The concept of e-commerce and its categories

The development of computer information systems and telecommunication technologies has led to the formation of a new type of economic activity – electronic business.

E-business is any business activity that uses the capabilities of global information networks to transform internal and external communications to create profit.

E-commerce is an essential component of e-business. Under e-commerce (e-commerce) refers to any form of business transactions in which the interaction of the parties is carried out electronically instead of physical exchange or direct physical contact, and as a result of which the right of ownership or the right to use a product or service is transferred from one person to another.

E-business has four main stages of use: marketing, manufacturing, sales and payments, and the degree of use of information and communication technologies and systems serves as a measure by which a business can be considered electronic. The degree of use of telecommunication technologies is determined by using the global Internet as a tool for organizing a single information space of e-business.

All the information is stored on web-servers – computers owned by organizations that carry out Internet services. Access to information is carried out on requests from browser programs of network clients.

Promoting e-commerce on the Internet provides manufacturers with access to the maximum number of consumers and their diverse preferences and allows customers to enter their orders into the enterprise management system.

E-commerce can be divided into the following categories:

– business-to-business (B2B). This direction includes all levels of interaction between companies. Special technologies and standards for electronic data interchange, such as EDI, can be used;

– business-to-consumer (B2C). The basis of this direction is electronic retailing;

– business-to-administration (B2A). The interaction of business and administration includes business relations of commercial structures with state organizations, ranging from local authorities to international organizations;

– consumer-to-administration (C2A). This area is the least developed, but it has a sufficiently high potential that can be used to organize interaction between government agencies and consumers, especially in the social and tax sphere;

– consumer-to-consumer (C2C). It implies the ability of consumers to interact for the exchange of commercial information. It can be an exchange of experience in the acquisition of a product, an exchange of experience in interaction with a particular company, and much more.

The emergence of the Internet has led to the emergence of qualitatively new forms of e-commerce, in which EDI technologies are not used or their use is secondary.

E-commerce systems allow the buyer not to communicate with the seller, not to waste time on shopping, and also to have more complete information about the goods. The seller can more quickly respond to changes in demand, analyze the behavior of buyers, save money on staff, renting premises, etc.

Not being a single technology, e-commerce on the Internet is characterized by versatility. It brings together a wide range of business transactions, which include:

– information exchange;

– establishing contacts;

– pre and after sales support;

– sale of goods and services;

– electronic payment, including using electronic payment systems;

– distribution of products;

– the possibility of organizing virtual enterprises;

– implementation of business processes jointly managed by the company and its trading partners.

The possibilities of e-commerce on the Internet bring the following new elements into modern business:

– increased competition;

– globalization of areas of activity;

– personalization of interaction;

– reduction of distribution channels for goods;

– cost savings.

To fully realize the potential of e-commerce, several key issues need to be solved;

– globalization;

– contractual and financial problems;

– property rights;

– secrecy and security;

– compatibility of information systems.