The applications of E-commerce are used in various business areas such as retail and wholesale and manufacturing. The most common E-commerce applications are as follows:
Retail and wholesale:
E-commerce has a number of applications in retail and wholesale. E-retailing or on-line retailing is the selling of goods from Business-to-Consumer through electronic stores that are designed using the electronic catalog and shopping cart model. Cybermall is a single Website that offers different products and services at one Internet location. It attracts the customer and the seller into one virtual space through a Web browser.
Data collection about customer behavior, preferences, needs and buying patterns is possible through Web and E-commerce. This helps marketing activities such as price fixation, negotiation, product feature enhancement and relationship with the customer.
Financial companies are using E-commerce to a large extent. Customers can check the balances of their savings and loan accounts, transfer money to their other account and pay their bill through on-line banking or E-banking. Another application of E-commerce is on-line stock trading. Many Websites provide access to news, charts, information about company profile and analyst rating on the stocks.
E-commerce is also used in the supply chain operations of a company. Some companies form an electronic exchange by providing together buy and sell goods, trade market information and run back office information such as inventory control. This speeds up the flow of raw material and finished goods among the members of the business community. Various issues related to the strategic and competitive issues limit the implementation of the business models. Companies may not trust their competitors and may fear that they will lose trade secrets if they participate in mass electronic exchanges.
Customer-to-Customer E-commerce is direct selling of goods and services among customers. It also includes electronic auctions that involve bidding. Bidding is a special type of auction that allows prospective buyers to bid for an item. For example, airline companies give the customer an opportunity to quote the price for a seat on a specific route on the specified date and time.