E-commerce is electronic commerce, which refers to the use of electronic technologies, devices, and means to conduct commerce, including sale, purchase, transfer, and exchange of goods or services or information (Botha, Bothma, & Geldenhuys, 2008). E-commerce includes business to business, as well as business to customer transactions of goods and services. E-commerce has brought profound changes in the landscape of business by increasing the speed and ease with which business transactions can be carried out today, resulting in rigorous competition between market players (Botha, et al, 2008). When the internet has prospered and conquered the entire world of business, most of the companies were at the crossroad, with only two vistas ahead of them- either go online or get away from business forever.
From the business point of view, electronic commerce is extremely useful for addressing the needs of business organizations and consumers to cut costs for goods and services, while ensuring highest quality for them, and increasing the speed of both goods and service delivery. E-commerce has caused to improve the operational objectives of firms, as it helped them increase quality, speed, reliability, flexibility, dependability while reducing costs (Slack, Chambers, & Johnston, 2010). One of the main reasons behind the growth of e-commerce was that computer networks were widely used for searching and retrieving information in support of review of products and services (Zappala, 2017).
It is viewed that e-commerce is associated with any kind of exchange of goods, services, information etc through computer networks from anywhere in the world to any other part of the world. Internet if also termed as information superhighway because information is exchanged between individuals, firms, governments and other bodies through internet (Dholakia, Fritz, Dholakia, &Mundorf, 2002). For e-commerce, companies may depend on a range of processes and platforms such as Electronic Data Interchange, electronic mail, World Wide Web, internet software, computer applications and so on.
It is very obvious that people across the world, and more significantly people in developed and developing countries are enjoying shopping online, even though they often encountered certain issues such as poor quality of products, delay in delivery, failure in online payment etc. The websites and mobile applications are doing more effective and cleverer things to attract more customers, to entertain them, and to retain them as longer as possible. They also seem to take much bigger share of people‟s spending. A major implication of this trend is that companies that neglect the importance and business potential of e-commerce may be considered committing commercial suicide (Botha, et al, 2008).
A key advantage of online retailing and e-commerce is that companies are now able to compete their counterparts regardless of their size. Internet provides wider market opportunities and hence size and strengths of a business do not seem to be an issue. A strong presence in e-commerce itself has become a better competitive advantage (Ching& Ellis, 2004), and a stronger competitive strategy (Beatty, Reay, Dick, & Miller, 2011) with which the company can overcome other‟s strategic moves and other market challenges. However, certain key determinants seem to pose challenges for some companies that go online. These determinants are transaction costs, lack of trust, lack of awareness, regulations at local or national levels etc.
Types of E-commerce
Basically, there are three types of e-commerce transactions; business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and consumer-to-consumer. These are normally termed as B2B, B2C, and C2C respectively (Chan, Lee, Dillon, & Chang, 2007). These are the most popular forms of e-commerce. However, apart from these three, consumer-to-business transactions are also considered. These five models of e-commerce are discussed below:
1-Business-to-business (B2B): It involves exchange of goods or services between businesses over internet. It involves manufacturers selling goods to wholesalers and retailers, or wholesalers selling to retailers over internet. Many e-commerce businesses in B2B niche are software companies, e-content providers and other types of service providers. These e-commerce firms don‟t sell their goods or services directly to end users (Warkentin, 2013). Since this type of e-commerce businesses don‟t directly sell to consumers, it doesn‟t cause to lose consumers of small scale retailers.
2- Business-to-consumers (B2C): This is perhaps one of the most popular forms of e-commerce, in which an ecommerce firm directly sells to the end users. It includes selling goods and services to consumers who buy them for their use. Amazon is a good example for B2C, as it sells books and many other items including digital gadgets, technology products, consumer durables, home wares, furniture and so on to the considers directly through the internet. This form of e-commerce could affect the businesses of small scale physical retailer stores, since they lose their customers as they switch to online shopping (Chan, et al, 2007).
3- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C): In C2C, users exchange products or services between them. eBay, established in 1995, is very popular for C2C model of e-commerce. In C2C, users place an item on the website for bidding. The highest bid wins the auction, and the sale is executed accordingly. This is the system followed in eBay. Under this platform, a consumer can sell his items to another consumer. In India, OLX is a very popular C2C e-commerce business, in which users can sell their homes, land, used cars, mobile, laptops, TVs and other digital products to other customers. In OLX, users exchange their goods between them.
4- Consumer-to-Business (C2B) C2B form of e-commerce is not so popular. In C2B, consumers sell their used goods to businesses. Consumers offer their goods or services in their blogs or websites, and interested businesses post their bids. After reviewing the bids, consumers agree either to sell or not to sell to the companies. Some people offer certain photographs, e-content, content writing, freelance or research writing services etc to certain companies.
For citing this article, use:
- Ziavuddeen, B. (2020). A study on impact of online companies marketing Strategies in mobile retailing in chennai district.