E-commerce is short for electronic commerce which is the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the internet and other computer networks, according to Wikipedia. Most of the e-commerce business is done virtually online through either a website or email or some other form of electronic means. But even though most of the transactions are done online, e-commerce does involve some sort of physical transportation. When you purchase an item or items from a large online retailer, you place your order online and the items are shipped directly to you through some means of freight transportation such as UPS or FEDEX.

Business to business is a large part of e-commerce since a big part of transactions conducted online is for virtual items. Business to business is referred to the business that is conducted between businesses and consumers. The history of e-commerce has been dramatically changed over the last 30 years. In the beginning, it was done using technology like EDI which is also known as electronic data exchange and EFT which stands for electronic funds transfer. As the market continued to grow in the 1980’s with the introduction of credit cards and ATM machines, so did the e-commerce market.

It seems one of the best examples of e-commerce as far as physical good trading was the Boston Computer Exchange which was a marketplace for computers that came about in 1982. However, the first online information marketplace that was introduced online was the American Information Exchange which came into play in 1991. With the introduction of the internet in 1994, e-commerce took a whole new turn because it was now available worldwide through the internet.

Some electronic activities are regulated in the United State by the Federal Trade Commission also known as the FTC. This includes things like commercial emails and online advertising. This is done to ensure the privacy and safety of all internet users. Basically what this means is that all emails sent through the Worlds Wide Web cannot be deceitful or conning. This is not always the case as many emails get through that con many people out of money and other worldly goods.

There are many forms of e-commerce but the most popular ones are known as digital content such as individuals going online to purchase books or clothing. Anything imaginable can be purchase through the internet. Everything from cars to groceries to CD’s to clothing. Other things that can be done online are things like online banking, online bill payments, buying stocks, completing wire transfers and transferring funds from bank to bank and account to account. Large companies also do the same transactions but in larger forms. It is just amazing how the e-commerce industry has grown since the 1970’s.