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Unit - 5

5.1. Introduction to E Commerce

Carry the globe in your shopping bag!! Its not exaggerating the fact if I say: the
world is now coalesced to a click on our computers. Since long ago, all alluring
materials around have taken an exodus to the world of internet. No often do we now
think of taking a stroll through the market before buying a mobile handset, but a
healthy online research which in some cases is consequently followed by an online
purchase. The scenario is not limited to mobiles alone. It covers a wide range of
products like home appliances, consumer electronic goods, books, apparels,
travelling packages etc and even the electronic content itself.

What is E Commerce?
E Commerce stands for electronic commerce and caters to trading in goods and
services through the electronic medium such as internet, mobile or any other
computer network. It involves the use of Information and Communication Technology
(ICT) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) in making commerce between consumers
and organizations, organization and organization or consumer and consumer. With
the growing use of internet worldwide, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has also
increased in humungous amounts and so has flourished e-commerce with the prolific
virtual internet bazaar inside the digital world which is righty termed as e-malls.
We now have access to almost every knick-knack of our daily lives at competitive
prices on the internet. No matter one is educated or illiterate, an urbane or a
countryman, in India or in U.K; all you need is an internet connection and a green
bank account. With e-commerce then, you can buy almost anything you wish for

without actually touching the product physically and inquiring the salesman n number
of times before placing the final order. Here is a beautiful picture depicting how has
human life evolved to adapt to the digital world and hence trading over the internet.
As seen, from pizza and potted plant to pair of shoes, we have everything on sale on
the internet available in tempting offers..!!, Amazon, eBay, Naaptol,
Myntra, etc are some of the most popular e-commerce websites.

The Breakthrough Beginners

Tracing some steps back, its been recorded that some institutes of the western
world started exchanging information and data electronically by the late 1970s. But
the concept of online trading of goods was first witnessed much later with the dawn
of 1990. In 1994, Jeff Bezos; an American businessman started his e-commerce
website, now popularly known as Amazon was the first
online firm to execute secured online transactions. At the onset, Amazon was known
as an online bookstore, but with the whelming customer-response it expanded to
trading in books, music, apparels, CDs/DVDs, electronics, MP3s, videogames and
many more. Running successfully, round-the-clock since 1994, surprisingly Amazon
recorded its first profit in the year 2003 only. Although, Amazon proved to be a
successful business model by late 2003, its no less than a fact stating its

tremendous popularity. The enriched library, online review system and a user
friendly website are still the starred assets of this e-commerce company.
Dell Inc emerged as the first company ever to record sales in millions of dollars in
1997. It was also the first company to sell large number of assembled computers
online. It is popularly known for its successful business model and in the year 2007,
it was listed as the 34th largest company in the Fortune500 list.

5.2. E-Commerce in India: Scope, Challenges &


Electronic Commerce is more than just buying and selling

products online. It also includes the entire online process of
developing, marketing, selling, delivering, servicing and paying
for products and services. India has shown tremendous growth in
the E-commerce segment. With an internet user base of over
300 million, India has third largest internet population after US &
China (see info-graphic below).

India has witnessed a major breakthrough E-commerce success

stories particularly in e-retail in Consumer Electronics &
Fashion Apparel & Home Furnishing segments. E-commerce
creates new opportunities forentrepreneurial start-ups. Ease of
Internet access, Safe and secure payment modes coupled with
aggressive marketing by E-Commerce Giants has revolutionized
this segment. Rapid development in mobile technology has given
way to Mobile Commerce with many E-Commerce companies
shifting to App only model.


E-Commerce, in-spite of the opportunities it presents also has

poses certain challenges which are sometimes too much to
handle for start-ups:

E-Infrastructural Issues: Internet is the backbone of ecommerce. Unfortunately, in India internet penetration is so far
dismally low at 0.5 per cent of the population, penetration of
personal computer (PC) as low as 3.5 per thousand of population
and penetration of telephone only 2.1 per cent of population, ecommerce remains far away from the common man.

Branding & Marketing: To get people to come on an eCommerce site and make a purchase involves heavy cost due to
branding and marketing. This cost is significant and can be
brought down to cost per customer, if the volumes permit to do
so. Experts say that the average figure for this metric in
the current e-Commerce ecosystem is between INR 500
1000 customer, which isnt sustainable for even medium sized
companies, let alone early stage ones.

Declining Margins: With the introduction of a large

number of players in the already competitive e-commerce
market, the customer is pampered by offering huge

discounts, offers, taking returns etc. resulting in razorthin margins.

Logistics & Supply Chain: Logistics failure in any area

can mean detrimental damage to a startups future and
can hurt the brand overall. Add to this the need for a guaranteed
return policy. Getting this right is a challenge.

Tax related issues: Tax rate system of Indian market is

another factor for lesser growth rate of eCommerce in India in
comparison to other developed countries like USA and UK. In
those countries, tax rate is uniform for all sectors whereas tax
structure of India varies from sector to sector. This factor
creates accounting problems for the Indian online business

Touch and Feel: Indian customers are more comfortable in

buying products physically. Companies dealing with products like
apparel, handicrafts, jewelry have to face challenges to sell their
products as thebuyers want to see and touch before they
buy these stuffs.
E-Commerce is here to stay !!

Social Media: Majority of online buying decisions are

made on Social Media. Social network like Facebook, LinkedIn,
Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc have become a medium for easy
log-in and purchase. Moreover, the clients can stay updated via
the posts published on this media. Further, the advertising &
promotions on these social sites has increased the chances of
success of generating transactions to many folds.

Drone Delivery: Companies have been working their way

around to innovate the delivery process to shorten human effort
as well as time. The answer to these problems is Delivery by
Drones. DGCA is now fast tracking the process of issuing
guidelines for the use of drones for civil purposes in India. If
everything goes as per the plan, then India might become the
first country in the world to allow the use of drones for
civil purposes.

App only Approach: Statistics suggest the future of

internet lies in mobiles. Experts say more than 580 million people
in India will use the Internet by 2018, and 70-80% of them will
access the Web on mobile phones. This will cause all major
players to switch to app only model. About two-thirds of its online
traffic of Flipkart comes from users in small cities and towns.

Flipkarts app-only approach assumes larger significance in these

places where most people dont own desktop computers and have
limited access to broadband.

Google's Buy Now Button: Google is reportedly working

on its own Buy Now style button that would allow e-shoppers
search for products on Google and purchase them with a single
click, right through Googles own search results page. The button
will be displayed near sponsored search results beneath a Shop
on Google heading at the top of the page. When users click on
the Googles Buy Now button, they will be re-directed to another
Google page that will allow them to choose specific item details,
such as color and size, and then select a shipping route. Google
would then pass on order information, including the customers
name and shipping address, to the retailer.

Artificial Intelligence: As the ecommerce space gets

saturated, investors looking for innovative use of technology are
zeroing in on companies developing artificial intelligence (AI)
solutions. Jet Airways is experimenting with one such solution

devised by Vizury. It sifts through the individuals public

content on the internet, as well as the customers
previous searches and creates an instant profile. Based on
this information, the airline knows whether to package
hotel deals, or simply stick with airfare discounts. The
system also allows them to predict how likely is it for the
customer to upgrade, and how flexible would the
customer be to change travel location or date.

5.3. Essential E-commerce Processes

No one knows exactly when people first started trading with one another
or how. We do know that metal coins have been used to buy and sell things
for at least 4000 years. From horses and handcarts to ships, trucks,
and airplanes, the need to trade goods has spurred on innovations in
transportation for just as long. Today, though, it's all change: many of us are
now buying and selling with a new form of commerce that involves neither
money nor transportationat least not in the traditional sense. You just sit
in your armchair, click your mouse a few times, enter your credit card
number, and wait for the goods to show up on your doorstep. E-commerce,
as this is known, has grown enormously in the last decade, making life
more convenient for consumers and opening up all kinds of new
opportunities for businesses. Let's take a closer look at what it is and how it
Photo: the world's most successful e-shop. Originally just a bookstore, now it sells almost
anything you can imagine. It even allows third-party vendors to sell products alongside its own offerings
with something called Amazon Marketplace. Amazon has consistently set the standard for online retailers
with pioneering features like one-click shopping.

The basic components of an e-commerce system

Whether you're buying in a store or buying online, everything you do is
geared around a transaction: the basic exchange of money for goods or

services. In a real-world store, you simply take your new jeans to the

checkout, hand over some cash, and leave the store with your purchase in
a bagthat's a transaction. It works in a similar way if you're buying online,
but there's one important difference: you never actually get to handle (or
even see) the goods until they arrive at your home sometime later.
If this makes buying online slightly problematic for the purchaser, it also
introduces two extra problems for the retailer (or e-tailer, as online retailers
are sometimes known). Apart from having some means of processing
transactions online, it means they also need a way of checking that the
goods you've ordered are actually in stock, and a means of dispatching and
delivering the goods to your address.
In short, then, e-commerce is about combining three different systems:
a Web server that can manage an online storefront and process
transactions (making appropriate links to bank computers to check out
people's credit card details), a database system that can keep a check of
the items the store has in stock (constantly updating as people make orders
and ideally making new orders with suppliers when stocks run low), and
a dispatch system linked to a warehouse where the goods can be instantly
located and sent to the buyer as quickly as possible.
Only the first of these three systems is strictly necessary for e-commerce.
Many people successfully run small-scale online stores without either
complicated databases or dispatch systems: they simply have a website to
publicize their business and take orders and then they manage the stock
control and dispatch in more traditional ways. Small traders who sell items
on the auction website eBay often work in this way, for example. Their
"databases" are in their head; their "dispatch system" is simply a walk to the
local post office.
How e-commerce works

Here's one example of how a sophisticated, fully computerized e-commerce

system might work. Not all e-commerce systems work in exactly this way:

1. Sitting at her computer, a customer tries to order a book online. Her

Web browser communicates back-and-forth over the Internet with a
Web server that manages the store's website.
2. The Web server sends her order to the order manager. This is a
central computer that sees orders through every stage of processing
from submission to dispatch.
3. The order manager queries a database to find out whether what the
customer wants is actually in stock.
4. If the item is not in stock, the stock database system can order new
supplies from the wholesalers or manufacturers. This might involve
communicating with order systems at the manufacturer's HQ to find
out estimated supply times while the customer is still sitting at her
computer (in other words, in "real time").
5. The stock database confirms whether the item is in stock or suggests
an estimated delivery date when supplies will be received from the
6. Assuming the item is in stock, the order manager continues to
process it. Next it communicates with a merchant system (run by a

credit-card processing firm or linked to a bank) to take payment using

the customer's credit or debit card number.
7. The merchant system might make extra checks with the customer's
own bank computer.
8. The bank computer confirms whether the customer has enough
9. The merchant system authorizes the transaction to go ahead, though
funds will not be completely transferred until several days later.
The order manager confirms that the transaction has been
successfully processed and notifies the Web server.
The Web server shows the customer a Web page confirming
that her order has been processed and the transaction is complete.
The order manager sends a request to the warehouse to
dispatch the goods to the customer.
A truck from a dispatch firm collects the goods from the
warehouse and delivers them.
Once the goods have been dispatched, the warehouse
computer e-mails the customer to confirm that her goods are on their

The goods are delivered to the customer

All of these things are invisible"virtual"to the customer except the

computer she sits at and the dispatch truck that arrives at her door.
How do you design an e-commerce website?
The design of virtual stores is often the most important factor in the
success or failure of online businesses. That doesn't simply mean that ecommerce web sites have to look attractive (though they do): they have to
be usable (quick and easy to navigate around without irritating or confusing
people), reliable (customers expect sites to be online 24 hours a day, seven

days a week, and for pages to load without delay), and secure (because no
one is prepared to type their credit card details into a website that isn't
Setting up an online store used to be quite an undertaking. Not only did you
have to build a dedicated website from scratch, you also had to develop
your own merchant system that could securely process credit card details
and ship transactions to and from bank computers. These days, anyone
can set up an online store in minutes. Websites like PayPal make it possible
to build a store very quickly and, since they have built-in credit card
processing features, handling transactions couldn't be simpler. Many
people set up virtual storefronts on the auction site eBay and then use
PayPal (now a part of eBay too) to process their transactions. Some
websites (notably Amazon) allow you to incorporate mini versions of their
store inside your own websiteso you make a small commission selling
their products within your own site.
It used to be said that the right domain name was an essential requirement
for a successful online business but some of the most memorably named
web sites (, and were early
casualties of the boom and bust. As successful Web businesses
such as eBay and Amazon have proved, there doesn't necessarily have to
be an obvious connection between the name of a website and things it
actually does or sells: all that matters is that, over time, people will come to
know, love, and trust the brand and visit the site instinctively when they
want to buy something.
Using e-commerce to sell information
There's lots of money to be made online, but not all of this involves selling
goods in the traditional way. Many online businesses try to make money by
offering a mixture of free and premium services. Yahoo!
(which originally stood for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle), is
probably the best-known example of a website like this. Created as a
comprehensive directory of other websites, it mutated into a search engine
and then a portal, offering a gateway to all kinds of
other premium services. For example, you can get free e-mail through

Yahoo!, but you can also pay extra for a more sophisticated e-mail system;
you can store your photographs for free on Yahoo's Flickr site, but you can
pay an extra sum to have them printed out or processed in various ways.
Newspapers, magazines, and book publishers also try to make money
through a mixture of free and premium services. While most of them offer
their basic content (the horrible, unappealing name that online businesses
give to the words and pictures they publish) for free, using advertising to
make money, some also offer a proportion of their articles for a one-off fixed
fee or subscription). Buying an article involves a transaction similar to the
ones you'd make on Amazon or eBay, so this kind of online publishing is
also clearly a variety of e-commerce.
Advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce

Although early reactions to online shopping websites were often mixed ("It
takes too long to find what you want", "I'm not sure they're secure", "The
things I want are never in stock", "You can't see what you're buying"), things
have improved greatly over the last decade and online businesses have
found ways round most of the drawbacks. (For example, some online
clothing stores sensibly offer free returns if you don't like the clothes you've
bought or if they turn out not to fit.) Many people now swear by online
shopping and wouldn't dream of setting foot in a real-world store where
prices are often higher, waiting lines are longer, and the doors open only
during normal business hours.
For businesses too, e-commerce has opened up all kinds of new
opportunities. Not many can compete with huge businesses like Amazon or
eBay, but anyone can open an online store and start trading within a matter
of minutes. Small local stores, long threatened by the growth of giant
retailers like Wal-Mart and Tesco, have found a new lease of life by trading
online and selling their products mail order.
E-commerce has also threatened many traditional ways of doing business.
When people flock to online shopping sites for the Christmas rush, they
naturally spend less in real-world stores. Savvy existing businesses such as
Wal-Mart have tried to offset the threat by seizing the opportunity: "bricks
and clicks" (having real world stores and a seamlessly integrated website)

is now generally seen as the way to go. Shoppers have become equally
savvy and are adept at inspecting products in real-world stores before
buying online, or using websites to locate local branches of stores where
they can inspect and purchase exactly the goods they want. It's important
to bear in mind that e-commerce still represents only a fraction of all the
trade that we do (for 2015, the US Department of Commerce reported ecommerce reaching about 7.2 percent of total retail sales, as shown in the
chart below)but that fraction has been growing very steadily, and will
keep doing so.

The steady growth of e-commerce: This chart shows the percentage of total retail sales that e-commerce
has represented since 2006. More formally, it shows "Estimated Quarterly U.S. Retail E-commerce Sales as
a Percent of Total Quarterly Retail Sales: 1st quarter 2006 to 1st Quarter 2015". By courtesy of US Census

As ever, customers call the shots and will continue to do so. While some
traders (notably car dealers, opticians, and realtors) have tried to resist the
threat from online shopping, protectionist tactics are bound to fail in the long
term. It's all too easy now for customers to take their money and their
spending power somewhere elseeven to retailers in another country. The
customer, and their mouse, is always right. And always will be.

The mobile future of e-commerce

If you're running a long-established retail business, chances are you now

have a website gathering orders from your customers and processing them
through e-commerce. But just as you've got used to the rules of the online
game, along comes something new that shifts the goalposts: mobile
commerce, also known as m-commerce. You can't help but notice that
more and more people are going online through cellphones, iPads, and
other handheld devices. Once we hunched over desktop PCs clicking mice;
now we're increasingly likely to poke at touchscreen tablets while we slouch
on the sofa and simultaneously watch TV.

If you've any doubt about whether m-commerce is the future, you've only to
look at the giants of the online world and see how seriously they're taking it.
Amazon, Google, and Facebook all see mobile computing as a decisive
battleground in the next few years. Google has repeatedly highlighted the
importance of running a mobile-friendly site; in one recent Google survey,
74 percent of users said they were more likely to return to mobile-friendly
sites and 67 percent said they were more likely to buy from mobile-friendly
sites. However, a massive 96 percent reported that they'd encountered
incompatible websites while going online with their mobile.
What can you do to go mobile?

The first step is to check out how your existing site works on a mobile
device. There are emulators and testers you can use that simulate mobile
devices on a PC, but it's much better to get yourself a modern cellphone
with a browser or a tablet computer and see how your website works for
real. If you've never seen it working on a tiny screen, you might be amazed
by how it looks. If your site has been designed to work for a typical
widescreen laptop, you'll probably find it looks terrible: columns probably
wrap and overlap, the text may be too small to read, links may be too small
to click, and so on. Don't worry! once you've assessed the scale of the
problem, you can start to do something about it.
There are essentially four options if you want to "go mobile":
1. Responsive design: Redesign your existing site so that the same
HTML code works equally well on both desktop and mobile, using a
common stylesheet that has conditional rules in it that apply to
devices of different screen width. You can tell when a site is
responsive by browsing it on a desktop; if you narrow the width of
your browser, the site will suddenly reformat from the desktop to the
mobile version. Responsive sites are easy to maintain and searchengine friendly, but they don't always give the best experience for
users, because they present essentially the same pages for all users
(just formatted differently).
2. Dynamic serving: Build your pages slightly differently for desktop
and mobile devices without changing their URLs (either with a
common stylesheet or by "including" an appropriate stylesheet for
each device). Typically, you would use PHP or ASP to test for a
mobile device and then build a desktop or mobile optimized page,
perhaps using a desktop or mobile stylesheet that reformats your
common HTML code accordingly. (Or you could use a responsive
stylesheet as well.) Dynamic serving is search-engine friendly
(providing you signal that the content of your pages varies according
to user-agent) and gives a good user experience (because you can
optimize pages for desktop and mobile much more than with
responsive design), but it can be complex to implement.

3. Separate mobile site: Detect whether users are on a desktop PC or

a handheld device and then redirect to a completely separate mobile
version of your site. This means you can optimize your site for mobile
users without compromising usability for people on the desktop, but
the drawback is having to maintain a second, duplicate version of
your siteand the risk of different versions of your pages getting out
of step. Remember that search engines such as Google dislike
duplicate content, so use techniques like canonical URLs to help
them understand where to find the definitive version of each page. If
you want, you can set a cookie to remember which version of the site
to serve as users hop from page to page. It's a good idea to give
mobile users the option to view your desktop site, if they prefer.
Separate-URL sites tend to be search-engine unfriendly, but they can
give a really good user experience (because the mobile site can be
highly optimized for mobile users).
4. Separate mobile app: Develop a free app for mobile devices that
effectively bypasses your website altogether. There's an upfront
expense in having apps developed, but they generally give a much
better user experience than mobile websites. Not only that, but they
prevent users getting distracted, clicking other links, and going off to
competitor sites. In other words, mobile apps are a great way to
"capture" mobile users and keep them.

5.4. Electronic payment process

An e-commerce payment system facilitates the acceptance of electronic payment for online
transactions. Also known as a sample of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), e-commerce
payment systems have become increasingly popular due to the widespread use of the internetbased shopping and banking.
Over the years, credit cards have become one of the most common forms of payment for ecommerce transactions. In North America almost 90% of online retail transactions were made
with this payment type.[1] Turban et al. goes on to explain that it would be difficult for an online
retailer to operate without supporting credit and debit cards due to their widespread use.
Increased security measures include use of the card verification number (CVN) which detects
fraud by comparing the verification number printed on the signature strip on the back of the card
with the information on file with the cardholder's issuing bank.[2] Also online merchants have to

comply with stringent rules stipulated by the credit and debit card issuers (Visa and MasterCard)
this means that merchants must have security protocol and procedures in place to ensure
transactions are more secure. This can also include having a certificate from an
authorized certification authority (CA) who provides PKI(Public-Key infrastructure) for securing
credit and debit card transactions.
Despite widespread use in North America, there are still a large number of countries such as
China, India and Pakistan that have some problems to overcome in regard to credit card security.
In the meantime, the use of smartcards has become extremely popular. A Smartcard is similar to
a credit card; however it contains an embedded 8-bit microprocessor and uses electronic cash
which transfers from the consumers card to the sellers device. A popular smartcard initiative is
the VISA Smartcard. Using the VISA Smartcard you can transfer electronic cash to your card
from your bank account, and you can then use your card at various retailers and on the internet.
There are companies that enable financial transactions to transpire over the internet, such
as PayPal. Many of the mediaries permit consumers to establish an account quickly, and to
transfer funds into their on-line accounts from a traditional bank account (typically
via ACH transactions), and vice versa, after verification of the consumer's identity and authority
to access such bank accounts. Also, the larger mediaries further allow transactions to and
from credit card accounts, although such credit card transactions are usually assessed a fee
(either to the recipient or the sender) to recoup the transaction fees charged to the mediary.
The speed and simplicity with which cyber-mediary accounts can be established and used have
contributed to their widespread use, although the risk of abuse, theft and other problemswith
disgruntled users frequently accusing the mediaries themselves of wrongful behavioris
associated with them.

Methods of Online Payment[edit]

Credit cards constitute a popular method of online payment but can be expensive for the
merchant to accept because of transaction fees primarily. Debit cards constitute an excellent
alternative with similar security but usually much cheaper charges. Besides card-based
payments, other forms of payment have emerged and sometimes even claimed market
leadership. Wallets like PayPal and Alipay are playing major roles in the ecosystem. Bitcoin
payment processors are a cheaper alternative for accepting payments online which also offer
better protection from fraud.

Net banking[edit]
This is a system, well known in India, that does not involve any sort of physical card. It is used by
customers who have accounts enabled with Internet banking. Instead of entering card details on
the purchaser's site, in this system the payment gateway allows one to specify which bank they
wish to pay from. Then the user is redirected to the bank's website, where one can authenticate
oneself and then approve the payment. Typically there will also be some form of two-factor
It is typically seen as being safer than using credit cards, with the result that nearly all merchant
accounts in India offer it as an option.

A very similar system, known as iDEAL, is popular in the Netherlands.

PayPal is a global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made
through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with
traditional paper methods, such as cheque's and money orders. It is subject to the US economic
sanction list and other rules and interventions required by US laws or government. PayPal is an
acquirer, a performing payment processing for online vendors, auction sites, and other
commercial users, for which it charges a fee. It may also charge a fee for receiving money,
proportional to the amount received. The fees depend on the currency used, the payment option
used, the country of the sender, the country of the recipient, the amount sent and the recipient's
account type. In addition, eBay purchases made by credit card through PayPal may incur extra
fees if the buyer and seller use different currencies. On October 3, 2002, PayPal became a
wholly owned subsidiary of eBay. Its corporate headquarters are in San Jose, California, United
States at eBay's North First Street satellite office campus. The company also has significant
operations in Omaha, Scottsdale, Charlotte and Austin in the United States; Chennai in India;
Dublin in Ireland; Berlin in Germany; and Tel Aviv in Israel. From July 2007, PayPal has operated
across the European Union as a Luxembourg-based bank

Google Wallet[edit]
Google Wallet was launched in 2011, serving a similar function as PayPal to facilitate payments
and transfer money online. It also features a security that has not been cracked to date [when?], and
the ability to send payments as attachments via email. [4]

Mobile Money Wallets[edit]

In undeveloped countries the banked population is very less, especially in tier II and tier III cities.
Taking the example of India, there are more mobile phone users than there are people with
active bank accounts. Telecom operators, in such geographies, have started offering mobile
money wallets which allows adding funds easily through their existing mobile subscription
number, by visiting physical recharge points close to their homes and offices and converting their
cash into mobile wallet currency. This can be used for online transaction and eCommerce
purchases. Many payment options such as Airtel Money and M-Pesa are being accepted as
alternate payment options on various eCommerce websites.

Bitcoin is a decentralized virtual currency.

5.5. E-Commerce - Business Models

E-Commerce or Electronics Commerce business models can generally

categorized in following categories.

Business - to - Business (B2B)

Business - to - Consumer (B2C)

Consumer - to - Consumer (C2C)

Consumer - to - Business (C2B)

Business - to - Government (B2G)

Government - to - Business (G2B)

Government - to - Citizen (G2C)

Business - to - Business (B2B)

Website following B2B business model sells its product to an intermediate
buyer who then sells the product to the final customer. As an example, a
wholesaler places an order from a company's website and after receiving
the consignment, sells the end product to final customer who comes to
buy the product at wholesaler's retail outlet.

Business - to - Consumer(B2C)
Website following B2C business model sells its product directly to a
customer. A customer can view products shown on the website of
business organization. The customer can choose a product and order the
same. Website will send a notification to the business organization via
email and organization will dispatch the product/goods to the customer.

Consumer - to - Consumer (C2C)

Website following C2C business model helps consumer to sell their assets
like residential property, cars, motorcycles etc. or rent a room by
publishing their information on the website. Website may or may not
charge the consumer for its services. Another consumer may opt to buy
the product of the first customer by viewing the post/advertisement on
the website.

Consumer - to - Business (C2B)

In this model, a consumer approaches website showing multiple business
organizations for a particular service. Consumer places an estimate of
amount he/she wants to spend for a particular service. For example,
comparison of interest rates of personal loan/ car loan provided by
various banks via website. Business organization who fulfills the
consumer's requirement within specified budget approaches the
customer and provides its services.

Business - to - Government (B2G)

B2G model is a variant of B2B model. Such websites are used by
government to trade and exchange information with various business
organizations. Such websites are accredited by the government and
provide a medium to businesses to submit application forms to the

Government - to - Business (G2B)

Government uses B2G model website to approach business
organizations. Such websites support auctions, tenders and application
submission functionalities.

Government - to - Citizen (G2C)

Government uses G2C model website to approach citizen in general.
Such websites support auctions of vehicles, machinery or any other

material. Such website also provides services like registration for birth,
marriage or death certificates. Main objectives of G2C website are to
reduce average time for fulfilling people requests for various government

One way for an entrepreneur to make money by using a computer is to start an

ecommerce business. With ecommerce, you can start a website and engage in the selling
of your products or services, or someone else's, via the Internet. Several
common ecommerce business models can be applied to your online business.

Website for eCommerce

Build a website for eCommerce now! Get free payment gateway & hosting

Vanity websites allow you to promote an individual interest or indulge in a hobby. An
example of a vanity site is a writer who starts a blog as a form of self-expression. A vanity
site typically is not a means to earn a large income. However, some income may be
generated by using an ad serving application, such as Google AdSense, to place
advertisements on your site that produce revenue when visitors click on them.

A storefront is used to sell products via a website. Products may be manufactured by the
seller or sold through methods such as drop shipping, in which a site owner sells the
products of a third party. Auction websites such as are another common form
of storefront site from which entrepreneurs can sell merchandise through a bidding

Subscription websites allow readers to gain access to information in a method similar to
subscribing to a newspaper or magazine. Entrepreneurs who possess a high level of
expertise in a field, such as investing or how to make money through a particular
business venture, often use subscriptions as a revenue source. They may disseminate
information in the form of a newsletter sent periodically by email.

Business-to-business ecommerce sites, also known as B2B, give businesses the
opportunity sell products to other businesses online. Purveyors of products such as

computer systems and office supplies allow small business owners to make purchases
without having to visit a physical location. This can save them time and perhaps even
money, such as when they receive discounts for buying through a website.

Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when one business sells the products of another in return for a
commission. An example of an affiliate marketing model is when an individual creates a
website providing information about stock market investing. He then registers with the
affiliate program of a business that sells a book about how to make money investing in
stocks and places a link to the book on his site. When a customer clicks on the link and
purchases the book, the site owner receives a commission.

E-Commerce Applications: Issues and Prospects[edit]

Various applications of e-commerce are continually affecting trends and prospects for business
over the Internet, including e-banking, e-tailing and online publishing/online retailing.
A more developed and mature e-banking environment plays an important role in e-commerce by
encouraging a shift from traditional modes of payment (i.e., cash, checks or any form of paperbased legal tender) to electronic alternatives (such as e-payment systems), thereby closing the
e-commerce loop.
a) Benefits of e-Commerce

Expanded Geographical Reach

Expanded Customer Base

Increase Visibility through Search Engine Marketing

Provide Customers valuable information about your business

Available 24/7/365 - Never Close

Build Customer Loyalty

Reduction of Marketing and Advertising Costs

Collection of Customer Data

b) Basic Benefits of e-Business e-Commerce

Increase sales - this is the first thing that people consider when dealing with e-commerce

Decreasing costs

Increase profits

Understanding that profits is not the same as sales

Expands the size of the market from regional to national or national to


Contract the market

Reach a narrow market

Target market segmentation allows you to focus on a more

Select group of customers

And therefore have a competitive advantages in satisfying them

What are the existing practices in developing countries with respect to buying
and paying online?[edit]
In most developing countries, the payment schemes available for online transactions are the
A. Traditional Payment Methods

Cash on delivery. Many online transactions only involve submitting purchase orders
online. Payment is by cash upon the delivery of the physical goods.

Bank payments. After ordering goods online, payment is made by depositing cash into
the bank account of the company from which the goods were ordered. Delivery is likewise
done the conventional way.

B. Electronic Payment Methods

Innovations affecting consumers, include credit and debit cards, automated teller
machines (ATMs), stored value cards, and e-banking.

Innovations enabling online commerce are e-cash, e-checks, smart cards, and encrypted
credit cards. These payment methods are not too popular in developing countries. They are
employed by a few large companies in specific secured channels on a transaction basis.

Innovations affecting companies pertain to payment mechanisms that banks provide their
clients, including inter-bank transfers through automated clearing houses allowing payment
by direct deposit.

What is an electronic payment system? Why is it important? [edit]

An electronic payment system (EPS) is a system of financial exchange between buyers and
sellers in the online environment that is facilitated by a digital financial instrument (such as
encrypted credit card numbers, electronic checks, or digital cash) backed by a bank, an
intermediary, or by legal tender.
EPS plays an important role in e-commerce because it closes the e-commerce loop. In
developing countries, the underdeveloped electronic payments system is a serious impediment
to the growth of e-commerce. In these countries, entrepreneurs are not able to accept credit card
payments over the Internet due to legal and business concerns. The primary issue is transaction
The absence or inadequacy of legal infrastructures governing the operation of e-payments is
also a concern. Hence, banks with e-banking operations employ service agreements between
themselves and their clients.
The relatively undeveloped credit card industry in many developing countries is also a barrier to
e-commerce. Only a small segment of the population can buy goods and services over the
Internet due to the small credit card market base. There is also the problem of the requirement of
explicit consent (i.e., a signature) by a card owner before a transaction is considered valid-a
requirement that does not exist in the U.S. and in other developed countries.
What is the confidence level of consumers in the use of an EPS?
Many developing countries are still cash-based economies. Cash is the preferred mode of
payment not only on account of security but also because of anonymity, which is useful for tax
evasion purposes or keeping secret what ones money is being spent on. For other countries,
security concerns have a lot to do with a lack of a legal framework for adjudicating fraud and the
uncertainty of the legal limit on the liability associated with a lost or stolen credit card.
In sum, among the relevant issues that need to be resolved with respect to EPS are: consumer
protection from fraud through efficiency in record-keeping; transaction privacy and safety,
competitive payment services to ensure equal access to all consumers, and the right to choice of

institutions and payment methods. Legal frameworks in developing countries should also begin
to recognize electronic transactions and payment schemes.
What is e-banking?
E-banking includes familiar and relatively mature electronically-based products in developing
markets, such as telephone banking, credit cards, ATMs, and direct deposit. It also includes
electronic bill payments and products mostly in the developing stage, including stored-value
cards (e.g., smart cards/smart money) and Internet-based stored value products.
Box 7. Payment Methods and Security Concerns: The Case of China
In China, while banks issue credit cards and while many use debit cards to draw directly from
their respective bank accounts, very few people use their credit cards for online payment.
Cash-on-delivery is still the most popular mode of e-commerce payment. Nonetheless,
online payment is gaining popularity because of the emergence of Chinapay and Cyber
Beijing, which offer a city-wide online payment system.
What is the status of e-banking in developing countries?
E-banking in developing countries is in the early stages of development. Most banking in
developing countries is still done the conventional way. However, there is an increasing
growth of online banking, indicating a promising future for online banking in these countries.
Below is a broad picture of e-banking in three ASEAN countries.
The Philippine Experience
In the Philippines, Citibank, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Philippine National Bank,
and other large banks pioneered e-banking in the early 1980s. Interbank networks in the
country like Megalink, Bancnet, and BPI Expressnet were among the earliest and biggest
starters of ATM (Automated Teller Machines) technology.
BPI launched its BPI Express Online in January 2000. The most common online financial
services include deposits, fund transfers, applications for new accounts, Stop Payment on
issued checks, housing and auto loans, credit cards, and remittances.
The Singapore Experience
In Singapore, more than 28% of Internet users visited e-banking sites in May 2001.
Research by NetValue (an Internet measurement company) shows that while the number of
people engaging in online banking in Singapore has increased, the average time spent at
sites decreased by approximately four minutes from March 2001 to May 2001. This decline
can be attributed to the fact that more visitors spend time completing transactions, which

take less time than browsing different sites. According to the survey, two out of three visitors
make a transaction. All major banks in Singapore have an Internet presence. They offer a
wide range of products directly to consumers through proprietary Internet sites. These banks
have shifted from an initial focus on retail-banking to SME and corporate banking products
and services.
Among the products offered are:

Fund transfer and payment systems;

Integrated B2B e-commerce product, involving product selection, purchase order, invoice
generation and payment;

Securities placement and underwriting and capital market activities;

Securities trading; and

Retail banking.

The Malaysian Experience

E-banking in Malaysia emerged in 1981 with the introduction of ATMs. This was followed by
tele-banking in the early 1990s where telecommunications devices were connected to an
automated system through the use of Automated Voice Response (AVR) technology. Then
came PC banking or desktop banking using proprietary software, which was more popular
among corporate customers than retail customers.
On June 1, 2000, the Malaysian Bank formally allowed local commercial banks to offer
Internet banking services. On June 15, 2000, Maybank (, one of the
largest banks in Malaysia, launched the countrys first Internet banking services. The bank
employs 128-bit encryption technology to secure its transactions. Other local banks in
Malaysia offering e-banking services are Southern Bank, Hong Leong Bank, HSBC Bank,
Multi-Purpose Bank, Phileo Allied Bank and RHB Bank. Banks that offer WAP or Mobile
banking are OCBC Bank, Phileo Allied Bank and United Overseas Bank.
The most common e-banking services include banking inquiry functions, bill payments, credit
card payments, fund transfers, share investing, insurance, travel, electronic shopping, and
other basic banking services.37
What market factors, obstacles, problems and issues are affecting the growth of e-banking in
developing countries?

Human tellers and automated teller machines continue to be the banking channels of choice
in developing countries. Only a small number of banks employ Internet banking. Among the
middle- and high-income people in Asia questioned in a McKinsey survey, only 2.6%
reported banking over the Internet in 2000. In India, Indonesia, and Thailand, the figure was
as low as 1%; in Singapore and South Korea, it ranged from 5% to 6%. In general, Internet
banking accounted for less than 0.1% of these customers banking transactions, as it did in
1999. The Internet is more commonly used for opening new accounts but the numbers are
negligible as less than 0.3% of respondents used it for that purpose, except in China and the
Philippines where the figures climbed to 0.7 and 1.0%, respectively.
This slow uptake cannot be attributed to limited access to the Internet since 42% of
respondents said they had access to computers and 7% said they had access to the
Internet. The chief obstacle in Asia and throughout emerging markets is security. This is the
main reason for not opening online banking or investment accounts. Apparently, there is also
a preference for personal contact with banks.
Access to high-quality products is also a concern. Most Asian banks are in the early stages
of Internet banking services, and many of the services are very basic.
What are the trends and prospects for e-banking in these countries?
There is a potential for increased uptake of e-banking in Asia. Respondents of the McKinsey
survey gave the following indications:
1. Lead users: 38% of respondents indicated their intention to open an online account in the
near future. These lead users undertake one-third more transactions a month than do other
users, and they tend to employ all banking channels more often.
2. Followers: An additional 20% showed an inclination to eventually open an online account,
if their primary institution were to offer it and if there would be no additional bank charges.
3. Rejecters: 42% (compared to the aggregate figure of 58% for lead users and followers)
indicated no interest in or an aversion to Internet banking. It is important to note that these
respondents also preferred consolidation and simplicity, i.e., owning fewer banking products
and dealing with fewer financial institutions.
Less than 13% of the lead users and followers indicated some interest in conducting
complex activities over the Internet, such as trading securities or applying for insurance,
credit cards, and loans. About a third of lead users and followers showed an inclination to
undertake only the basic banking functions, like ascertaining account balances and
transferring money between accounts, over the Internet. 38

What is e-tailing?[edit]
E-tailing (or electronic retailing) is the selling of retail goods on the Internet. It is the most
common form of business-to-consumer (B2C) transaction.
Box 8. E-Tailing: Pioneering Trends in E-Commerce
The year 1997 is considered the first big year for e-tailing. This was when Dell Computer
recorded multimillion dollar orders taken at its Web site. Also, the success of (which opened its virtual doors in 1996) encouraged Barnes & Noble to
open an e-tail site. Security concerns over taking purchase orders over the Internet
gradually receded. In the same year, Auto-by-Tel sold its millionth car over the Web, and
CommerceNet/Nielsen Media recorded that 10 million people had made purchases on
the Web.
What are the trends and prospects for e-tailing?
Jupiter projects that e-tailing will grow to $37 billion by 2002. Another estimate is that the
online market will grow 45% in 2001, reaching $65 billion. Profitability will vary sharply
between Web-based, catalog-based and store-based retailers. There was also a marked
reduction in customer acquisition costs for all online retailers from an average of $38 in
1999 to $29 in 2000.
An e-retail study conducted by Retail Forward showed that eight of its top 10 e-retailers
40 were multi-channel-that is, they do not rely on online selling alone. Figure 7 shows
the top 10 e-tailers by revenues generated online for the year 2001.
Figure 7. Top 10 E-Retailers 41

This image is available under the terms of GNU Free Documentation

License and Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5
In addition, a study by the Boston Consulting Group and revealed that the
multi-channel retail market in the U.S. expanded by 72% from 1999 to 2002, vis-vis a
compounded annual growth rate of 67.8% for the total online market for the years 19992002.

What is online publishing? What are its most common applications?

Online publishing is the process of using computer and specific types of software to
combine text and graphics to produce Web-based documents such as newsletters,
online magazines and databases, brochures and other promotional materials, books,
and the like, with the Internet as a medium for publication.
What are the benefits and advantages of online publishing to business?
Among the benefits of using online media are low-cost universal access, the
independence of time and place, and ease of distribution. These are the reasons why
the Internet is regarded as an effective marketing outreach medium and is often used to
enhance information service.
What are the problems and issues in online publishing?

The problems in online publishing can be grouped into two categories: management
challenges and public policy issues.
There are two major management issues:
The profit question, which seeks to address how an online presence can be turned into a
profitable one and what kind of business model would result in the most revenue; and
The measurement issue, which pertains to the effectiveness of a Web site and the
fairness of charges to advertisers.
The most common public policy issues have to do with copyright protection and
censorship. Many publishers are prevented from publishing online because of
inadequate copyright protection. An important question to be addressed is: How can
existing copyright protections in the print environment be mapped onto the online
environment? Most of the solutions are technological rather than legal. The more
common technological solutions include encryption for paid subscribers, and information
usage meters on add-in circuit boards and sophisticated document headers that monitor
the frequency and manner by which text is viewed and used.
In online marketing, there is the problem of unsolicited commercial e-mail or spam mail.
Junk e-mail is not just annoying; it is also costly. Aside from displacing normal and useful
e-mail, the major reason why spam mail is a big issue in online marketing is that
significant costs are shifted from the sender of such mail to the recipient. Sending bulk
junk e-mail is a lot cheaper compared to receiving the same. Junk e-mail consumes
bandwidth (which an ISP purchases), making Internet access clients slower and thereby
increasing the cost of Internet use.42

5.6. E-commerce Trends

1. Multi-Channel Shopping May Make or Break Your Business

As a consumer, almost every time you find a cool product online, chances are you can
also go to Amazon and find it on there. This is what many consider multi-channel selling,
since it strays from the regular sales website and offers products through a multimerchant system.
The reason so many consumer go to these multi-vendor websites is because they can find
a wide selection of unique items from varying sellers. The cool part is that they only need
to make a single payment at the end. Many ecommerce sellers know the benefits of
selling through multiple channels, but the need is ever growing. Companies are starting
to experience problems if they dont list products on places like Amazon, Etsy or

2. Connecting with Customers Through Social Media is Not Enough

In the past, social media was primarily to connect with customers and get them to like or
comment on your content. This stirred up buzz whenever you launched a new product,
and it would even send people to your product or blog pages when linked.
Now the social ecommerce landscape is changing, considering so many of the social
networks have opened up their systems for selling. For example, both Pinterest and
Twitter have announced buttons that companies can use to post and sell their items
directly through the social networks. The same goes for Facebook. In fact, some
platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce have Facebook selling built-in.

3. An Integration of Online and Offline with Beacon Technology

Offline and online technologies are coming together more than ever, and with the advent
of something called beacon technology, companies are beginning to offer mobile deals
and greetings when someone walks into the store. The technology works when your
phone or tablet keeps searching for a beacon. Physical stores can implement physical
beacons in the shops, so once someone walks in, their phone accepts the signal and
provides something like a promotion.

4. The Popup Makes an Effective Comeback

Remember when the internet popup was in full force? Consumers hated the popup.
Well, its making a huge comeback, and if youve been on the internet at all in the past six
to twelve months, youve noticed.
However, there are quite a few differences from the pesky popup ads we used to see.
First of all, the new popups are generally only to give away something for free in
exchange for email addresses. The new popups generally never come back, or come back
rarely, when the customer has signed up for the email list.
These popups work wonders for email marketing and they dont have the stink that the
old, deceptive popup ads use to have.

5. Huge Images and Videos Deliver Stunning Homepages

As 2015 progressed, many ecommerce designers started putting a focus on large images
and videos, many of which would take up the entire screen.
These designs have delivered beautiful introductions for companies, since ecommerce
businesses can quickly explain the purpose of the site in a few minute video, or a
stunning image.
Huge media modules also help out the consumer, since most of the clutter is pushed to
secondary pages, resulting in one or two paths for the customers to go. Its all much

6. Virtual Sales Forces Become Highly Implemented

In the past, online support teams mainly sat around to wait for a customer to send in a
question. This often resulted after the buy, or to inquire about some specs before buying.
A huge shift is coming in the ecommerce industry, since many companies are beginning
to treat online employees like they would brick and mortar sales people. Instead of
waiting for customers to buy, ecommerce sites are using popups, chat modules and other
tools for sales people to convince customers to buy before they make a decision.

7. Mobile is Not Recommended, But Required for Survival

The mobile buying numbers are gradually moving up every quarter. If you havent
modified your ecommerce site to make it mobile friendly, youre running out of time to
remain competitive.

8. Online Loyalty Programs Continue to Grow

The online loyalty program hasnt seen as much growth as other marketing techniques,
but as the technology improves, and credit card companies begin to get involved (you
may have noticed the Amazon Rewards credit card,) the online loyalty program is sure to

9. Niche Flash Sales See an Explosion

Groupon is still hanging around, but the most success with flash sales has come from
ecommerce sites that dont generally have these sales. The point is to run flash sales for

your regular customers. If, say, 1,000 people are browsing on your site, you have a large
chance of selling out of a product if you offer them a flash sale popup. The urgency is
often too much to pass up.

10. Real Time Analytics Become the Norm

Analytics use to come in play towards the end of the month, where higher ups in the
company would sit down and try to figure out what aspects of the site were hurting
As 2016 comes closer, were starting to see more advanced real time analytics, so you can
see how customers react while on the site, improving how you make decisions on the

In Conclusion
The world of ecommerce is always changing, so make sure you bookmark the most
interesting ecommerce trends for 2016 and beyond. It just might save you some cash or
push your online business to the next level. Feel free to leave us a comment in the section
below if you have any other suggestions about upcoming trends

1. Improved mobile shopping experiences

Mobile commerce is constantly growing. In the past, many challenges
associated with getting people to buy through smartphones and tablets
have arisen, but a lot of those kinks have been ironed out.
Difficult and lengthy checkout processes, for example, are finally getting
whittled down to their core elements. After all, you're going to convert very
few shoppers if they can't get what they want with the fewest number of
taps -- or clicks -- possible.
What's more, some retailers are already taking things to the next level by
offering live chat support. This creates an immediate point of connection
with customers. If you can reliably and consistently offer them good
advice via their devices, they are far more likely to become loyal customers

over the long term. This has massive implications for brick-and-mortar
stores that also have an ecommerce component.
In short, mobile shopping is an area ecommerce businesses will be looking
to streamline and dominate in 2016 and beyond.

2. Context will become the new personalization.

Data-based, personalized shopping experiences are now the norm. And
though many shoppers appreciate customized product suggestions, others
are annoyed when a product they viewed just once on Amazon continues
to follow them around for weeks or even months on sites like Facebook,
regardless of their actual interest level.
So, retargeting may be effective, and even incredibly relevant, but it doesn't
always take context into account.
The idea is that if you become a member of an ecommerce site, it will
remember your preferences. And the same personalized experiences are
now being offered even to those who aren't even registered or logged in.
This means less friction to the customer journey. By presenting the right
content at the right time, your business can efficiently lead shoppers on to a
buying decision. For example, different sales copy could be displayed
depending on the preferences of the customer accessing your site.
Personalization, then, is being replaced by contextual shopping, and
customers will be seeing more relevant content coming their way than ever
Related: 9 Tips to Make Your Ecommerce Business Wildly Successful

3. Real-time analytics
Data is an invaluable resource in helping you determine how your business
is doing. Unfortunately, with traditional analytics, spotting trends or
problems was a time-intensive process. Traditional analytics also slowed
things down because you couldn't provide immediate assistance to your
customers before they left your site, perhaps for good.
This is where real-time analytics could be a game-changer. As you monitor
customer and shopper behavior, you'll be able to identify problems in your
sales funnel. The problem could be an issue with checkout or a coupon
code. A lot of sales can be lost that way. But when you can repair problems
on the fly or interact with a customer before he or she abandons that
shopping cart, you'll be able to increase your conversion rate dramatically.
Real-time tracking will allow online retailers to offer a more holistic
shopping experience, leaving fewer opportunities on the table.

4. Video marketing
We've known about the importance of optimized product descriptions and
high-quality photography for ecommerce sites for years. If you want to
remain competitive, however, these are mere prerequisites.
Many businesses are now taking things to the next level, with branded,
custom video content. Video builds a lot of trust with prospective
Educating, entertaining and informative product videos that tell an engaging
story are really just the starting point. Behind-the-scenes production videos,
demonstrations, 360-degree product rotations and even live streaming are
now being looked to as viable strategies.

Video can boost your site's SEO, increase conversions, make your content
more shareable and help your shoppers consume more information in less
Many ecommerce businesses have built large YouTube followings, while
others have even started using apps like Instagram and Vine to capture the
attention of prospective customers. There are more opportunities to create
a presence where your customers are than ever before.

5. Social collaboration
Social collaboration is on the rise in the ecommerce world. It's one thing to
have products your customers want. It's quite another to allow for further
customization by the users, but this is exactly what's already happening on
marketplaces like Etsy.
Social collaboration isn't just about having a site where shoppers can drop
their templates into existing designs. Prospective customers can actually
alter the designs of existing products and come up with beautiful,
professional-looking one-of-a-kind wares.
The implementation of sophisticated tools for collaboration and social
interaction allows for customers to feel that they are a part of the creation
process, which means that they can get a product that they really want, not
just one that they want.
Expect to see more social co-creation in 2016, especially in the apparel
and accessory e-commerce sector.

Final thoughts
This is an exciting time to be in ecommerce, as businesses continue to
innovate and get an edge on the competition.

Don't forget: Innovation isn't all about the capital you have to invest in new
initiatives. Many times, spending can actually get in the way of innovating,
because creativity is what makes all the difference.
New business processes don't necessarily require money, but they do
require outside-the-box thinking. You have to be able to see possibilities
where others might see none.