20.1. An introduction to e-commerce

20.1.1. What is e-commerce and why?

A company that performs any online activity is generally considered an e-commerce company. Online activity means any business operation conducted over a network 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all year round. Under this definition, all kinds of business activities on the Web such as

  • buying, selling, and trading

  • service provision

  • banking

  • entertainment

are characterized as e-commerce or e-business. Although e-commerce is a relatively new term even from our computer dictionary, it was widely used by many big corporations decades ago. In particular, the banking industry used Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to transfer money between accounts and/or banks long before the creation ...

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