E-Commerce and E-Business are two completely different terms but unfortunately they are always used interchangeably by many of us. The reason behind this lies in the meanings of “business” and “commerce” in English language. But there is a difference between e-commerce and e-business. There are many people who understand the subtle differences between the two and there had always been a debate among these two groups about the differences and similarities between e-commerce and e-business. The aim of writing this article is to clearly bring out the differences between the two as both of them are completely different phenomenon.
1. E-Commerce is the subset of E-Business. If you remember the Venn diagram you studied in school then you can very well understand what I am trying to convey. The later one is a very broad concept while the former one is just a small part of it. This relationship will be cleared in the subsequent points.
2. Those activities which essentially involve monetary transactions are termed as “e-commerce”. However, e-business is a much broader term. There are many other things besides selling including but not limited to marketing, procurement of raw materials or goods, customer education, looking for suppliers etc.
3. To sell online is e-commerce but to bring and retain customers and educate them online about the product or service is e-business. Having a website to do it is not sufficient. But, having a professionally built website loaded with latest technologies to capture the attention of the visitor and win his/her appreciation is required. When money is involved then the first thing which user looks for is safety and security of his/her money. Having a website laden with such qualities is important.
4. When Dell sell computers, laptops, monitors, printers, accessories etc online then it is not engaged in e-commerce but e-business. Let me tell you how. When a visitor comes on the website, the first thing he see is website design and navigation as well as those things which are going to help him find what he is looking for and if he directly lands on the page he was looking for, he looks for the information related to it. The information provided should be appealing and clear maximum doubts of the visitor so as to convert him in a client. Till now no money has been exchanged nor been talked about. So, was this e-commerce? No, it is e-business which guides the visitor.
5. E-commerce has also been defined as a process covering outward processes that touch customers, suppliers and external partners while e-business covers internal processes such as production, inventory management, product development, risk management, finance etc.
In all, e-commerce can be described as the use of the Internet and the web to transact business. More formally, digitally enabled commercial transactions between and among organizations and individuals. On the other hand, e-business can be described as the digital enablement of transactions and process within a firm, involving information systems under the control of the firm. Moreover, e-business applications turn into e-commerce precisely when an exchange of value occurs.