The terms e-Commerce & e-Business are not synonymous. e-Commerce is a subset of e-Business for commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet. e-Business is the online business transactions on the internet where the buyer and the seller do not meet personally. Differentiate between e-Commerce & e-Business. Many companies in e-Business get involved not only in commercial transactions but also provide other services. Examples of e-Commerce websites are Flipkart, Amazon, eBay, etc. The main purpose of digital marketing is connecting with customers and awareness about products or services. Whereas e-Commerce is directed towards individual buyers and their influence with sellers and manufacturers. Digital marketing promotes e-commerce while e-Commerce assists in B2B and B2C business. e-Commerce marketing promotes online shopping to e-Commerce websites for buying products and services.
- 1 e-Commerce Models
- 2 m-Commerce
- 3 Digital technologies for e-Commerce and e-Business
- 4 e-Commerce & e-Business: e-environment and e-government
- B2B Business-to-Business is the transaction that takes place between two organizations eg Producers and traditional commerce wholesalers. Prices are based on quantities that are negotiable.
- B2C Business-to-Consumer is the transaction that takes place between the consumer directly buying from the seller. eg Flipkart, Amazon, catalog using shopping cart solutions, etc
- B2G Business-to-Government covers all types of goods, services, and information between businesses of all sizes and government at all levels eg IT consultation for local government agencies.
- C2C Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) is a consumer transaction wherein a consumer sells a product or service to another consumer. This type of transaction takes place for second-hand goods. eg OLX website does not provide but facilitates the sale of the goods or the service.
- C2B Consumer-to-Business is a total reversal of the traditional approach of the exchange of goods. eg crowdsourcing based projects, sharing as an influencer with abilities to influence what their audience buys or does, consumer review, etc
- C2G Consumer-to-Government is rare and covers transactions eg payment of income tax online.
Electronic communication for e-C
Digitalization can be done in different ways and affects many facets of a business. The recent approach of communication is online and offline. Communicating online refers to all types of internet communication and technology whereas Offline communication is ways by which a business communicates directly with less technology involvement.
Online Public Relations is regarding influencing people through videos and articles that speak out for a product or a company. It is about relating to the public. Interactive ads as the name suggest, encourage the participation of users through a medium facilitating their response to proceed next.
An Offline presence could be attending seminars, participation in relevant television shows, press release, hosting an event, etc that would eventually build trust to build the brand. Traditional media & PR cannot be ignored as the audience want to connect directly and face to face. This type of connectivity supports a brand story and value. Many companies develop initiatives for people in remote areas so that the consumer is aware of the company’s product. Many consumers also rely on word of mouth from their close friends, relatives, family, etc for suggestions relating to a product or service for making decisions that result in a purchase.
m-Commerce refers to activity over a wireless connection on mobile devices called a smartphone or a tablet by businesses.
Ubiquity refers to real-time information and location available directly from our mobile devices.
Personalization e-commerce technology refers to individual information customization by businesses about their behavior, tastes, buying patterns, past purchases, marketing messages, etc. When you are near to a particular store you are served with customized messages on your smartphone making an offer of product that you are likely to buy in line with your preferences. Merchants are at liberty to change the product or service based on user preferences and behavior. With internet-enabled, we can operate our smartphone or tablet for online shopping. Mobile devices are accessed irrespective of age, gender, occupation, etc to support the daily activities which make it possible for organizations to reach their prospects easily.
m-Commerce infrastructure is the device software or services of mobile computing as the process which connects our mobile devices to a network or to any computing device. The mobile computing basic terminologies are GPS (Global Positioning System), Smartphones, SMS, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), Bluetooth, WiMAX, WAP, WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network), etc
The process route of m-Commerce System is
- Mobile user-initiated requests
- Encrypted signals sent through transmission towers
- Signals broadcast by landlines
- Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) locates the webservers
- Stored pages searched on the web
- Host web servers respond to requests
- HTML coded web pages and responses are encrypted and translated in
- Display of responses in wireless language by the browser.
e-Commerce websites make use of electronic payment which is a paperless monetary transaction. The common modes of electronic payments are Credit Card, Debit Card, Smart Card, Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT), E-Money, etc
e-Commerce security is an essential component of any transaction that takes place over the internet. To ensure security for online transactions the following practices are followed.
Encryption − The sender encrypts the data using a secret code and the specified receiver can decrypt the data by a secret code which may be the same or a different code.
Digital Signature is an e-signature authenticated through encryption and password
Security Certificates are a unique digital id that is used to verify the identity of a user or an individual website.
Security Protocols are used over the internet to ensure secure online transactions of-
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) meets the security criteria of Authentication, Encryption, Integrity, and Non-reputability. SSL uses HTTPS URLs while HTTP URLs are for without SSL certificate.
Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (SHTTP) supports multiple security mechanisms, providing security to the end-users and works by negotiating encryption scheme types used between the client and the server. SHTTP extends the HTTP internet protocol with authentication, public
Secure Electronic Transaction
Secure Electronic Transaction is the most secure protocol used by Visa and MasterCard having the following components −
- Merchant Software allows merchants to communicate in a secure way with financial institutions and customers
- Card Holder’s Digital Wallet Software allows the cardholder through the point and click system to make purchases online in a secure manner.
- Certificate Authority Software is used by financial institutions to issue digital certificates to merchants and cardholders, helping them to register their account agreements for secure e-commerce.
- Payment Gateway Server Software supports the process for the merchant’s certificate request by providing standard and automatic payment process
Electronic Data Interchange
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is an electronic way of transferring business documents internally or externally. In a business internal transfer is the exchange between its various departments and the external transfer takes place with customers or suppliers. Paper documentation is totally replaced with electronic documents such as invoices, shipping and purchase documents, other documents relating to correspondence, finance, business, etc
Digital technologies for e-Commerce and e-Business
e-Commerce web stores have been on the rise and therefore customers have to be provided with novel and customized experiences relating to their interest.
Businesses like Walmart and e-Bay have implemented storefront digitizing. When the customer looks at himself in the virtual mirror, they visualize how they would look in any outfit by just a click for anything available in the store. The virtual mirror stores all the information associated with the customer’s choice. Customers don’t need to repeat the wearing of all the selected clothes, thereby saving time which calls for a great shopping experience.
Chatbots have gained momentum stimulating e-commerce businesses through automation of machine learning and big data technology. Bots act friendly and formally than someone who has been with the business. Users will observe a conversion-based experience as an alternative to less text-based in the navigational journey while obtaining any information.
Beacon technology (Nokia 2006), currently marketed by Bluetooth Special Interest Group (2010) connects all the devices via Bluetooth Low Energy up to 50 meters.‘Beacons’ connectivity connects the device.
Direct Social Media Purchase
Website users on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest are on the rise. Social media websites have had success in generating sales and revenues by offering customers a direct click “Buy Now” button which will land them on the website page for completing the online payment directly.
Augmented Reality Devices
The use of virtual objects on a website provides a 3D experience of choosing virtual items by augmenting real objects. It helps customers to arrive at a decision before making a purchase. Hence the return of products will be minimized allowing customers of rewarding shopping experience.
Voice Assistants is the voice-activated and innovative web technology that listens to customer’s voice commands and performs the tasks related to purchase, search, and help. eg: Amazon’s> ‘Echo Alexa’ and China’s> ‘WeChat’ are voice assistants.
- e-Commerce & e-Business: Digital business platform & business infrastructure components
- e-Commerce infrastructure refers to the core hardware stack and software needed to run or host the eCommerce platform.
- eg Magento is a self-hosted or merchant hosted platform that involves the responsibility of managing databases, servers, caches, etc
- eg BigCommerce or Shopify is SaaS platforms where hosting, security, scaling, etc are the sole responsibility of the platform providers. Store owners use their platform through a web browser.
e-Commerce & e-Business: e-environment and e-government
e-Environment – The factors affecting e-environment (SLEPT) are as shown below:
- Social: the
growthrate of population, gender distribution, level of education, social classes, health consciousness, etc.
- Legal: discrimination law, consumer protection laws, employment laws, anti-trust law, intellectual property laws, regulatory mechanism, etc.
- Economic: interest rates, exchange rates, growth rates, inflation rates, monetary policies, fiscal policies, credit availability, etc.
- Political: government policies and its involvement in the economy such as participation in Trade Unions, consumer protection laws, employment laws, corruption level, government stability, trade control, competition regulation, etc.
- Technology: R&D activities, access to technology, rates in technological changes, technology incentives, infrastructure level, etc.
The E-Governance initiatives and programs in India are undertaken by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology < meity.gov.in >. The current program for e-Governance of the Government of India is known by the title “DIGITAL INDIA” < digitalindia.gov.in >. The Indian government has launched many e-Governance initiatives, including a portal for public grievance, MCA21 Mission Mode Project, e-Filing of income tax, e-gazette, Project Nemmadi, and their overall digital India policy.