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INTRODUCTION We always feel that we are behind the times, whenever we try to stay apace with technology. With the beginning of the new millennium, computers became the international language. Computer today is not only the language of people but also for business. Internet is the tool used by business in term of electronic commerce. In the discussion I will try to state how e-commerce influences business in the new world with the vast growing of the Internet technology. First, I will define what is e-commerce. Then, I am going to highlight some comparison between the traditional and electronic commerce. The benefits and disadvantage of e-commerce will be the following step. At the end of discussion and briefly I will mention e-commence technologies. Then comes the summary where we can find what was covered in the discussion. At last I will try to write the conclusion of this assignment. DISCUSSION Electronic commerce seems to be everywhere in our life today. It is hardly that you open a newspaper or magazine without coming across a subject or an article about e-commerce, but how can we define e-commerce? What is E-Commerce? E-commerce is any commercial transaction done electronically using the computer, through the Internet technologies, such as the World Wide Web. In another words, it is the buying or/and selling of goods or services on the web. Moreover, electronic commerce had included the handling of purchase transactions and funds transfers over computer networks. (Understanding E-Commerce, David, 1997, P.2) Meanwhile electronic commerce is getting stronger than ever. The Internet has given e-commerce a boost. E-commerce is the wave of the future allowing businesses of all sizes to sell their goods online. It is growing along with the Internet too rapidly. E-Commerce brakes all the time and geographical boundaries providing a direct deal with end costumer. This definitely expands the business opportunity to satisfy costumers’ demands for product, service, and information. Electronic commerce doesn’t only include the transaction of traditional commerce, but also generating demand for its goods and services. The definition of electronic commerce is kind of dynamic. As you go deeper into knowing it, you will have better definition and with the time even a new different definition. Traditional Vs. Electronic Commerce Transactions In the traditional business, manufacturers use dealers, distributors, and retailers to represent them. For many years, manufacturers’ representatives believe that the physical presence at the point of sales plays very important roles.

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Therefore they to get attractive shops with modern decoration and to display most of their goods spend a lot of money. Then, catalog shop, mail-order business and direct telephone sales became real competitors due to the fact that the customers are independent from locations and shopping hours. However, that required a large investment for printing catalogs and storing the goods. Today, with electronic commerce the traditional business is more shocked to see that it is possible to get more profit without such investment. They have to accept that the customer is able to gain more information about products and supplier and will use this to find the most comfortable and beneficial solution combined with the best value of prices (http://miesys.com/service/editorial/08-98-a.html). E-Commerce offers products on-line with a secure manner of payment processing on-line. Then, delivers the products with a timely shipping method. Customers expect much more from e-commerce than from traditional shop. They want as much information and description as possible about the product, its availability and delivery time. It has to be an attractive and easy to navigate providing good tool for clear searching instead of static pages to go though. At the end the order form should be easy and electronic as well. Comparing with e-commerce, traditional commerce has a very long transaction. To buy a personal computer for example, the buyer has to go to the dealer or distributor in the local market for the specific type of PC that he would buy. He should ask the seller to describe all details about the PC. Then, the seller will tell him the price to bay cash of by credit card. The seller would then take his order with all the specifications needed to prepare it for him. The buyer after that has to wait for about one or two days or maybe more until the laptop is prepared. Eventually, the buyer has to come at an agreed appointment to get his laptop and give the rest of payment. Through e-commerce the buyer will set in front of the monitor using the Internet with the mouse under his hand. Searching through the different web sites to find his demand with only few clicks on the mouse. Then, he would start building his own laptop by choosing all the specifications he required in detail that he wouldn’t fine in the traditional store. The buyer will fill the order form and send it through e-mail. Using a Credit Card or any other safe payable way he will give the payment. Soon his order will reach him at his door in few days. The time was taken in the traditional transaction could be used in electronic transaction to buy other items that may be needed. Moreover, electronic commerce offers a vast number of choices and details in an easy way and not let you stick with few choices like in traditional commerce. E-Commerce Benefits Electronic commerce can offer short term and long-term benefits, both to business and to consumers. There are benefits of E-commerce to consumer and E-Commerce to business. Consumer Benefits of E-Commerce: Time Saving – electronic commerce gives consumers lot of flexibility and control. Using the Internet, consumers can purchase products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Consumers will provide traffic problems, parking problems, weather concerns, crowds, line-ups, and time delays. Real Time – real time feature is provided for the consumer throughout the web. Comfortable – consumers can get into the e-market right from their own homes with full comfort. He will have his freedom in doing unlimited research to get information about the product, which will help him in examining all aspects of product before purchasing it and without intervention from sales staff. Cost Effectiveness - Consumer will get cheaper and more convenient way to purchase. The cost of traditional sales will be omitted in e-commerce (traditional sales will consider cost of staff, store, showroom and electrical bill), which will lead to lower service and product cost. Bypass Dealers- consumers can deal directly with manufacturers whenever they are and get their purchases right to the door. Prices Comparison – this is one of the most important benefits offered by electronic commerce is to make it easy and convenient for the costumer to compare prices. Web sites, such as Computer Shopper, iChoose, it-news, be helpful and Super shop enable consumers to compare dealer prices in different places in the same country and even in the world in just minutes. Electronic Payment – e-commerce provide an electronic processing of payment. Up-to-date information – customer will get the latest and updated information about any product or services. Moreover, any question regarding a service or product. Business Benefits of E-Commerce: On the other hand, a company or an organization that participate in this revolution will also get the advantages of the benefits offered by E-Commerce. Flexibility - Many businesses are allowed to have greater flexibility in locating their retail offices and processing centers. As mentioned earlier they will not have to worry about locations, weather conditions, making parking lots and the need for expensive retail space. Shrinks the Competition Gap – electronic commerce reduced marketing and advertising expenses. Both large and small companies will have equal opportunities in market share and maybe the small companies could have bigger market share than the large ones. Open New Market - all businesses don’t have to invest in expensive facilities with or even without a capital, such as www.amazon.com Cost Saving – electronic commerce reduces most of the communication costs and marketing costs (inventory, employee, purchasing costs, order processing costs and transaction costs). Businesses will reduce the amount of paper used in printing and postage since all application; letters and invoices are sent and received electronically using the e-mail and Internet technology. E-commerce creates significant cost saving because the Internet reduces the investment carriers need to complete a sale Higher Service Level – 24 hours/ 7 days a week/ 365 days a year service. After sales services are improved with e-commerce. Here the processing and processing errors are reduced while, productivity is increased. Eliminate Dealers – consumer will be the real costumer for an e-business. Increase Sale – the ability of reaching customer everywhere at any time will increase the customer base, which increases the sales. Along with cost saving the business revenue increases. Total Business Improvement - Touchable improvements in production distribution, management of business, and in cash flow along with cost reduction, which by then increasing the profits. Electronic commerce appeal the costumer the way it likes by educating them about the product or services provided. Electronic commerce creates smarted, and more demanding consumers. Hertz Corporation is a good example to increasing sales, improving services with higher revenues. Hertz put all its service for car rental and information on the web. It is the first car rent company offers high-level service over the web. There you can find the kind of car you like to rent, the cost and any offers in any country you would like. Hertz offers more services, such as journey or a trip in any country. Also, it could provide you with flight and housing reservation. Provide all the details for any kind of car that required to be prepared for you at your arrival. Disadvantages of E-Commerce Electronic commerce has several disadvantages or problems need to be solved. They are: trust, payment systems, and security. Trust Trust plays a very important role in any transaction. When two sides enter into a transaction, they first make decisions about each side participation. Then, they will complete the transaction or cancel it. Trust is a judgment made by the user, based on general experience learned from being a consumer and from perception of the particular merchant (www.philosophe.com). Business to business electronic deals already have an element of trust that built through previous negotiation and transaction. The same trust is so difficult to establish in customer to e-commerce. People don’t really know who to trust on line or what prevent their information from misuse. Costumers have privacies that are easily tracked by companies in e-commerce. They need to feel secure that companies will not misuse their personal information or violate their privacy. A solution for that problem to be solved, in my opinion, is to let costumers indicate the limits of using their personal information. Payment System I did considered the payment system in e-commerce as advantage, but here I will focus on the weak points of the payment system. Both buyer’s and seller’s interests must be protected by providing security and integrity. Security protects the seller from misrepresentation. Integrity guards the buyers from an unauthorized disclosure of the transaction and shields the seller from disputed about the timing of terms of sales (The Internet). The payment system is quite complicated. There are many ways of payment in e-commerce and but we will discuss three of them only. 1. Micropayment It is a payment through electronic wallet software. Micorpayment allows costumers to pay in cents or fraction of cents. The weak point here is that costumers might not object additional of five or ten cents detected from his account every time. That is a lot in the long run. 2. Smart Card The smart card is an integrated circuit chip embedded in a small piece of plastic such as telephone cards. It prevents costumers from carrying cash and even enables him to purchase with amount more than what he can carry in cash with easy and fast way. Unfortunately, it is not wide spread yet. 3. Credit Card With credit card such as Visa and MasterCard, seller can detect more that what he was authorized. Hackers, also on the Internet cause threats for the cards holders. New solution for this problem implemented that all transaction don through authorization networks like CyberCash, Verifone, VeriSign and BBBonline. Security A lot of effort e-commerce put to focus on security issues. Most of the security problems are related with the financial information’s. There are two main encryption technologies currently in use for e-commerce, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Secure Electronic Transaction (SET). Companies needed to take steps to convince the public that security can be effectively implemented. Limitation of this research doesn’t allow me to write about this issue since it needs its own research and study. E-Commerce Technologies Internet World Wide Web is not the only technology used for e-commerce there are intranet, networks and e-mail. Networks – Many online commerce transactions have done through private EDI networks like Saudi Aramco network and intranet. World Wide Web - it’s the major delivery system for electronic commerce. E-mail - it is the tool where e-commerce enlarge and to deal with costumers and end-users. New technology now a day gets itself in e-commerce, which is e-phone. Some considered e-phone or mobile as a competitor to e-commerce, but I considered it as a development of e-commerce to bring it up to more developed stage. It is basically searching the Internet using the mobile phone with the addition of other new fetchers. SUMMARY Electronic commerce is the use of new information and communication technologies to conduct business. Many technologies used in EC such as, World Wide Web, E-mail, and Intranet. EC provide better quality goods and services with cost reduction, which increase revenues. In another word save money make money. The benefits for EC cover both businesses and costumers. It open new market opportunities, expand costumer base, improve after sale services, expand the market, and save time. But what holding up e-commerce? There are three major problems with EC: Trust, Payment Systems, and Security. With new millennium EC spread on the globe that it can be conducted in any field and industry. The discussion covered the major aspects of EC, its description, benefits, disadvantages and technologies. CONCLUSION E-Commerce in the near future will be in every business and in everywhere in our live. It is the time for all businesses to get themselves in EC either big or small or else they will lose in the globe or quit. I could say that business without EC, like if banks toady with out ATM. REFRECNES 1. Information Systems and the Internet by Kenneth C. Laudon and Jane Price Laudon, 4th Edition, 1998. 2. Understanding Electronic Commerce by David Kosiur, Microsoft, 1997. 3. The E-Commerce Book by S. Korper and J. Ellis, 2000. 4. www.tecc.com.au 5. http://arapaho.nsuok.edu 6. www.earthcommerce.com 7. www.e-trade.org.uk 8. www.siliconpeak.com 9. www.smeal.psu.edu 10. PC magazine online. 11. www.philosophe.com
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