Electronic commerce (also referred to as EC, e-commerce or ecommerce) consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. The information technology industry might see it as an electronic business application aimed at commercial transactions. It can involve electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), automated inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. It typically uses electronic communications technology such as the Internet, extranets, e-mail, e-books, databases, catalogues and mobile phones.
The meaning of the term "electronic commerce" has changed over the last 30 years. Originally, "electronic commerce" meant the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, usually using technology like Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), where both were introduced in the late 1970s, for example, to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically.