In this article we will discuss all the aspects of E-Commerce, a brief introduction to E-Commerce and Types of E-Commerce and various technologies of Microsoft used for E-Commerce. So lets get started.
Concept of E-commerce:
Commerce refers to all activities surrounding the purchase (or) sales of goods or services. A wide range of activities are involved long before an actual transaction is intended and lasts till the transaction has been executed.
The various activities include:
- Fulfillment and
- Customer service.
Marketing: it consists of activities associated with reaching to customers and to provide information about the company brand and products/services.
Sales: it includes the activities associated with an actual sales transaction.
Payment: it includes the activities associated with the buyer meeting his/her obligations under the terms of the sale.
Fulfillment: these are the activities associated with the seller meeting its obligations in terms of the sales (or) the delivery of the goods and services to the buyer.
Customer service: it is concerned to the follow-up activities after fulfillment of the problems and questions, pre-sales support, general enquiries etc.
INTRODUCTION TO E-COMMERCE
The explosive growth of internet, commerce has captured the public’s imagination. The rapid growth of the internet and e-commerce has almost become a compulsion. Without ecommerce, the organization will be just a little slaver, just a little bit more expensive, just a little less reliable and in the end very less successful than its competitors every second in this competitive world.
Ecommerce in other words, is an evolving set of information technology tools and implementation technologies together with suitable business strategies and practices necessary to do business electronically. Ecommerce plays a vital role in mobilizing things faster than ever. On-line transactions play a vital role in changing business environment through which marketing of goods becomes easier than ever. Ecommerce is also “Business anywhere around the world and at anytime”, therefore ecommerce has become a necessity in this 21st century.
Microsoft Technologies for ecommerce:
Microsoft offers two web servers. They are as follows
1. The Personal Web server and
2. Internet Information Server
Microsoft Personal Web Server: The Microsoft Personal Web Server works with Windows 95, Windows 98, (or) Windows NT Workstation. The Microsoft Personal Web Server was created for two purposes:
1. One can use it to host a very low traffic website [to share documents on company’s intranet].
2. One can use Personal Web Server to prototype a website before one transfers the content of the site to Internet Information Server.
Microsoft Internet Information Server: If one wants to launch a website on the internet then the user has to use Microsoft Internet Information Server. It can support hundreds (or) even thousands of simultaneous users. Some of the largest websites on the internet use Internet Information Server. The Internet Information Server is not compatible with Windows 95 (or) Windows 98. It’s included as part of both operating systems. [Windows NT server (or) Windows 2000 Server].
Ecommerce (or) electronic commerce refers to the process of buying (or) selling a product (or) service over an electronic network. Ecommerce is conducted on the most popular medium known as the internet. It is associated with buying and selling of information, products and services over computer communication network. Ecommerce helps to conduct the traditional commerce through new ways of transferring and processing information. Information is the heart of any commercial activity because information of the business is electronically transferred from computer to computer in an automated way.
Types of E-commerce:
Ecommerce encompasses three types of business transactions. They are as follows:
- Business-to-consumer [B2C]
- Business-to-Business [B2B] and
- Consumer-to –Consumer [C2C]
A transaction can occur between a business and consumer. This type of ecommerce is termed as Business-to-Consumer ecommerce. Consumers check electronic catalogues to learn about products and compare prices of products at the firm’s website and may pay electronic cash (or) other means like credit card. Business-to-Consumer ecommerce can also include services. A subscription website that does not sell any tangible goods can also be engaged in ecommerce.
Matrimony.com an online match finding service- sells subscriptions to their website to enable customers to browse their listings for potential partners.
Amazon website promotes itself as the “place to find and discover anything a user wants to buy on-line”.
This form of E-commerce involves transactions between one business to another business. This is done between firms. This type of ecommerce is termed as B2B Ecommerce. A business that engages in this type of ecommerce is typically less visible to consumers and also to the general public. Electronic transactions between a manufacturing firm and its supplier firms are B2B transactions. This segment is the largest and the fastest growing one in electronic commerce.
A Cisco system creates much of the physical infra-structure of the internet that allows businesses to communicate. Companies have achieved huge savings in distribution- related costs due to their B2B applications.
With the C2C e-business model, consumers sell directly to other consumers via online classified ads and auctions, (or) by selling personal services (or) expertise online. The best known example engaging this type of ecommerce is eBay. eBay enables the customers to auction items to other customers. eBay collects fee from every transaction. The key to eBay’s success is the trust between the buyers and sellers who make up the eBay community, and the trust between the user and eBay, the company. To overcome hesitancy sometimes associated with internet commerce eBay invented the industry’s first ecommerce information exchange exclusive to one-to-one trading the feedback forum.
Ecommerce has its roots in Electronic Data Interchange [EDI]. EDI is a structured method of transmitting information from one computer to another. EDI was developed to enable businesses to automate the process of transmitting business documents such as invoices and purchase orders. EDI can also be used to transfer many other types of information.
Colleges use EDI to transfer students’ transcripts, and health care providers use EDI to transfer patient records.