electronic commerce

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The use of network technology, more specifically Internet technology, to carry out business functions remotely. It was only in the late 1990s that electronic commerce took off, although the Internet has been used for commercial activities since the 1980s when pornographers used FTP servers to sell salacious images. The huge expansion of ecommerce, as it is often known, occurred in the late 1990s because of the huge increase in availability of access to the Internet. The typical ecommerce venture sells a product such as books or CDs over the Internet using credit cards as the payment medium. However, the term has a much wider use including ventures such as online auctions, game sites, the use of Internet technology for supply chain management and Internet advertising, together with the use of the Internet for applications such as electronic data interchange. Increasingly the term ‘electronic commerce’ has been applied to online sales ventures with the term electronic business being applied as an umbrella term to describe any use of network technology in business.

Subjects: Computing.

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