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E-Commerce and Geography

  • By: Candice Wallace
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is generally defined to encompass any commercial activity that uses the transmission of electronic data to facilitate buying and selling. E-commerce therefore spans a wide variety of industries, not only those trading in tangible goods (as traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts do) but also those brokering the transfer of intangible ownership rights. It also uses a wide variety of technologies, ranging from the simple buying and selling of products using electronic mail to more complex inventory-tracking systems that automatically replenish stock based on sales. Over the past 10 years, e-commerce has become an integral part of business organization and economic strategy—accounting for more than $3.3 trillion worth of transactions in the U.S. economy in 2007 (Census 2009). E-commerce is of particular relevance to the ...

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