Electronic Commerce or e-commerce, the exchange of goods and services by means of the Internet or other computer networks. E-commerce follows the same basic principles as traditional commerce?that is, buyers and sellers come together to exchange goods for money. But rather than conducting business in the traditional way?in stores and other ?brick and mortar? buildings or through mail order catalogs and telephone operators?in e-commerce buyers and sellers transact business over networked computers.
E-commerce offers buyers convenience. They can visit the World Wide Web sites of multiple vendors 24 hours a day and seven days a week to compare prices and make purchases, without having to leave their homes or offices. In some cases, consumers can immediately obtain a product or service, such as an electronic book, a music file, or computer software, by downloading it over the Internet.
For sellers, e-commerce offers a way to cut costs and expand their markets. They do not need to build, staff, or maintain a store or print and distribute mail order catalogs. Automated order tracking and billing systems cut additional labor costs, and if the product or service can be downloaded, e-commerce firms have no distribution costs. Because they sell over the global Internet,
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