The emergence of the Internet has led to the reduction of the whole world to the size of a small village. People can communicate without burdens by means of the Internet. It did not take long before someone thought of changing the World Wide Web into a commercial entity. This person thought of emerging business management and information technology. The paper is an exploration of the emergence of e-commerce and its role in business expansion.
E-commerce is defined as the selling and buying products through telecommunications networks such as the Internet. This idea emerged as a result of electronic transmission of messages in the year 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. It gradually developed into an electronic data interchange (EDI). The EDI has evolved to electronic commerce commonly known as e-commerce. E-commerce has led to the development of other models such as business-to business (B2B) model, business-to-consumer (B2C) model, consumer- to-consumer (C2C), and consumer-to- business (C2B) model. These models have largely contributed to the expansion of business throughout the world.
Business- to- business (B2B) model is a network involving interaction between two or more companies. Electronic commerce has made it easy for companies to transact business between themselves online. For example, a company producing raw materials for clothes can easily communicate through email to another company that is using these raw materials to make cloth products. The Gap Company, for example, has succeeded in its B2B structures. The company creates business through e-commerce sites such as net-a-porter.com (Dishman, 2012). B2B enables a company to learn more from other companies analyzing their websites. For example, the Uniqlo was able to get the Gap’s balance sheet highlights online. The sites also showed how it experienced the growth of more than 20% in 2011 (Dishman, 2012).
Business-to-consumer (B2C) model involves business transactions between any company and its consumers through the Internet. E-commerce has made it possible for companies to make their own online stores. Companies regularly post their new products on the websites for consumer choice. Consumers can visit a store’s web site to view new brands and make orders for their favorite choice via e-mails and online chats with sales representatives, who are visible online all the time (Dishman, 2012). Company like Uniqlo has posted their products, such as crew neck sweaters, fleece jackets, and underwear at their online stores for their customers to view across the globe through their virtual marketing network. The online business has increased the Gap’s company revenue in 2011 by $1.5 billion. The company has also estimated that, with online commerce, their revenue will increase to $ 2 billion in 2014 (Dishman, 2012).
Through e-commerce, customers are able to make comparisons of products from various companies. Such comparisons give consumers a wide market and variety of products to choose (Dishman, 2012). The Internet has also led to the elimination of territories of marketing various brands. For example, at first Uniqlo, the Japanese purveyor company, was doing its business in New York City’s swanky SoHo shopping district and four additional stores. But with the application of the e-commerce, the Unqlo Company has widened up its market to the whole world while the Gap Company has expanded its market to around 90 countries (Dishman, 2012).
E-commerce has revolutionized trade as a whole. The clearance and payments of bills can now be done online. This is a more secure method than the initial way of going directly to the shopping centers with cash money. Customer only needs to do the ordering and payments via e-mail then the delivery will be done by the company.
In conclusion, e-commerce has made shopping easier, enjoyable and less costly. It has also increased the consumers’ confidence in shopping. Companies’ market space and profits have tremendously increased. Therefore, e-commerce should be encouraged as the business environment becomes more competitive across the globe.