Electronic commerce is a revolution in business practices. If organizations are going to take advantage of new Internet technologies, then they must take a strategic perspective. That is, care must be taken to make a close link between corporate strategy and electronic commerce strategy.
Electronic commerce, in a broad sense, is the use of computer networks to improve organizational performance. Increasing profitability, gaining market share, improving customer service, and delivering products faster are some of the organizational performance gains possible with electronic commerce. Electronic commerce is more than ordering goods from an on-line catalog.
It involves all aspects of an organization’s electronic interactions with its stakeholders, the people who determine the future of the organization. Thus, electronic commerce includes activities such as establishing a Web page to support investor relations or communicating electronically with college students who are potential employees. In brief, electronic commerce involves the use of information technology to enhance communications and transactions with all of an organization’s stakeholders. Such stakeholders include customers, suppliers, government regulators, financial institutions, mangers, employees, and the public at large.