories of fiction. Another type of online community that establishes a consumer-to-consumer electronic commerce is called an online or electronic auction site.
An e-auction is like a regular auction; however, the sales of bidding are done online. It is a place where sellers and buyers bid for items listed on the auction sites such as Ebay or Amazon. Two types of auctions that can occur: * Forward Auction – an auction that sellers use to have buyers bid on their merchandise till the highest bidder wins. * Reverse Auction – like the forward auction, this auction is used by consumers that want to buy goods or services. However, the buyer selects the seller that has the lowest bid.
An example of this would be seen in Amazon. com where instead of purchasing a product from them, a person can buy from other sellers. When going into the listing of other vendors, the website usually posts the lowest asking price first. Then, the next lowest price is listed all the way up to the last seller that has the highest price of all the listings. There are many benefits that a consumer-to-consumer e-commerce has. One of the main factors is a reduction in costs. Sellers can post their goods over the internet cheaply compared to the high rent space in a store.
The lower expenses lead to smaller, yet profitable customer base. Being in a community of similar interest where buyers and sellers come together leading to more chances of goods and services being sold. Another benefit is that many small businesses can obtain a higher profitability over a C2C compared to a physical store because of the reduction of overhead costs when conducting an e-business. Probably the most positive benefit of the consumer-to-consumer sites is the effectiveness in selling personal items. There are also disadvantages that a C2C e-commerce has.
One of the main factors is it is not always the safest and most reliable place to conduct business. Sometimes buyers and sellers are not accommodating to each other when transactional information is needed. In these cases, a proof of purchase can solve liability issues and prevent costly lawsuits for a consumer and small businesses. Another disadvantage is that these types of sites are known for scams, swindles, and people with ill-business intentions. When things go wrong on C2C e-commerce communities, people can easily spread their stories across the internet which effectively is Word-of-Mouth advertising.
Consumer-to-consumer marketing is on the rise, and 2013 will be the year when it explodes into the mainstream, becoming a must-have retail marketing tactic rather than just the mark of the out-there-brand-innovator. Communication is no longer about just businesses talking to anyone; it’s about people talking to people. Forget who’s on the end of the conversation. This is about where it all starts. The future of communications is C2C, or consumer2consumer or people2people. Individuals, whether buying for business or for themselves, are talking to and listening to other consumers.
They are setting the agenda, leading the conversation, sharing their views, recommending the best products and deciding whether brands are successful or not. No longer are consumers just taking in information corporations and brands are spewing at them. Now they question and make brands earn their loyalty. Because of social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, consumers are now quick to ask brands: What can you do for me? So, today challenge is getting people talking about brands in a positive way, not getting brands to talk to people.
With so many touch points, brands must move away from the traditional 1960s formula of one-sided information and start having conversations with consumers. Consumers want brands to be authentic and have a real human voice they can speak with when something goes wrong or right. Business-to-Government (B2G) Business-to-government (B2G) is a variation of the term business-to-business the concept that businesses and government agencies can use central Web sites to exchange information and do business with each other more efficiently than they usually can off the Web.
A Web site offering B2G services could provide businesses with a single place to locate applications and tax forms for one or more levels of government (city, state or province, country, and so forth); provide the ability to send in filled-out forms and payments; update corporate information; request answers to specific questions. B2G may also include e-procurement services, in which businesses learn about the purchasing needs of agencies and agencies request proposal responses.
B2G may also support the idea of a virtual workplace in which a business and an agency could coordinate the work on a contracted project by sharing a common site to coordinate online meetings, review plans, and manage progress. B2G may also include the rental of online applications and databases designed especially for use by government agencies. This kind of e-commerce has two features: first, the public sector assumes a pilot/leading role in establishing e-commerce; and second, it is assumed that the public sector has the greatest need for making its procurement system more effective.
Web-based purchasing policies increase the transparency of the procurement process and reduce the risk of irregularities. To date, however, the size of the B2G e-commerce market as a component of total e-commerce is insignificant, as government e-procurement systems remain undeveloped. Mobile commerce (m-commerce) More and more users are buying tablets and using them for e-commerce due to the convenience it provides. The latest report from eMarketer predicts a surge in tablet commerce, turning the m-commerce into a $50 billion industry next year.
The overall mobile commerce spending, including both tablets and Smartphone’s, in 2012 was $24. 66 billion, and this figure represented an 81% increase from the 2011 figures. EMarketer also report predicts total ecommerce spending from tablet devices alone to touch $24 billion by the end of 2013 and then almost double itself in a year to reach $50 billion by the end of 2014. The total mobile m-commerce sales would stand at about $39 billion in 2013. In 2013, 15% of all sales is expected to come from mobile devices, with tablets alone accounting for a dominant 9%.
By 2016, tablets alone will account for a significant 17% of all sales. A big reason for the surge is the increasing rate of tablet adoption, as more and more people buy this new device. Traditionally, the ratio of new devices has been four Smartphone’s for every tablet. But Christmas Day 2012 sprang another surprise, when 49% of the 17. 4 million new devices activated were actually tablets. As content delivery over wireless devices becomes faster, more secure, and scalable, some believe that m-commerce will surpass wire line e-commerce as the method of choice for digital commerce transactions.
This may well be true for the Asia-Pacific where there are more mobile phone users than there are Internet users. Industries affected by m-commerce include: Financial services, including mobile banking, as well as brokerage services; Telecommunications, in which service changes, bill payment and account reviews can all be conducted from the same handheld device; Service/retail, as consumers are given the ability to place and pay for orders on-the-fly; Information services, which include the delivery of entertainment, financial news, sports figures and traffic updates to a single mobile device.