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In the broadest sense electronic commerce e-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services over the Internet It has included the handling of purchase transactions and funds transfers over computer networks According to the Forrester Research Study Sizing Intercompany Commerce total US business-to-business Internet trade in 1998 is 77 billion compared to a total global e-commerce of 218 billion dramatically increasing from 25 billion in 1997 By the year 2002 according to the report there will be 328 billion worth of e-commerceElectronic commerce is the ability to perform transactions involving the exchange or use of goods or services between two or more parties using electronic tools and techniques Some main technologies have made e-commerce viable - WWW Electronic Data Interchange EDI Electronic Funds Transfer EFT and E-mail EDI is the inter-organisational computer-to-computer exchange of business documentation in a standard machine-processable format EFT was designed to optimise electronic payments with electronically provided remittance information Electronic commerce provides the capability of buying and selling products and information via telephone lines computer networks and other electronic means The Internet the largest network of computer networks is the medium usually favoured for electronic commerce because it allows an organisation to cut service costs while increasing the speed of service delivery Electronic commerce is considered a primary means by which organisations may expand rapidly into high growth emerging markets of the world This is possible because firstly as trans-national companies become skilled in their use of the Internet they will be able to pursue global electronic commerce more efficiently saving important advertising communication and administrative costs Secondly the Internet can increase responsiveness by notifying individual customers when new products in their areas of interest become available and by creating customised products and services Thirdly and finally trans-national companies using the Internet can increase their knowledge about consumer habits be able to define trends and turn consumer statistics into long-term customer relationshipsElectronic commerce endeavours to improve the execution of
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