Electronic commerce, also referred as e-commerce is defined as the
ability of an organisation to have a dynamic presence on the Internet allowing
an organisation to do business in an electronic way, having an electronic web
shop (Das et al, 2013; Valacich & Scheider, 2015). The functions of e-commerce
make it possible for parties to deliver a new personalised way of value for customers
and visitors (Kassim & Abdullah, 2010). To conclude, the
broad term e-commerce can be summarised as the method of buying, selling and
exchanging goods and services on the Internet by businesses, consumers and
other parties without any physical contact.

            Kumar et al. (2013) state that
sharing information between the supplier and the potential customer is the
first step in the e-commerce process. Customers are able to browse through the
company’s online website and select the product of their own choice. After a
sufficient amount of information is acquired, the consumer provides the
organisation with relevant information such as personal and order related
details. This valuable information is transferred from the customer’s web
browser to the web server of the corporate website. The data will then be analysed
and saved in the supplier’s database and is used to perform other transactions,
marketing activities and finalising the initial purchase. The buyer can pay the
purchase with an online banking system using credit or debit card. After the
organisation has handled the order, the supplier coordinates the delivery of
the purchased product.  Moreover, information
can be disseminated in larger amounts and different formats. The online exchange
of information content could be in a textual, numerical, pictorial, audio or
video style.

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Due to the new presence of the e-commerce phenomenon, a change of
relationships between buyer and seller has occurred. E-marketing researchers
Rute Xavier and Francisco Costa Pereira (2006) state that because of internet
users and the rise of new information and communication technologies, a new
marketing reality has been introduced. The online consumer has a wider range to
choose a potential organisation which could fulfil their needs. This goes hand
in hand with a higher level of competition. On the other hand, the great online
selling market is a major advantage for the vendor. In order to be more
efficient and increase the company’s profitability, businesses can no longer
afford to think locally. Instead, organisations must think globally.

Introducing an e-commerce website directly transfers the company’s business
onto a global marketplace.

Academics Monsuwe et
al. (2004) made a comparison of the traditional way of shopping and online
shopping. The results indicated that online shopping is a more convenient way
of shopping compared to the traditional one. This was
mainly concluded on the fact that the Internet enables the consumer to gather
more information with a minimal amount of effort, inconvenience and time
investment.