What exactly is E-Business?

E-Business (or eBusiness among other derivatives), short for Electronic Business, is a term that has been credited to IBM’s marketing team in the mid-1990s. Topically it means different things to different people. E-business is often confused with e-commerce primarily due to the confusion that e-business is transaction focused.

However, there is a difference; e-business encompasses both internal and external transactions such as the pre-and post sale processes while e-commerce is more focused on external monetary transactions.

An example would be buying a book on Amazon. The exchange of money represents e-commerce while the process of shipping by the sender and the subsequent rating or review by the receiver both are facets of electronic business. Since customers make decisions on seller ratings and therefore the review and/or rating contributes to future sales, it is e-business even though no money was exchanged when the review was made.

With that said, like most topics in academia, consensus on a definition is rare and numerous definitions are offered by Dr. Feng Li in What is E-Business? I definitely would recommend picking it up on Amazon for further insight to this discussion.


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