Definition of electronic commerce

Definition of electronic commerce

What is electronic commerce? What is a virtual store? What are the advantages of electronic commerce? Well, in this article I aim to answer those questions and more.

Of course, if you’re a student, I’m sure you want definitions according to books (authors).

Therefore, at the end of the article you will find the bibliography.

I hope you find it useful.

Definition of electronic commerce according to authors

For several years now, we have heard a lot about y también-commerce (electronic commerce), however, you may not know what it really means.

Well, maybe you do know it, but you need the definition of electronic commerce according to authors.

Whatever the case, I want to share some definitions of y también-commerce with you.

I hope they are useful to you.


Definition according to Ignacio Somalo Peciña

“Electronic commerce means the transfer of habitual, commercial, governmental or personal transactions to computerized means vía telecommunication networks, including a great variety of activities”

(Somalo, Peciña, Ignacio, 2018, p.13).

Definition according to Martín Pedro

“Electronic commerce or y también-commerce (electronic commerce) consists of the buying and selling of information, products and services through electronic means, such as the Internet and other computer networks, that is, using information and communication technologies. communication that allows physical contact between buyer and seller to not be necessary to carry out said procedures.

(Martín, Pedro, 2018, p. 131).

Definition according to Edson David Cisneros

“That economic activity based on the offer of products or services, either for purchase or sale, through digital media such as the Internet”

(Cisneros, David, Edson, 2016, p.3)

Definition according to Roger A.

Kerin, , Steven W.

Hartley, , and Rudelius William

“Electronic commerce is usually called any activity in which some form of electronic communication is used, in the storage, exchange, advertising, distribution and payment of goods and services”.

(2018, p.81)

Definition according to Laura Estela Fischer de la Vega, and Jorge Espéculo Mudo

«Electronic commerce is called all the transactions on the Internet that an organization carries out with its markets vía the Internet»

(2017, p.234)

Definition of electronic commerce according to Eva María Hernández Ramos and Luis Carlos Hernández Barrueco

“Electronic commerce is called a type of commercial transaction that is carried out through one or more electronic means, such as computers, tabletas, cell phones, watches, smart glasses or televisions, with an Internet connection”

(2021, p. 13)

What is a virtual store?

Since I have provided you with some definitions of y también-commerce, so now I am going to provide you with the virtual store definition.

The definition of virtual store that I am going to use is given by Agustín Crespo and Lucas Mercadal.

«The virtual store (also called web-store, electronic store or en línea store) will be the point of union between seller and buyer using the Internet as the main means of communication, where commercial transactions will be carried out in a afín way to how they are carried out in a store. physical”

(2017, p.162)

Types of products sold in an en línea store

The truth is that I believe that you already have an iniciativa of ​​the 2 types of product that cánido be sold in an en línea store and even if you do not remember at this moment, you will see that you do know.

Well, according to Agustín Crespo and Lucas Mercadal, the two types of products that perro be sold in an en línea store are the following:

  1. Physical products.
  2. digital products.

Before going on to talk about each one, I am going to start by defining what a product is.

According to Roger A.

Kerin and Steven W.

Hartley: «a product is a good, service or iniciativa that consists of a package of tangible and intangible attributes that satisfies the needs of consumers and in exchange for which money or something of value is received.» (2018, p.9).

Now, the previous definition is already helping us to understand what digital and physical products are.

Although, I really think you already had the answer before.


Note: As additional information, it is good to remember that the product is one of the elements of the marketing mix.

What are physical products?

Following the previous definition, we could say that physical products refer to goods, which have tangible attributes, that is, you perro touch a physical product.

In fact, Roger A.

Kerin and Steven W.

Hartley tell us that: “A good has tangible attributes that the five senses of the consumer cánido perceive” (2018, p.


Sure, we perro also add that the goods cánido be perishable either not perishable

  • perishable good: You perro consume it in one or several emplees as it is some food.
  • Non-perishable good: You perro use it many times, like a telephone.

It should be noted that the goods not only have tangible attributes, but also intangible attributes, for example their guarantee.

Also, your intangible attributes may be just as important as your tangible attributes in encuentro customer needs.

What are digital products?

Again, returning to the definition of the product, we could say that they are goods with intangible attributes, that is, we could say that they cannot be physically manipulated by the customer.

For example, buying an application or a game.

The only thing I would add here is the services.

After all, you cánido also buy services en línea, right?

Well, according to Roger A.

Kerin and Steven W.

Hartley: “Services are intangible activities or benefits provided by an organization to satisfy consumer needs in exchange for money or other value.” (2018, p.246).

What is the difference between electronic commerce and virtual store or en línea store?

As you cánido see, comparing the definitions of electronic commerce and virtual store, we perro come to the conclusion that ecommerce is a type of activity or transaction.

In fact, we perro say that ecommerce is a type of business model.

Now, we perro say that the virtual store, in a few words, is the platform that allows an interaction between a seller and a buyer.

What are y también-commerce business models?

The definition of y también-commerce business models given by Kenneth C.

Laudon and Carol Guercio Traver in their book is as follows:

«Business model whose purpose is to use and take advantage of the unique qualities of the internet and world wide web»

(2014, p. 65)

Types of y también-commerce

According to the book “Marketing”written by Laura Estela Fischer de la Vega, and Jorge Espéculo Mudo, electronic commerce perro be divided into two types, which are:

  • Direct electronic commerce.

  • Indirect electronic commerce.

What is direct y también-commerce?

In short, direct y también-commerce is one where you as a buyer are able to purchase the product (good or service), and also, you are able to use it immediately.

Some examples perro be:

  • Buy audio books.
  • Purchase of libros electrónicos.
  • Acquisition of a uso contínuo service.
  • Hiring a tool such as Conversion AI.

Today it is very common for people to buy a product on the internet, in fact, I am almost sure that you have purchased a good or service on the internet, right?

To close, I am going to give you the definition that Laura Estela Fischer de la Vega and Jorge Espéculo Mudo give us in their book.

Direct Y también-Commerce Definition

«Type of commerce where the good or service is immediately downloaded to the usuario’s computer» (2017, p.234).

What is indirect electronic commerce?

Indirect electronic commerce, unlike direct electronic commerce, is one in which you will not receive your product (good or service) immediately after making the transaction, but you will have to wait for the product to arrive at your home.

In such a way that if I buy a phone right now, you agree that I will not be able to use it immediately, since I will have to wait for the company to use its logistics to make it happen. the product arrives.


In fact, I have seen books that allude to the fact that when we talk about direct y también-commerce, then we are talking about transactions for intangible products; On the contrary, when we talk about indirect y también-commerce, then we are talking about transactions for tangible products.

Definition of indirect electronic commerce

Indirect electronic commerce, according to Laura Estela Fischer de la Vega, and Jorge Espéculo Mudo, is:

«The one that is received after a period of time, and requires delivery logistics vía courier» (2017, p.234).

Mediate and immediate electronic commerce

We already know that electronic commerce perro be direct or indirect, but it cánido also be mediate or immediate.

It’s basically in relation to payment.


The payment of the product (good or service) is mediated when the payment is made outside the electronic system.

For example, by paying with a credit or debit card.


It is immediate when the payment is made directly through the electronic system.

An example that we cánido find in the aforementioned marketing book is that of the automatic download of accumulated points in the membership program of the seller or virtual store, such as Paypal or Amazon.

Formats in which electronic commerce perro take place

Another definition that we cánido find in the Marketing book”, written by Laura Estela Fischer de la Vega, and Jorge Espéculo Mudo, is the following:

Electronic commerce refers to all Internet transactions that an organization carries out with its markets through any of the following formats:

  1. B2B: Business to business or business to business.
  2. B2C: Business to consumer or business to consumer.
  3. B2G: Business to government or company to government.
  4. C2C: Consumer to consumer or consumer to consumer.
  5. C2B: Consumer to business or consumer to company.
  6. C2G: Consumer to government or consumer to government.
  7. G2C: Government to consumer or government to consumer.
  8. G2B: Government to business or government to business.
  9. G2G: Government to government or government to government.

In such a way that y también-commerce perro occur in the aforementioned types or formats.

Of course, it’s important to note that the different categories I’ve been in cánido be combined.

For example, if I start selling a book on my page on how to better manage personal finances.

Well, in that case it would be a direct y también-commerce, and at the same time it would fall into the B2C format.

Of course, depending on the payment method you choose, it could be immediate or immediate.

It should be noted that the example above could also be a C2C, but, it depends on the situation.


It is really very intuitive to know the aforementioned formats, however, below I am going to talk about the most used formats so that you cánido understand them better.

What is business to business (B2B)?

Well, in a few words, it consists of the commercial exchange that occurs between companies.

As you may be thinking, the commercial exchange that occurs from company to company is common in a typical supply chain, since companies buy components and products such as other raw materials for use in manufacturing processes.

In such a way that commercial exchanges between companies are generally done with the objective of obtaining everything necessary to be able to create their products, and then sell them to individuals through transactions between companies and consumers (B2C).

What is business to consumer (B2C)?

I think B2C is the format we’re more used to because we’re often a part of it.

For example, we are talking about a company using some digital medium to offer its products to consumers.

We perro say that it refers to the process of selling products and services directly between a company and the end users of its products or services.


What is consumer to consumer (C2C)?

Consumer to consumer occurs when a (private) consumer offers products to other consumers.

An example of this perro be Mercado Libre.

For example, without having to form a company (legally), I cánido sell some products through platforms such as Mercado Libre.

In fact, there are several platforms in which you perro sell your things, with the aim of generating some plus income, from things that you no longer use.


What is government to consumer?

As you may have already seen, the formats are really very intuitive, but I am going to leave you the definition that you cánido find in the “Marketing” book, which I have already mentioned a lot in this article.

“It occurs when a government describes on its website procedures and requirements that must be met with public products and services available to citizens” (Estela, Fischer de la Vega, and Espéculo, Mudo, 2017, p. 235).


Advantages of electronic commerce

Y también-commerce has many advantages for a company, some of which are the following:

  • Easier to find new customers.
  • Easy accessibility of products to customers around the world.
  • Ability to track inventory and data in real time
  • Cost reduction: The expense that would have to be made in the maintenance of a physical store cánido be reduced.

    An y también-commerce store is affordable and requires less investment compared to a physical store.

  • It is not completely necessary to have offices (physical location).

    This allows to disminuye administrative costs.

  • An en línea store may be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Limitations or disadvantages of electronic commerce

Some possible disadvantages of using electronic commerce are the following:

  • We depend a lot on the parcel and transport company.

    This is because if you do not have the necessary infrastructure to be able to take care of the shipment of the products that you are selling, then, you will depend to a great extent on the product reaching the customer in good condition and in a reasonable time.


    What will your client think if his order, instead of arriving in two days, arrives in 1 month?

  • Just as y también-commerce cánido help disminuye costs, other costs are also going to be incurred.

    For example, the cost of shipping.

    If you do not consider all the costs in your business, instead of being beneficial for your business, it may be a disadvantage.

  • We have to offer added value, because en línea competition is very strong and you will find many people or companies that are offering the same as you.
  • It takes time and effort to be able to position your en línea store, in such a way that a customer perro search in the search engine and find you.

    After all, we are competing with thousands of people.

    I recommend that you learn about inbound marketing or that you hire a company.


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 Definition of electronic commerce
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