Until recently, websites were limited to providing potential customers with information about a company, and what products it had to offer. Visitors to the website could do little more than read this information online, then e-mail, fax or telephone the company to purchase the product via traditional means.
E-Commerce enables a company to sell products and services entirely online. Having chosen a product they wish to purchase, a customer can then order and pay for it securely online. It is surprising to note that, according to surveys, the main reason people do not use the Internet for shopping is because of payment security. Yet, they will happily provide their credit card details to a stranger over the telephone!
E-Commerce is transforming the Internet from a source of information and recreation to a vehicle for commerce with incredible profit and cost savings potential. - Online business is expected to be worth £47 billion by 2002 - 40% of German business allow their customers to order online, compared with only 27% in the UK.