Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well. Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions. The term “electronic commerce” was invented in 1983 by then-California State Assembly telecom-policy analysts Robert Jacobson and John Statton.
The pair in 1981 had authored “Access Rights to the Electronic Marketplace,” a report to the Speaker’s Office of Research, to make the case for formally legislating aspects of the nascent industry. It needed a name. So Jacobson and Statton cobbled together the terms “electronic” and “commerce” used to define the legislative domain of the Utilities & Commerce Committee, for which the two consultants worked. In 1983, at an historic hearing of the Utilities & Commerce Committee chaired by then-Assemblywoman Gwen Moore (D-L. A. and held in the rural town of Volcano, California (home to Volcano Telephone, then the most-advanced independent phone company in California), the term “electronic commerce” was introduced for the first time. Testifying at the hearing were the California Public Utilities Commission, MCI Mail, CompuServe, Prodigy, Volcano Telephone Co. , and Pacific Telesis. (A small startup, Quantum Technologies, also asked to testify, but was refused. It later became AOL. ) In 1984, California’s Electronic Commerce Act, the first to deal with consumer rights online, was passed and signed into law.
E-commerce can be divided into: E-tailing or “virtual storefronts” on websites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a “virtual mall” The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospective and established customers (for example, with newsletters) Business-to-business buying and selling The security of business transactions