Electronic Commerce: Structures and Issues

Vladimir Zwass
International Journal of Electronic Commerce
Volume 1, Number 1, Fall, 1996, pp. 3 – 23.

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Abstract: Electronic commerce (E-commerce) is sharing business information, maintaining business relationships, and conducting business transactions by means of telecommunications networks. Traditional E-commerce, conducted with the use of information technologies centering on electronic data interchange (EDI) over proprietary value-added networks, is rapidly moving to the Internet. The Interne’s World Wide Web has become the prime driver of contemporary E-commerce. This paper presents a hierarchical framework of E-commerce development, as well as of analysis, range from the wide-area telecommunications infrastructure to electronic marketplaces and electronic hierarchies enabled by E-commerce. Several nodal problems are discussed that will define future development in E-commerce, including integrating electronic payment into the buying process, building a consumer marketplace, the governance of electronic business, and the new intermediation. The paper also introduces the International Journal of Electronic Commerce, which will provide an integrated view of the new E-commerce.

Key Words and Phrases
: electronic commerce, electronic hierarchies, electronic markets, information infrastructure, new intermediation, World Wide Web.