Concept of E-commerce
E-commerce refers to the economic activities carried online. It is the buying and selling of services and products over the electronic systems like the computer networks and the internet (Gangeshwer, 2013). The e-commerce has become a powerful concept and process, which has significantly impacted on people’s lives. It is one of the core information and communication’s revolution criteria in the field of economy (read bestdissertation.com reviews). The e-commerce can be seen as virtual markets, stores and passages that have no physical space occupancy, but supports access and circulation around them for some time and anywhere around the world without shoppers leaving their homes. The advertisements for goods and services are done on the virtue networks and buyers are able to select and order products from the virtual shop windows and make payments through electronic services.
An Overview of the Origin and History of E-commerce
Shopping online has been in existence for about four decades. Initially, the e-commerce term was originally conceived in the late 1970s and referred to the processes of carrying out business transactions through electronic media using electronic data interchange and electronic fund transfer technologies (Ma’aruf & Abdulkadir, 2012). In 1982, the Boston Computer Exchange was developed as a marketplace for second hand computer equipment, and the first known e-commerce platform. The concept of e-commerce was further supported 1980s by the emergence of ATM machines, credit cards, and telephone banking. In early 1990s, data mining, data warehousing, and enterprise resource planning were included in the e-commerce.
The ecommerce that is widely known today began to take pace in 1994 after the introduction of high speed interne t connections and security protocols (Ma’aruf & Abdulkadir, 2012). However, it took four years for it to fully flourish after the http based protocols were widely availed to users (Nanehkaran, 2014). The presence of high speed internet connections and the security protocols made the industry experts to predict an explosive growth of the e-commerce related activities. As a result of these opinions, the USA and the European countries created the first e-commerce, though with beginner and unprofessional websites (Nanehkaran, 2014). By 2005, the concept expanded and spread rapidly to several areas in Europe and USA, and the East Asia.
Therefore, electronic commerce has now diffused to all parts of the world and uses technologies such as the automated data collection systems, mobile commerce, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic funds transfer, electronic data interchange, inventory management systems, and supply chain management (Niranjanamurthy, Kavyashree, Jagannath, & Chahar, 2013).
The e-commerce has received wide application by various parties, including the businesses, individuals and governments. The relationships between these parties’ transaction, and which part engages which, have led to the development of several frameworks for the classification of e-commerce. One such type of e-commerce is the B2B. It is the Business-to-Business e-commerce where the electronic transactions take place between and among businesses. It could take the form of an online wholesaling where manufacturers sell to distributors or wholesalers sell to retailers (Gangeshwer, 2013).
Mobile and Voice-Based E-commerce
According to Niranjanamurthy, Kavyashree, Jagannath and Chahar (2013), the mobile commerce refers to the burgeoning trend of using networks that is connected with wireless devices like the laptops, cell phones and handheld computers to initiate and/or finalize online electronic commerce activities. It can simply be defined as the handling of all kinds of electronic transactions through the mobile phones. The attributes of m-commerce include interactivity, personalization, ubiquity, convenience and localization. The main drivers of m-commerce include the widespread availability of powerful mobile devices, the service economy, handset culture, improved performance and price, vendor’s push, mobile workforce, increased morbidity, and improvement of bandwidth.
At the core of using mobile phones and accessing websites are the voice recognition as well as test-to-speech technologies. Customers speak the name of the products, services or websites they want to access and the systems recognize the command and respond accordingly with spoken words (Middle East Technical University, n.d). By using the voice commands, buyers are able to search a product from the database and also locate the seller with the most competitive prices. The voice-based e-commerce can be conducted by the use of digital wallets online. Bessie the financial information, these e-wallets also have details of the customer’s address, license, billing information among others, and which is conveniently transferred online. The security details for the voice-based e-commerce include a call recognition, where the calls only come from specific mobile devices; voice recognition, such that the authorization of the transaction has to match a given voice; and shipping to a given address, which cannot be altered by the voice (Caswell, 2000; Middle East Technical University, n.d).
The Use of the E-commerce
Use by the Organizations
Corporations use the ecommerce platforms to share information with customers and include online advertisements, message board systems, online catalogues, bulletin board systems, newsgroup, and multiparty conferencing. Companies are also using the e-commerce for the service and support purposes to their customers, which enable them to maintain the existing clients and attract new ones (Middle East Technical University, n.d).
Use by Individuals
Customers are using the e-commerce to place their orders. The buyer uses the forms available on the website of the company or an electronic email to place an order for a product of service. Also the customer uses the e-commerce to make payments for the ordered goods; in this case, he uses credit cards, digital cash or electronic checks.
By the Government
The government uses the e-commerce in placing tenders. It also uses the online platform to provide services to its citizens.
Common Attitudes toward E-Commerce
Despite the high proliferation of the e-commerce, the common attitudes exhibited by most consumers, touch on their privacy’s threat. As noted by Lodorfos, Trosterud and Whitworth (2006) and Niranjanamurthy, Kavyashree, Jagannath and Chahar (2013) the privacy and security of the online transactions as well as the trustworthiness of the internet, leading to a considerable resistance. Similar to other consumers, my attitude towards the e-commerce rests on the threat it poses on my privacy. During online transactions, my personal information is disclosed, captured, and verified such the credit card details.
Pros of E-commerce
The e-commerce supports buying and selling of services and products 24/7/365 as people can shop anytime. Also, there is a considerable decline in the transaction costs (Nanehkaran, 2014). It is convenient for consumers where they also compare prices offered by various sites and choose the best. The companies are saved the need to set up physical structures (Niranjanamurthy, Kavyashree, Jagannath, & Chahar, 2013).
Cons of E-commerce
The security of the transactions is not always guaranteed and there are several sites that are after eating up users’ money (Nanehkaran, 2014). Also, there lacks a guarantee for the product’s quality. The transactions do not give rise to social relationships as there are no contacts between people.
Future of E-commerce
There is no doubt that the e-commerce has been rapidly spreading across various part of the world. The internet user base, increased demand for broadband services, presence of wider ranges of products, busy lifestyles, reduced prices and rising standards of living imply that the e-commerce market will continue to grow (Chanana & Goele, 2012). The advancement of the smartphones will greatly promote the m-commerce since they will act as shopping assistants, recommending to consumers, the items to buy. The payment mode will involve internet currencies and digital, smartphone-enable wallet, leading to the reduction of the effort for checkout processes (Deutsche Post DHL, 2014; PWC, 2012).
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