(Electronic-COMMERCE) Selling products online via the Web. 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 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. See shopping cart.|
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, microcommerce and clicks and mortar.
Perhaps 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.