What is Ecommerce?
Ecommerce covers very diverse areas and fields, with one common denominator – All transactions are conducted through the internet. Both for-profit and non-profit organizations have sprung up and blossomed as result of the internet. Millions of transactions, if not billions, are conducted every day on the web, using business models and procedures undreamed of thirty years ago.
What Types of Businesses Use the Internet?
What business does not use the internet today? There must be a couple of them out there, but not too many. Ecommerce covers literally every type of online transaction: buying and selling of products and services, Electronic Funds Transfer between buyers, sellers, banks and credit cards, Inventory Management Systems keeping track of a manufacturer’s supply of raw materials and parts, reordering from a designated supplier when the inventory level drops too low. Online Marketing and Advertising presents some unique and challenging experiences for an old trade. These Online Retailers, or e-tailers, can list, advertise, market, sell, ship and collect money on a transaction without leaving their home, office cubicle or store. Online transactions can take place Business-to-Business (B2B), or Business-to-Consumers (B2C).
Are They Strictly Online Businesses?
Online businesses are either called Pure Click or Brick and Click. A Pure Click business is a company that ventures into business with no previous experience. Since their transactions are rarely face-to-face, a dynamite web site and superior customer service is extremely important to increasing the online exposure and business. The other online business is called Brick and Click because they started out as a company prior to the advent of the internet, and have expanded to include an online business. Some Brick and Clicks keep both operations running, and some close down their Brick presence and operate strictly online.
How are Businesses Online Regulated?
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates Ecommerce. They generally investigate the same unfair business practices that may exist in the brick and mortar world. The Federal Trade Commission monitors things like false or misleading online advertising, fraud involving credit cards, or mail fraud. They also investigate online companies’ solicitations of consumer’s personal information as to the validity of the solicitation, and the promises of security a company might make about keeping that personal information safe.