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What is eCommerce? What is eBusiness?

The terms ecommerce and ebusiness (where 'e' is short for electronic) refer to the use of the Internet for conducting financial and business transactions and are often used to categorise systems designed for trading over the Internet.

The term ecommerce originated from America in the mid 1990s as a buzzword for the newly emerging shopping cart systems of the day. A virtual shopping cart system enabled an Internet user to select one or more items from a web-based catalogue, place an order, specify delivery and pay online using a web browser and a credit-card. Much the same as ordering from Sears or other mail-order catalogue.

Later the term ebusiness came into common usage as a more anglo-european buzzword describing not only consumer oriented retail operations but also the more general concept of business to business communications and supply chain management.

Both terms are beginning to sound a little self-conscious since 2000 when the so called "DotCom Bubble" burst with the collapse of and similar over-financed Internet ventures.

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