(Electronic-COMMERCE) Doing business online, typically via the Web. It is also called "e-business," "e-tailing" and "I-commerce." Although in most cases e-commerce and e-business are synonymous, e-commerce implies that goods and services can be purchased online, whereas e-business might be used as an umbrella term for a total presence on the Web, which would include the e-commerce shopping component.
E-commerce may also refer to electronic data interchange (see EDI
), in which one company's computer queries the inventory and transmits purchase orders to another company's computer. See m-commerce
and clicks and mortar
The First E-Commerce?
In 1886, a telegraph operator was able to obtain a shipment of watches that was refused by the local jeweler. Using the telegraph, he sold all the watches to fellow operators and railroad employees and then ordered more. Within a short time, he made enough money to quit his job and start his own catalog mail order business. The young man's name was Richard Sears, who formed Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1893.