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Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or eCommerce, is a type of industry where the buying and selling of products or services is conducted over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction's life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well. Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions. This is an effective and efficient way of communicating within an organization and one of the most effective and useful ways of conducting business. E-commerce can be divided into:

E-tailing or "virtual storefronts" on websites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a "virtual mall" Buying or Selling on various websites and/or online marketplaces The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospective and established customers (for example, with newsletters) Business-to-business buying and selling

The security of business transactions

Introduction to the E-Commerce & Internet Business

The global Internet audience continues to grow rapidly, with the worldwide base of broadband Internet users (including fixed and wireless) in the 2 billion range as 2013 began. This vast base of Internet users encourages businesses to innovate in order to offer an ever-evolving array of online services. Sectors that are growing very rapidly online include the sale of entertainment, event tickets, travel, apparel and consumer electronics. The most powerful trends on the Internet include access via wireless devices, migration of entertainment to the web and cloud-based software as a service.

Today, as a result of the recent recession, consumers are more focused than ever on finding the best prices. Consequently, e-commerce firms that offer high value at low prices are well positioned to prosper. The standout winner in e-commerce continues to be Amazon, where sales have soared thanks to aggressive discount pricing, free shipping for its “Prime” members and an ever-growing variety of merchandise categories. Amazon’s revenues rose by 27% in 2012 to $61.0 billion. Books, movies, music and other media now account for the minority of Amazon’s sales, while electronics and general merchandise bring in the largest share by far. Amazon’s sales outside of North America are booming as well. Clearly, there is growing adoption of online consumer purchases throughout the world’s major economies, and the soaring number of broadband users is paving the way.

Analysts at eMarketer reported American e-commerce sales in 2012 of an estimated $343 billion. This figure includes online retail sales, travel sales ($119 billion) and digital downloads, but not sales of tickets to events or online gambling. Global Internet retail sales exceeded $1 trillion for the first time in 2012, up 21.1% from 2011. For 2013, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to see 30% growth in online sales, reaching $433 billion. China alone is expected to be the second largest e-commerce market in the world with $181 billion (up 65% from 2012) behind the U.S., which should hit $384 billion in 2013. Plunkett Research estimates global travel sales online at $320 billion for 2012.

Online advertising in 2012 in the U.S. reached $37.3 billion, according to eMarketer, accounting...