In order to undertake an assessment of the difference between e-commerce, e-business and e-marketing, a brief description of each type of activity, based on the views of the large majority of references found, will be given before a comparison between them is undertaken.
The results of a literature search show that most authors typically suggest that e-marketing is part of e-commerce, which in turn is part of e-business. This assessment appears to be in tune with early views of marketing in which marketing was an equal function to finance, production and human resources (Kotler, 2000).Kotler suggests a more appropriate view of marketing is that the customer is the central controlling function and that marketing has a central integrative function (Kotler, 2000). This essay supports this view. As e-marketing becomes more established and increasing numbers of organisations adopt e-resources as part of their integrated marketing approach, it is suggested it will become increasingly accepted that e-marketing is an additional tool to be integrated into an organisation’s marketing strategy.
Therefore, it is not appropriate for e-marketing to be seen as just a part of an organisation’s e-business and e-commerce activities, without emphasising that it should have a central role to play in all of an organisation’s activities.’E-Business is concerned with all aspects of the business process and not just financial transactions. It is the broadest term’ (Summers, 2002), (Chaffey, 2000).O’Brien defines e-business as the use of internet technologies to undertake electronic commerce, enterprise communication and collaboration within a company and with its customers, suppliers and other business stakeholders (O’Brien, 2002). It should be noted that O’Brien’s definition is restricted to only internet technologies rather than electronic resources, unlike the majority of other authors on the subject.O’Brien divides the e-business environment into 3 areas.
These are:Enterprise communication and collaboration – this includes e-mail, voice mail, video conferencingInternal business systems – this includes enterprise resource planning, workflow systems, process control and enterprise information and knowledge portalsElectronic commerce – this will be discussed in more detail later in the report.Strauss (Strauss, 2001) includes a more detailed break-down of e-business activities. His breakdown includes:* e-commerce* business intelligence (market research)* Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – this involves retaining both business and individual customers through strategies that ensure the customers’ satisfaction with the firm and its products. CRM uses digital processes.* supply chain management – this involves the coordination of the distribution channel* enterprise resource planning (ERP) – this refers to back office operations such as order entry, purchasing, invoicing and inventory control.
General Electric Co. (GE) is an example of an organisation that uses extensive e-business activities. This has led to both productivity gains and an increase in its competitive advantage (O’Brien, 2002).E-business and e-commerce are often used interchangeably (Forrest, 2001).
However, typically e-commerce is seen as being a sub-set of e-business (Strauss, 2001). It deals with the conducting of business transactions electronically (Summers, 2002).It ‘refers to trading of goods and services using the internet and other digital media. It includes advertising, sales, customer support and payment mechanisms’ (Chaffey, 2000). O’Brien’s definition is very similar. However, he restricts the definition to the use of the internet, intranets and extranets (O’Brien, 2002).E-commerce transactions conducted on the internet, include a range of activities including selling, bill paying and dealing with suppliers and customers (Hoffman, 1997).
Coupey describes e-commerce as being ‘the completion of buying and selling transactions online’. He goes on to say that e-marketing is part of this process (Coupey, 2001).Examples of e-commerce web sites include:E-Commerce siteMarketsType of productsAmazon.comBusiness- to-consumerPhysical goods: including books, music and videosInformation content: articles, chatsServices: auctions, gift servicesBarnesandnoble.
comBusiness-to-consumerPhysical goods: including books, music and videosInformation content: articles, chatsServices: product recommendations, Northern Lights search serviceEbay.comBusiness-to-consumerConsumer-to-consumerServices: auction specialistCisco.comBusiness-to-consumerPhysical goods: computer Web-based networking productsInformation content: company-relatedServices: international product ordering, distributionSource: O’Brien, J. (2000) Management Information Systems – Managing Information Technology and the E-Business Enterprise, 5th Edition, McGraw Hill Education, US.A number of authors state that e-marketing is part of e-commerce.E-marketing can be defined as ‘traditional marketing using electronic methods (Strauss, 2001). It encompasses all electronic methods that can be used to market an organisation.
These include Electronic Data exchange (EDI), barcode scanners, computer data bases, email, WAP mobile phones, digital text messages and digital TV. Internet marketing is an important part of e-marketing (Summers, 2002).The range of e-resources available for e-marketing is very broad. They include research activities, a range of computer and software based resources, telephony resources, network based recurrences, such as the internet and in-store resources (Reedy, 2000).A large majority of organisations in developed countries use e-marketing to some degree.
These include Dolly, Levis and Proctor and Gamble. The extent to which companies have incorporated e-marketing into their activities varies considerably (Kotler, 2001).E-marketing may be a central or additional component of an organisation’s marketing activities. Brown suggests that small and medium sized enterprises typically adopt e-commerce in a 5 stage process as firms gradually integrate e-marketing into a core role (Brown, 2002).
In a sense, it is suggested that e-marketing will have a product life-cycle itself. At this stage it may be in it’s late introduction or early growth stage. As increasing numbers of people recognise that e-marketing is an additional marketing tool to be used in an integrated marketing approach, e-marketing will be more widely recognised as being more that just an ‘add-on’.In conclusion, the use of electronic resources is a relatively new, rapidly changing and evolving activity. It is therefore not surprising that there are some discrepancies concerning the definition of terms in this subject area, including the definition of e-business, e-commerce and e-marketing.
Despite some discrepancies and interchange ability relating to the definition and use of these terms, a review of literature relating to this showed broad general agreement about the following:E-business refers to the broadest use of e-resources by an organisation in all of its operations. E-commerce is seen as a sub-set of e-business and refers directly to the conducting of business transactions using electronic means. E-marketing is typically seen as a sub-set of e-commerce and refers to the broad range of applications of e-resources to the marketing mix and the positioning of a product or organisation.It is suggested that it would be more appropriate for e-marketing to be seen as being part of an integrated marketing approach that has a central role to play in all of an organisation’s activities, as described by Kotler (Kotler, 2000). It is predicted that this view will be held by increasing numbers of people as e-resources become better understood and used by organisations.