E-Commerce: A Knowledge Base
Electronic Commerce is one of the most important aspects to emerge from the Internet. It allows people to exchange goods and services immediately and with no barriers of time or distance. Any time of the day or night, one may go online and buy almost anything one desires. E-Commerce will engender massive changes in other areas, such as education, health, and government. Initially, E-Commerce was primarily the domain of large firms, due to its initial format of customized, complex, and expensive transactions essential barriers to entry by smaller competitors. Today, for a nominal fee, anyone may become an online merchant, with the potential to reach millions of consumers world-wide. This democratization of the Internet has changed the previous focus of E-Commerce from primarily Business-to-Business transactions between known parties, to a complex web of commercial activities involving huge numbers of consumers who never meet. In essence, the development of the Internet has had the same effect on E-Commerce as Henry Fords assembly line on the automotive industry. It has converted a luxury for the few into a relatively simple and inexpensive device for the masses. In this book, we will explore these impacts and innovations. The purpose of this book is to provide a preliminary analytical foundation (knowledge base), which then may be used for further, more advanced study. It is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis yet at the same time provides as much information as possible to provide an accurate depiction of the current state and likely future direction of E-Commerce.
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