Before we get into the complexities of eCommerce Development,
we would like to take a moment first to emphasize what we and most of the top business schools in the world view as being the foundation to all
This core foundatation, no matter what market you are in, is your customer base.
The key is to turn the consumers within your market reach into
customers by focusing more of your
personal time and energy into carefully empathizing with them (i.e. putting yourself in their shoes),
so as to first and foremost understand them and their needs and wants in order to best provide them with what they most want and need. Once businesses
have gotten their priorities straight by establising the foundation of their business as placing their customers first, then, and only then, will they truly
be able to move forward with preparing to develop a successful
strategy for eCommerce Development.
Electronic Commerce, commonly known as
or eCommerce, consists of the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems
such as the Internet and other computer networks. eCommerce Development has caused the
amount of trade conducted electronically to grow extraordinarily
since the spread of the Internet. A wide variety of commerce is conducted in this way,
spurring and drawing on innovations in electronic funds transfer,
supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems,
and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at some point in the transaction's
lifecycle, although eCommerce Payment Systems
can encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail as well.
A large percentage of electronic commerce is developed to be conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as access to premium content
on a website, but most electronic commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes
known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail. Almost all big retailers have electronic commerce presence on the World Wide Web.
Electronic Commerce that is conducted between businesses is referred to as B2B or
Business-to-business. B2B can be open to
all interested parties (e.g. commodity exchange) or limited to specific, pre-qualified participants (private electronic market).
Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to
facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions.
eCommerce Development History
The meaning of electronic commerce has changed over the last 30 years. Originally, electronic commerce meant the
facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). These were both introduced in the late 1970s, allowing businesses to send commercial
documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically. The growth and acceptance of credit cards, automated teller
machines (ATM) and telephone banking in the 1980s were also forms of electronic commerce. From the 1990s onwards, electronic
commerce would additionally include enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), data mining and data warehousing.
The earliest example of many-to-many electronic
commerce in physical goods was the Boston Computer Exchange, a marketplace that used computers which was launched in 1982. One of the
first online information marketplaces, including online consulting, was the American Information Exchange, another
pre-Internet online system introduced in 1991, which essentually opened the Internet up to commercial use. Since that date millions of
businesses have taken up residence from web sites.
Although the Internet became popular among the general public worldwide in 1994, it took about five years to introduce security protocols
(for example, HTTP) and DSL allowing quicker access and continual connection to the Internet in the advent of the dot-com frenzy that was generated
on Wall Street. By the end of the first year of the 3rd millenia (2000), a lot of European and American business
companies had developed eCommerce to offer their services through the World Wide Web.
At that time the meaning of the word ecommerce evolved.
Since then people began to associate the term "ecommerce" or define it as
the process of purchasing of goods and services over the Internet using secure protocols and
electronic payment systems.
Although the dot-com collapse in 2000 led to unfortunate results and many of ecommerce companies disappeared,
the “brick and mortar” retailers recognized the advantages of electronic commerce and began to add such capabilities
to their web sites. For example, after the online grocery store Webvan came to ruin, two supermarket chains, Albertsons and Safeway,
began to use ecommerce to enable their customers to buy groceries online). By the end of 2001, the largest form of ecommerce,
Business-to-Business (B2B) model, had around $700 billion in transactions.
According to all available data, ecommerce sales continued to grow over the following years and by the end of 2007
ecommerce sales accounted for 3.4 percent of total sales.
Founded in January 2002, the "Center for E-Commerce Infrastructure Development" (CECID) is a
research and development center in the University of
Hong Kong committed to promoting e-commerce infrastructure development and standardization. A member of OASIS, W3C, RosettaNet, and the ebXML
Asia Committee, CECID actively takes part in the development and implementation of international standards, such as Universal Business Language,
Web Services, and RosettaNet. Through participation in these international and regional standards bodies, CECID follows closely the latest
developments in e-commerce technology standards and promotes Hong Kong's e-commerce technology to technical communities overseas.
CECID's operation is primarily financed by R&D grants from the Innovation and Technology Commission of the Hong Kong Government for its two
flagship research projects, namely Project Phoenix and Project Pyxis. In its completed Project Phoenix, CECID has produced several
software packages that implement major ebXML specifications. These software packages include Hermes Message Service Handler, ebMail,
and ebXMLRR Registry/Repository and are currently released under open source licenses on the freebXML.org website that CECID
established in 2002. Commenced in 2004, Project Pyxis targets to develop enabling technology for e-business interoperability
between trading partners and within large enterprises using various complementary and competing Web Services standards.
eCommerce Development History owes a great amount of thanks to Amazon and Ebay, which were among the first Internet companies to allow
electronic transactions. Thanks to their founders we now have a handsome ecommerce sector and enjoy the buying and selling advantages of the Internet.
Currently the 5 largest and most famous worldwide Internet retailers are Amazon, Dell, Staples, Office Depot and Hewlett Packard.
According to most statistical data, the most popular categories of products sold in the World Wide Web are music, books, computers,
office supplies and other consumer electronics.
Benefits and Advantages of eCommerce Development
Ecommerce has a great deal of advantages over “brick and mortar” stores and mail order catalogs. It is one of the most important
fundamental aspects of the internet to emerge by allowing people to exchange goods and services immediately
and with no barriers of time or distance. Any time of the day or night, customers
can go online, easily search through a large database of products and services and buy almost anything they wish. They can see actual prices,
build an order over several days and email it as a “wish list”, such as with gifts for Weddings, Christmas, etc., hoping that someone will
pay for their selected goods. They can compare prices with a click of the mouse and buy the selected product at best prices. Electronic
selling virtually eliminates processing errors. It is faster and more convenient for customers.
Ecommerce is also ideal for niche products. Customers for such products are usually few, but in the vast market place of the Internet even
niche products can generate viable volumes.
Another important benefit of Ecommerce is that it is the cheapest means of doing business.
Practically anyone Can open a business online and promote their product globally. The web and its search engines provide a way to be found by
customers without the high costs of traditional advertising venues. Because the direct cost-of-sale for an order taken from a web site is lower than
through traditional means (retail, paper based, radio, TV, etc.), even small online vendors can reach global markets.
This is because there is no human interaction during the on-line electronic purchase order process. Web technology also allows them to track
customer preferences and to deliver individually-tailored marketing of product and service preferences to
The operational benefits of e-commerce reduces both time and personnel required to complete business processes, as well as reduces strain
on other resources. It is because of all these benifits and advantages that one can harness the power of ecommerce to convert a business to an
ebusiness by using the available ecommerce solutions provided by ebusiness solution providers.
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