What are the different ways of doing e-commerce?
E-Commerce can take place in so many ways. Here are some examples:
- Electronic data interchange (EDI). This is popular among big companies where various electronic documents are sent through a private network. EDI usually done through a virtual private network uses standard data format that companies follow to communicate with each other. A software is utilized that translates EDI documents to user-friendly formats.
- Fax, telegram, telex or telecopy. Documents sent through these mediums are treated the same as original. However, in the case of fax where the ink fades away from the paper in overtime, it is best to use those that save in electronic file format as well for future reference. This is important if you are receiving orders through fax and may need to use them as reference in the months and years to come.
- E-mail. A business transaction agreed upon via e-mail can be treated as e-commerce. Contracts and certifications now can be sent via email. Parties can express consent by saying so in the reply e-mail attaching the contract being agreed upon.
- Internet Web/HTML/XML. Users transact through a browser interface or website.
How is e-commerce different from Internet or mobile commerce?
The Internet is the information highway or public network where e-commerce and various forms of communication take place. E-commerce that takes place over the Internet is referred to as “Internet Commerce”.
“Mobile Commerce” is where transaction takes place in mobile devices such as cellular phone and personal digital assistant (PDA).
Any transaction for as long as it is done using electronic communication can be referred to as e-commerce.
How long has the Philippines been practicing e-commerce?
We’ve been doing e-commerce since the emergence of computers and telecommunication technologies. It even became more prevalent as fax machines entered our lives; retail shops implemented point of sales (POS) systems and bar coding; automated teller machines (ATM) in bank system; wireless telecommunications; use of credit card and ATM machines when making over-the-counter purchases.
EDI is used greatly by grocery retail chains like SM Supermarket and the likes in conducting transactions with their suppliers.
When the Internet came into play in March 1994, e-commerce took a new manifestation. Businesses built websites to attract buyers. Transactions are closed either online or offline.
As text messaging was launched in 1996, the mobile phone became a medium as well in conducting business at a fast pace.
All of these are steps towards a full-blown e-commerce system where human intervention is becoming less and less.