266 ◾ Information Systems: What Every Business Student Needs to Know
E-BUSINESS AND E-COMMERCE
You’ve purchased something online: a book from Amazon, music from the iTunes store, an
app from the Android Marketplace, refurbished electronics at bargain prices from woot.
com, hobby supplies on eBay, plane tickets from Expedia or aa.com, gemstones from Blue
Nile, shoes from zapatos.com—the list is endless.
You are not alone. In 2012, consumers bought about a trillion dollars worth of goods
from online sources. at’s less than 10% of what they bought from traditional stores in
that year, but traditional stores have existed for millennia and online shopping is about as
old as you are. e growth of e-commerce, online buying and selling of goods and services,
is shown in Figure 8.1. It is rapid by any standard.
Online business activity is more than buying and selling. E-commerce is part of the
broader concept of e-business. E-business is carrying out any type of business activity
online. Filing an automobile insurance claim, registering for courses online, or checking
how much your dental insurance will pay toward an extraction are e-business, though
they are not e-commerce since nothing is bought or sold. Figure 8.2 shows the relationship
between e-commerce and e-business.
Categories of E-Commerce
ere are several dierent types of e-commerce. It’s important to understand them because
the way an organization approaches e-commerce depends on the type of e-commerce it is
involved in. If it’s involved in more than one type, it may need to use more than one approach.
Business to Consumer
Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce is the type you’re most familiar with: a business
(such as M&M) sells something (candies with a photo of your dog) to a consumer (you) via
a website such as Figure 8.3.
Global e-commerce sales
FIGURE 8.1 E-commerce growth.