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E-Commerce

  • By: Fiona Ellis-Chadwick
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

E-commerce is a term that refers to electronically mediated financial transactions between two parties, and these commercial interchanges can be between organizations, individuals, or a combination of both. In 1989, the networks forming the backbone of the Internet became accessible to business and commercial users. The liberalization of the Internet networks (originally designed for military, then educational and research use only) to allow commercial transactions led to rapid and exponential growth of the number of Internet users and commercially orientated websites. During this period, the term e-commerce came into popular usage as a result of the commercialization of computer networks forming the Internet and the growing number of firms that rushed to sell online. Business trading rapidly expanded as commercial organizations across the United ...

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