Consentia on Multidisciplinary Research

E-COMMERCE: BREAKING THE DIMENSATIONS OF TRADE

INTRODUCTION

E‐Commerce is a latest technology related with commerce and computer. Commerce is the exchange or transformation or buying and selling of entities (goods or commodities) on a very large scale involving transportation from one place to another. E‐ Commerce is the process of doing business online. Or we can say that E‐commerce is to conduct business by using the IT is the buying and selling of items or goods or services on the Web using electronic communication and digital information processing technology.EDI or Electronic Data Interchange is an early form of e‐commerce. Its high cost, use of proprietary standards etc. hampered the spread of e‐commerce.

E‐commerce is the process of doing business electronic. It changes the entire business scenario due to the powerful innovation of Internet, which is spreading fast through the world. The power of Internet as a global access was felt with the introduction of the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1994. This global network makes global relations with the companies made easier. It is predicted that, in the near future the digital economy will overtake the traditional economy of all developed countries.

      E‐commerce is a composite of technologies process and business strategies that foster the instant exchange of information within between organization. E‐commerce strengthens relationship with buyers make it easier to attract new customer, improves customer responsiveness and open new markets on a global scale. E‐commerce is the application of various communication technologies to provide the automated exchange of business information with internal and external customer, suppliers and financial institutions. E‐Business and E‐commerce internationally both the terms can be interchanged and having the same concepts, that is, doing business online. However, EB is the term which is derived from e‐commerce. However there is little difference between these two concepts. Electronic commerce is a business to business [B2B] initiative aimed at communicating business transaction documents on a real time or near real time basis between known trading partners such as suppliers, customers etc. E‐commerce might be considered as the use of the Internet as a company’s primary or exclusive portal to its customers. Amazon or e‐bay conducts all of their business online and their products and services are exclusively those which can be sold online.

On the other side e‐business refers to companies for which internet is one of several channels to customers and perhaps not even the primary one. Banks are a classic example, as are companies, which have internet storefronts. But all such entities have other primary channels to distribute their products.

E-Commerce & its Business Models

ECommerce is a much wider subject than selling online. It is of the view that e‐commerce covers any form of transaction where technology has played a part. There are also many different types of e‐commerce, with differing relationships existing with each. Some of the important models of e‐commerce are as follows[1]:‐

  1. Business to Business [B2B]

B2B (business – to‐ business) is the major and valuable model of e‐commerce.B2B (business – to‐ business) e‐commerce is conducted between two separate businesses and has been in effect for many years. E‐commerce plays an important role in enhancing and transforming relationships between and among business. B2B (business – to‐ business)is also known as e‐biz, is the exchange of products, services, or information between businesses rather than between businesses and consumers. Although early interest centered on the growth of retailing on the Internet (sometimes called e‐tailing), forecasts are that B2B revenue will far exceed business to consumers [B2C] revenue in the near future. B2B (business – to‐ business )is a kind of e‐ commerce, which refers to a company selling or buying from other companies. One company communicates with other companies through electronic Medias. Some of these transactions include sending and receiving orders, invoice and shopping orders. It was an attractive alternative to the current process of printing, mailing various business documents.

Some B2B applications are the following:‐

  1. Supplier Management

Electronic applications in this area helps to speed up business partnerships through the reduction of purchase order processing costs and cycle times, and by maximizing the number of purchase order processing with fewer people.

  1. Inventory Management

Electronic applications make the order‐ship bill cycle shorter. Businesses can easily keep track of their documents to make sure that they were received. Such a system improves auditing capabilities, and helps reduce inventory levels, improve inventory turns, and eliminate out‐ of‐ stock occurrences.

  1. Business to Consumer [B2C]

Business – to Consumer [B2C] e‐commerce consists of the sale of products or services from a business to the general public. Products can be anything from clothing to flowers and the products can also be intangible products such as online banking, stock trading, and airline reservations. Sellers that use B2C business model can increase their benefits by eliminating the middlemen[2]. This is called disintermediation because businesses sell products directly to consumers without using traditional retail channels. Business – to Consumer [B2C] is basically a concept of online marketing and distributing of products and services over the internet. It is a natural progression for many retailers or marketer who sells directly to the consumer[3]. The general idea is, if you could reach more customers, service them better, make more sales while spending less to do it that would the formula of success for implementing a B2C e‐commerce infrastructure.

A business firm can also establish relations with customers through electronic medias. For this, the company has to design a web site and place it on the internet. On the web site, the company can publish all details about the product and services and that benefits customers to place orders for these goods from the web site.

To maintain customers always with company’s web site, the company must update the information on the web regularly. Consumers always demand greater convenience and lower prices. Electronic commerce provides consumers with convenient shopping methods.

  1. Business to –Government [B2G] ecommerce

B2G refers to the supply of goods and services for online government procurement. This is a huge market which mainly covers everything from office supplies to military equipment.B2G websites offer lower costs and greater choice to the administration, and make government tendered offers more accessible to companies[4].B2G is a derivative of B2B marketing and often referred to as a market definition of public sector marketing which encompasses marketing products and services to various government levels including‐federal, state and local‐ through integrated marketing communications techniques using as strategic public relations, branding, , advertising, and web based communications.

A website offering Business – to –Government services could provide businesses with the following.

  1. A single place to locate applications and tax forms for one or more levels of government (city, state or local)
  2. To provide the ability to send in filled out forms and payments
  3. To update corporate information
  4. To request answers to specific questions

Business – to –Government decreases the cost of transactions with reference to licenses, selling publication of government documents, tax returns and general dealings with businesses and the public. It has increased information flow.

  1. Business to employee [B2E]

Business‐ to‐ employee [B2E] uses an intra business network which allows companies to provide products and/ or services to their employees. It is the use of intranet technologies to handle activities that take place within a business. An intranet is an internal network that used Internet technologies.

Business‐ to‐ employee [B2E] is different from other type since it is not a revenue form of business. Otherwise, it increases profits by reducing expenses within a company. Instead of having to look everything up manually they can collaborate with each other and exchange data and other information.

Many companies have found that B2E technologies have dramatically reduced the administrative burdens with the human resources department. Admittedly, maintaining employee information has little to do with commerce, but this term has grown to encapsulate this activity into the B2E definition. Examples of B2E applications include

  1. Online insurance policy management
  2. Online supply requests
  3. Special employee offers

INTERNET MARKETING

Internet marketing, also known as web marketing, online marketing or e-marketing is referred to as the marketing of products or service using internet as a medium .

 

Internet marketing is broadly divided in to the following types:

  • Display advertising: the use of web banners or banner ads placed on a third-party website or blog to drive traffic to a company’s own website and increase product awareness.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM): a form of marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of either paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion, or through the use of free search engine optimization techniques.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.
  • Social media marketing: the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Email marketing: involves directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using electronic mail.
  • Referral marketing: a method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually word of mouth.]
  • Affiliate marketing: a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.
  • Inbound marketing: involves creating and freely sharing informative content as a means of converting prospects into customers and customers into repeat buyers
  • Video marketing: This type of marketing specializes in creating videos that engage the viewer into a buying state by presenting information in video form and guiding them to a product or service Online video is increasingly becoming more popular among internet users and companies are seeing it as a viable method of attracting customers.

Keywords Planning & Research:

Keywords are words that are used to search information in Search Engines that refers to a specific topic. Keywords can vary like Singular Keywords, Plural keywords, Strong & Weak keywords, Global & Local keywords, Misspelled keywords, Seasonal keywords and Long tail keywords.

Singular Keywords:

Form of a word that is used to search a single piece of product or niche information. Singular Keywords had to be used according to the need and generally Keyword formation should be smart.

For example, a singular keyword can be something like – book and can’t be like – Cricket shoe. People will search for shoes and not shoe.

(2) Plural keywords:
Form of a word that is used to search more than one specific object or range of information. Compared to the above example Plural keywords can be used like – Cricket shoes and it is meaningful and the simple difference between the singular and the plural is an “s” or “es” at the end of the word.

Now days, Google and other major search engines are smart enough to find the relationship between plural and singular. Google also index and values singular keywords for some of the targeted plural keywords based on the people search behaviour. That is, users who search for the plural keywords may still get benefit out of web pages that focus the singular keywords.

(3) Strong Keywords:
Strong keywords have high volume of search and it takes up from single word to even some Geo specific keywords. This depends entirely on the user volume those who are looking for the information. Promoting web page for strong keywords is not so easy as the competition would be much high and as well will have large number of results.

Here few examples for Strong Keywords:

* Apple ipad
* Toyota

(4) Weak Keywords

Weak Keywords are low volume keywords but it can produce a decent reference for business enquiries. Normally more than two or more words search keyword comes under weak keywords criteria. For creating week keywords, you can try to add your location to strong keywords and measure the search volume using a keyword tool.

This will work for many industries and you can obtain a decent traffic for start and gradually you can focus strong keywords. There are even week keywords that are not location specific since those keywords might have less competition and search results based on industries you target.

Keyword research: Keyword research is a process that tells you, what all people are searching on internet. How these searches are are being performed with respect to region, numbers, match types, behaviour & trends.

Phrase match: With phrase match, ad can show when someone searches for your exact keyword, or your exact keyword with additional words before or after it. We’ll also show your ad when someone searches for close variants of that exact keyword, or with additional words before or after it. Close variants include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. Using phrase match can help you reach more customers, while still giving you more precise targeting. In other words, your keywords are less likely to show ads to customers searching for terms that aren’t related to your product or service.

To use a phrase match keyword, simply surround the words you want matched with quotation marks. Since we’ll automatically show your ads for close variants in your new and existing campaigns, there’s no need to separately add variants of your keyword.

Example

Phrase match keyword Searches might be for Searches won’t include
“tennis shoes” red tennis shoes
red tennis shoes
shoes for tennis
tennis sneakers

Electronic Payment System

The basic steps of an online payment transaction include the following:‐

  1. The customer places an order online by selecting items from the merchant’s Website and sending the merchant a li The merchant often replies with an order summary of the items, their price, a total, and an order number[5].
  2. The customer places an order along with their credit card information and sends it to the bus The payment information is usually encrypted by an SSL pipeline set up between the customer’s web browser and the merchant’s web server SSL certificate.

An Electronic token is a digital analog of various forms of payment backed by a bank or financial institution. There are two types of tokens:‐

1] Real Time (or Pre‐paid tokens) – These are exchanged between buyer and seller, their users pre‐pay for tokens that serve as currency. Transactions are settled with the exchange of these tokens. Eg. Digicash , Debit Cards, Electronic Purse etc.

2] Post Paid Tokens – are used with fund transfer instructions between the buyer and seller. Eg. Electronic Cheques, Credit card data etc.

  1. 3. Electronic or Digital Cash

This combines computerized convenience with security and privacy that improve upon paper cash. Cash is still the dominant form of payment.

  1. Electronic Cheques
  2. The electronic cheques are modelled on paper checks, except that they are initiated electronically. They use digital signatures for signing and endorsing and require the use of digital certificates to authenticate the payer, the payer’s bank and bank a They are delivered either by direct transmission using telephone lines or by public networks such as the Internet.

LEGAL & ETHICAL ISSUES

 

Transaction security has become very important in e‐commerce since more and more number of merchants doing their business online. At the same time merchants are facing threats against security of their valuable documents transacted over Internet. Consumers are not prepared to provide credit card payment due to lack of security. There are many different transactions that make security difficult. In order to succeed in the highly competitive e‐ commerce environment, business organizations must become fully aware of Internet security threats, so that they can take advantage of the technology that overcomes them, and thereby win customer’s trust. The merchants who can win the confidence of the customers will gain their loyalty and it opens up vast opportunity for expanding market share.

Security Issues in Ecommerce

The major security issues with e‐commerce include the following:‐

  1. Spoofing

The low cost of web site creation and the ease of copying existing pages makes it all too easy to create illegitimate sites that appear to be published by established organizations. In fact, unscrupulous artists have illegally obtained credit card numbers by setting up professional looking storefronts that resembles legitimate businesses.

  1. Snooping the shopper’s computer

The software and hardware vendors sell their products with security features disabled. Most users may not have adequate knowledge of enabling these security features. This provides a best opportunity for attackers. A popular technique for gaining entry into the shopper’s system is to use a tool such as SATAN, to perform port scans on a computer that detect entry points into the machine. Based on the opened ports found, the attacker can use various techniques to gain entry into the user’s system. Upon entry, they scan the file system for personal information, such as passwords.

  1. Sniffing the network

Attacker monitors the data between the shopper’s computer and the server. He collects data about the shopper or steals personal information, such as credit card numbers A request from the client to the server computer is broken up into small pieces known as packets as it leaves the client’s computer and is reconstructed at the server. The packets of a request are sent through different routes. The attacker cannot access all the packets of a request and cannot decode the message sent. A more practical location for this attack is near the shopper’s computer or the server. Wireless hubs make attacks on the shopper’s computer network the better choice because most wireless hubs are shipped with security features disabled. This allows an attacker to easily scan unencrypted traffic from the user’s computer.

  1. Guessing passwords.

This style of attack is manual or automated. Manual attacks are difficult and only successful if the attacker knows something about the shopper. Automated attacks have a higher likelihood of success because the probability of guessing a user ID/ password becomes more significant as the number of tries increases.

  1. Eavesdropping

The private content of a transaction, if unprotected, can be intercepted when it go through the route over the Internet.

  1. Data alteration

The content of a transaction may not only be intercepted, but also altered, either maliciously or accidently. User names, credit card numbers, and dollar amounts sent are all vulnerable to such alteration.

 

Information Technology [Amendment] Act, 2008

Rapid increase in the use of computer and Internet has given rise to new forms of crimes like, sending offensive emails and multimedia messages, child pornography, cyber terrorism, publishing sexually explicit materials in electronic form, video voyeurism, breach of confidentiality and leakage of data by intermediary, e‐commerce frauds like cheating by personation – commonly known as phishing, identity theft, frauds on online auction sites, etc. So, penal provisions were required to the included in the Information Technology Act, 2000. Also, the Act needed to be technology neutral to provide alternative technology of electronic signature for bringing harmonization with Model Law on electronic Signatures adopted by United Nations Commission on International Trade Law [UNICITRAL]

 

 

Conclusion

Through, E‐commerce, operating efficiency of the business firm will definitely improve and which in turn strengthen the value and service given to customers and provide a competitive edge over competitors. These improvements may result in more effective performance. The direct benefit accrue to an organization on practicing e‐commerce are better quality, greater customer satisfaction, better decision making, low cost, high speed and real time interaction. More specifically e‐commerce enables executing of information relating to the transaction between two or more using interconnected networks still E-Commerce also suffers from lot of limitations Electronic commerce is also characterized by some technological and inherent limitations which have restricted the number of people using this revolutionary system. One important disadvantage of e‐commerce is that the Internet has still not touched the lives of a great number of people, either due to lack of knowledge or trust. A large number of people do not use the Internet for any kind of financial transaction. Another limitation of e‐commerce is that it is not suitable for perishable commodities like food items. People prefer to ship in the conventional way than to use e‐commerce for purchasing food products. So e‐commerce is not suitable for such business sectors. The time period required for delivering physical products can also be quite significant in case of e‐commerce. A lot of phone calls and e‐mails may be required till you get your desired products. Still E-Commerce is a expanding rapidly and there is no stopping. It has bright prospects in years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/affiliate-marketing-strategies
  2. http://marketingland.com/blogging-for-ecommerce-driving-revenue-and-traffic-21241
  3. delhischoolofinternetmarketing/e-commerce
  4. E-commerce and its effect on business society
  5. Rohit Shankar, E-Commerce & Bulky Trade, Volume II pg. 564

[1] http://marketingland.com/blogging-for-ecommerce-driving-revenue-and-traffic-21241 Last visited on 2nd April 2014

[2] http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/affiliate-marketing-strategies last visited on 2nd April 2014

[3] www.ecommerce-europe.eu last visited on 3rd April 2014

[4] mashable.com/category/ecommerce last seen on 3rd April 2014

[5] www1.american.edu/initeb/sm4801a/epayment1.htm last seen on 4th April 2014

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