eCommerce encompasses a wide range of activities. These include eCommerce of goods and services, online supply of digital content, electronic funds transfer, electronic stock trading, electronic bills of lading, auctions, joint designs and projects, online sourcing, public procurement, direct-to-consumer marketing, and after-sales services. Simply put, it is about conducting business transactions electronically. Jason Simon, an expert in the field, details all the fundamentals on which eCommerce is based.
The amount of commerce conducted electronically has grown dramatically due to the Internet. A wide variety of commerce is conducted in this way, spurring the creation and use of innovations such as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing and more.
In short, eCommerce encompasses products (consumer goods, specialized medical equipment) and services (information, financial and legal services, etc.), traditional activities (healthcare, education), and new activities (virtual shopping malls, etc.). eCommerce has rapidly acquired great economic and political importance as the Internet continues its remarkable global expansion. Intellectual property rights are of fundamental importance for the maintenance of a stable and favorable environment for the continued development of eCommerce.
“The advancement of Information and Communication Technologies has led to a profound change in our daily lives, in which we spend all our time connected to the Web wherever we are, with viable Web platforms for such action and being able to perform more and more actions in a Virtual World,” says Simon. “We no longer just use it for Web Browsing, but also for all our daily activities.”
In this new virtual environment, there is constant communication with other people through the advent of social networks, where it is possible to share multimedia content and even enjoy games: online, in groups, or run different web applications. There is also participation in self-created websites, such as the design of blog-type sites or photo albums, etc., but it is also possible to find solutions for many needs.
“To this modality, called eCommerce, more and more web platforms are being incorporated, counting on the convenience of being able to manage the means of payment, or make an automatic payment through the use of credit cards,” explains the expert. “And in recent times, the use of virtual money systems such as those companies that pay for the use of Web advertising, being certainly the best known of all the PayPal.”
Most eCommerce consists of the purchase and sale of products or services between individuals and companies. However, a considerable percentage of eCommerce consists of the purchase of virtual goods (mostly software and derivatives), such as access to “premium” content on a website.
eCommerce has become more relevant as computing has become increasingly important in our lives. The result of this revolution can be summed up in the advent of the so-called Information Society, the best-known exponent of which is the Internet, a worldwide network of networks. The Internet has contributed to changing the way we approach the world, opening up new proposals and perspectives.
Many and very complete definitions have been offered for eCommerce. Perhaps one of the most accurate is that which defines eCommerce as “the use of information technology and telecommunications to channel the flow of information and business transactions between a company and its usual business partners (customers, suppliers, financial institutions, carriers, etc.),” concludes Simon.
Security in eCommerce and specifically in commercial transactions, is an extremely important aspect. For this, it is necessary to have a secure server through which all confidential information is encrypted and travels securely. This provides confidence to both suppliers and buyers who make eCommerce their usual form of business.
The opening of markets is fundamental to the rapid growth in the use of new services and the assimilation of new technologies. In practice, companies have begun to use the Internet as a new sales channel, replacing personal visits, mail, and telephone with electronic orders. Thus, eCommerce was born as a cost-reduction alternative and a fundamental tool in business performance.