Definition of 'Electronic Commerce - ecommerce'
A type of business model, or segment of a larger business model, that enables a firm or individual to conduct business over an electronic network, typically the internet. Electronic commerce operates in all four of the major market segments: business to business, business to consumer, consumer to consumer and consumer to business. It can be thought of as a more advanced form of mail-order purchasing through a catalog. Almost any product or service can be offered via ecommerce, from books and music to financial services and plane tickets.
Also sometimes written as "e-commerce" or "eCommerce".
'Electronic Commerce - ecommerce'
When you purchase a good or service online, you are participating in ecommerce.
Some advantages of ecommerce for consumers are:
- Convenience. Ecommerce can take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Selection. Many stores offer a wider array of products online than they do in their brick-and-mortar counterparts. And stores that exist only online may offer consumers a selection of goods that they otherwise could not access.
But ecommerce also has its disadvantages for consumers:
- Limited customer service. If you want to buy a computer and you’re shopping online, there is no employee you can talk to about which computer would best meet your needs.
- No instant gratification. When you buy something online, you have to wait for it to be shipped to your home or office.
- No ability to touch and see a product. Online images don’t always tell the whole story about an item. Ecommerce transactions can be dissatisfying when the product the consumer receives is different than expected.