The Positive Sides of E-Commerce

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What is e-commerce?

E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce refers to the buying and selling of goods or services over the internet. The payment of such services provided is also made over the internet. There is no physical contact between the two parties who are being a part of this transaction.

What are the different types of e-commerce?

1. B2B Commerce

Here, both the parties involved in the e-commerce transactions are business firms and hence, the name is B2B commerce, meaning business-to-business commerce. One business firm contacts the other business firm to create utilities, or delivering goods, or order raw materials to the supplier, etc. These suppliers, distributors, etc. may be a part of the firm distribution channel.

For example- firm manufacturing cars and selling them as a final product to the consumers might contact a firm that produces different parts required to build up and assemble a car. This type of transaction between the two firms will be termed as B2B commerce.

2. B2C Commerce

Business-to-Consumer transactions take place under this type of e-commerce. The firm is on one end whereas a consumer is on the other end. B2C commerce entails a wide amount of marketing activities such as identification of activities, promotions, delivery of products, etc. The best example of such e-commerce is online shopping, or ATMs, etc.

3. Intra-B Commerce

Intra-B Commerce refers to transactions and communications taking place within a firm. A large firm might have to contact the superior authority of another department for some work. E-commerce makes it a lot easier to do so. The use of computer networks makes it possible for one department to contact another department. For example- cash management, human resources department, etc.

4. C2C Commerce

C2C commerce refers to customer-to-customer transactions where business originates from the customer and the end destination is also the customer. If you want to sell a product that has no established market mechanism, this is the best way to do so. C2C commerce is gaining large popularity not only across the country but across the globe.

The advancement in It sector has opened new doorways to opportunities. Using the internet, people can put up pictures and information about the things they want to sell, and the buyers can contact them directly and buy exactly what they need. Prices are usually negotiable in these transactions.

What are the advantages of e-commerce?

1. Convenience

There is great convenience provided due to the great advantages posed by the internet that is available 24 hours X 7 days a week X 365 days a year. Flexibility is provided to both the buyer and the seller and transactions can be done from anywhere at any time.

2. Speed

The buying and selling involves the exchange of information regarding the goods to be sold or bought over the internet allows such transactions on the click of a button.

3. Global reach/ access

The Internet is without boundaries. It not only allows the seller to have access to a larger market i.e. the global market but, it also allows the buyer to choose the product or service he or she wants to purchase from a wider variety with more options.

4. Ease of formation and lower investment

Usually, when someone wants to start a new business, it is a very complex process to get through with it. The phrase “Networked individuals and firms are more efficient than net-worthed individuals and firms” makes a lot of sense here. Those who have more knowledge and excess to the internet are likely to benefit more than those who do not have the acquired skills for such an “online-world”.

Online transactions do not require a large amount of investment for starting up a new business. The network plays a more important role than net-worth here.

What are the disadvantages of e-commerce?

1. Need for technological capability

E-commerce not only requires the 3R’s- reading, writing, and arithmetic, it also requires a high degree of familiarity with the world of computers and technology as a whole. The digital divide is an outcome of this disadvantage. A divide has been created in society between those who know technology and those who do not.

2. Increased risk

There is an increased risk of anonymity and non-tractability of the parties because internet transactions, etc. occur between cyber personalities. Therefore, it becomes difficult to identify who is the person with whom you are having a conversation with for the business or any other purpose.

3. Incongruence between order taking and delivery

There is no doubt that it all starts with just a click of a button but it is not enough. Ordering goods and taking an order will be done by clicking one button but there is a lot of work to follow-up that order taking step. Physical delivery may take a long time to take place. Incongruence may play on the patience of the customers. 

4. Low personal touch

High technology makes transactions easier over the internet but many transactions are characterized by the degree of personal touch associated with them. E-commerce does not allow the sellers to put in the extra personal touch that is needed since there is no physical contact between the two parties. For example- lingerie, edibles, etc. require a personal touch of the seller.

Written by - Hunnar Kaushal

Edited by - Chhavi Gupta

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