eCommerce can mean many different things to different people and businesses. There is a lot of jargon that has evolved over time that can be very confusing.
eCommerce stated back in the early 1990's and is a term that covered all forms of electronic commerce. Even transaction using an ATM machine or EFTPOS are considered to be eCommerce. Lately it has been used to describe buying and selling over the internet. In reality it is a very broad term.
eBusiness in a similar fashion is a term that has many meanings depending on how it is applied. But in a general sense it means a business process that is driven by an information system. Most recently it has also been applied to business done over the internet.
Some people see eCommerce as more B2B related and eBusiness as more B2C related but who cares. What it is all about is doing business and if you are looking at our website then you probably want to sell online.
You will come across many new terms if you are new to selling online here are a few:
B2C - or business to consumer is the very basics of online selling. It simply means that your business or website is selling a product or service to a end consumer of that product or service.
B2B - business to business is all about selling or supplying other businesses rather than end consumers. B2B is really the same as B2C but there might be a little variation in the process. For example in B2B you might only sell to registered businesses with an ABN and accept different payment terms.
C2C - or consumer to consumer is about selling used stuff (generally) the most well know C2C site is eBay but there are many others out there like Trademe in New Zealand.
B2P - or business to partner really is another form of B2B.
eMarketplace - is a website where you will find many different B2B and B2C businesses selling their products, good examples are www.ferrit.co.nz and www.oo.com.au.
eMall and eMarketplace - same thing.
Shopping Comparison - is like an eMarketplace but without a shopping cart and allows you to compare from many suppliers, good examples are www.getprice.com.au and www.shopping.com.
Shopping Cart - what this generally means is an ability for you to pick products on the website and then add them to a secure buying process. Secure shopping carts are generally SSL protected and you will see that the URL starts with HTTPS and not HTTP. Also the padlock icon should appear in your browser.
SSL - means secure socket layer and just means that the information is transferred safely.
Payment Gateway - in order to safely accept credit cards you need to process through a payment gateway or a Payment Service Provider. These are organisations that deal directly with the credit card companies and your bank. Companies like PayPal and Worldpay and Payment Gateways.
Online Shop or Online Store - refers to a website that also has been enabled with a shopping cart to take online sales.
WYSIWYG - this means What You See Is What You Get and refers to a method of editing information. In good web systems you need HTML and this is like a programming language and complex. So editors have been created that automatically create the HTML for you.
HTML - this means Hypertext Makeup Language and it the language used to format web pages. There are many other languages that are used on the web for example Java, JSP, ASP, .Net, and many more. A good online store development system won't need you to know any of these. So rest easy.
If there are other terms that you don't understand don't worry you are not alone. Don't let the terminology frighten you. Many web development companies try very hard to make it as difficult as possible but we don't. We are more than happy to explain any terminology just ask us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.