Wednesday, 31 August 2016

E-commerce vs E-business : Stepping into the digitized world

Dr Ruchi Nayyar
Assistant Professor & Head Of Department
The NorthCap University, Gurgaon

Broadband connectivity and increased usage of credit cards have provided a favourable infrastructure for the growth of online shopping in India.Continued liberalization in the telecom sector has shown positive effects in the past few years. The Indian Telecom Policy recognized the convergence of different media and permitted direct inter-connectivity amongst various service providers. Presently full – duplex communication for transmission of voice, data and information services is permissible under the telecom policy. Today, internet services can be conveniently obtained from telecommunication providers at affordable rates. Internet has reached common individuals, thanks to sprawling cyber cafes, inexpensive broadband connections and government initiatives of e-kiosks.

E-commerce offers customers maximum convenience. They can visit the websites of multiple vendors in the comfort of their homes and offices and are able to compare prices and make purchases. It is also easier to negotiate price and terms of delivery as the internet can help companies efficiently obtain competitive bid information. From the sellers’ perspective too, e-commerce increases sales opportunities of the sellers. They do not need to build, staff, or maintain a physical store or print and distribute mail order catalogs. Besides, use of automated order tracking and billing systems can cut additional labor costs Sellers can also enjoy the benefit of selling on international platforms and are therefore not limited by the physical location of a store. Internet technologies also help sellers to capture the consumer buying behaviors on the internet which could be used to build an ongoing relationship with the customer by customizing products and services to meet the customer's needs.

Despite providing innumerable benefits to the customers, e-commerce has its limitations too. There are a number of businesses (such as involving perishable foods and custom- designed jewelry) that cannot be successfully implemented on the internet. These products, regardless of the technology are difficult to get inspected from a remote location. There is also a universal standard of e-commerce. Taxation and data transmission over the internet cause a lack of trust in e-commerce. Technically speaking also, companies face problems while integrating their existing databases and transaction-processing software designed for traditional commerce into the software that enables electronic commerce. This resists a number of firms to invest into e-commerce.

E-business refers to the transformation and streamlining organizations value chain activities through the use of internet technologies. Sometimes e-business is equated with e-commerce but many contend that e-commerce is only a part of a much bigger picture. Although the terms e-commerce and e-business are used interchangeably, they are distinct concepts. In comparison to e-commerce, e-business is a more generic term as it refers not only to information exchanges related to buying and selling but also to B2C perspective. E-business enables companies to link their internal and external processes more efficiently and flexibly, work more closely with suppliers and better satisfy the needs and expectations of their customers. Besides, while e-commerce utilizes information and communication technology (ICT) in inter-business transactions, e-business deploys ICT to enhance the business in terms of production, customer relationship management and internal management. Therefore E-business is a key component of Higher Management Education to enable students to best utilize the power of the internet to improve customer delivery.

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