Electronic commerce, e-commerce or ecommerce consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet. Ecommerce can involve electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, and automated data-collection systems. Ecommerce typically uses electronic communications technology such as the Internet, e-mail, and mobile phones.
Consumers have accepted the ecommerce business model less readily than its proponents originally expected. Even in product categories suitable for ecommerce, electronic shopping has developed only slowly. Several reasons might account for the slow uptake of ecommerce, including:
* Concerns about security of ecommerce. Many people will not use credit cards over the Internet due to concerns about theft and fraud.
* Lack of instant gratification with most ecommerce purchases. Much of a consumer's reward for purchasing a product lies in the instant gratification of using and displaying that product. This reward does not exist when one's ecommerce purchase does not arrive for days or weeks.
* The problem of access to ecommerce, particularly for poor households and for developing countries. Low penetration rates of Internet access in some sectors greatly reduces the potential for ecommerce.
* The social aspect of shopping. Some people enjoy talking to sales staff, to other shoppers, or to their cohorts: this social reward side of retail mp3y does not exist to the same extent in ecommerce.