In order to understand the success of e-commerce, it would be necessary to refer to the terms and the causes of the specific invention. Reference should be also made to its characteristics, meaning especially its advantages and disadvantages. In this way, it would be easy to understand whether the invention of e-commerce has actually benefited entrepreneurs worldwide.
Different views have been developed in the literature in regard to the nature and the role of e-commerce. Still, all these views have a common characteristic: they all emphasize on the value of e-commerce as a tool for promoting online sales. For example, Basu (2007) notes that e-commerce is a term used for describing ‘commercial transactions which take place in or over electronic networks’ (Basu, 2007, p. 15). Pinto (2003) refers to the definition of e-commerce as developed by the Australian Taxation Office. According to the above definition, e-commerce refers to ‘the buying and selling goods on the Internet’ (Pinto, 2003, p. 2). On the other hand, it has been stated that e-commerce is ‘the process of sharing business information, maintaining business relationships and conducting business transactions through telecommunication networks’ (Sun & Finnie, 2004, p. 47). In other words, e-commerce does not focus on sales but it can incorporates a wide range of business activities, as described above. This means also that e-commerce is not affected solely by the economic conditions of each market but also by the local social and political conditions, as related to commerce and trade. For example, a law introducing restrictions to the exchange of business information can negatively affect e-commerce, as used by the businesses in a particular state.
The history of E-commerce is closely related to the history of the Internet. In fact, it was because of Internet that the development of E-commerce has become feasible (Schmid,