However, E Commerce is no panacea. There are some thorny issues in the implementation of E Commerce; particularly, the technical standards and security issues.
The report aims at analysing the benefits of E Commerce to business functions. The report looks at the current technological offerings available to businesses to implement E Commerce. Specific benefits brought about by E Commerce in various systems and sub systems of businesses are considered. The paper also analyses the loopholes of E Commerce solutions that may hamper the companies in the implementation. Finally the case study of COMPANY is considered to bolster the premises of the report.
The availability of commodity priced IT systems, high speed and affordable communications infrastructure and ever increasing research and development in computer languages have swelled E Commerce. But what exactly is E Commerce The ubiquitous definition of E Commerce would be, "Buying and selling of goods on the Internet". However this definition is a little too coarse; too simple. The eCommerce Innovation Centre provides a more pragmatic view by defining E Commerce as every form of business or administrative transaction or exchange of information between a company and its outside world (eCIC, 2001). The first implementations of E Commerce applications can be traced back to the early 1970s, when a few companies began exchanging data among themselves through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), a prevalent industry standard for inter enterprise communication. Since then there has been no looking back. Companies began deploying huge corporate networks with groups of systems perform certain business tasks. The major springboard to E Commerce was provided by the low cost entry of the Internet. Virtually every major company started transforming their businesses to global level through Internet (Gottardi et al, 2004). However today, just a decade after the revolution, E Commerce is plainly considered to be a synonym for high profits. It is an underlying business philosophy assumption of major companies and not some necessary technological breakthrough. Such a ubiquity of E Commerce was mainly due to its potential to lead to dramatic growth in trade and improved efficiency and effectiveness of business practises.
As of today, E Commerce consists of several theoretical models, which provide a company with the tools to support the 5 essential elements of conducting business, namely price, promotion, presence, product and place. The important models are:
Merchant Model: This model is typically used by traders, resellers, wholesaler and retailers of goods and services. It includes 24x7 ordering and one to one custom marketing (embellix, 2000).
Auction Model: This model emulates the traditional 'bidding' model. It implements the bidding mechanisms by presenting goods and their value online.
Manufacturer Model: It is used by the manufacturers directly to communicate to the consumers about their goods and services.
Affiliate Model: In this model a company becomes an 'affiliate' of another company to advertise itself or its products and needs to pay certain amount for using it.