Definition of Internet Commerce

Internet commerce is ubiquitous these days, and there’s a good chance that you’ve made transactions in this way, possibly without being aware of it. Simply put, Internet commerce refers to commercial transactions that take place via the Internet. This can happen in many different ways.

Composer Paul Bambury has an interest in Internet commerce and uses the Internet to sell his music. He outlines an easy-to-understand taxonomy of definitions.

“In this taxonomy, Internet Commerce falls into two broad categories. These are Transplanted real-world Business Models (business activities which occur naturally in the real-world and have been transplanted onto the Internet) and Native Internet Business Models (business activities which have evolved in the Internet environment and are native to it).”  (Bambury, 1998).
Regardless of the business model, Internet commerce doesn’t always involve money. Bambury says it can include “barter, exchange, interaction and [other] activities of a transactional nature.” (1998).
Internet commerce also encompasses a variety of economic models. These include network economy, attention economy, and sharing economy. A network economy refers to a situation where connectedness is key. This model only has value if many others are using it. An attention economy requires people to give their attention in return for an experience, rather than a physical item, such as streaming services like Netflix. While a sharing economy is based on the sharing of existing material items between users who don’t want or need the physical possession.
Upcoming posts will delve into these theories further.
Bambury, P. (1998). A Taxonomy of Internet Commerce. First Monday, 3(10). doi:10.5210/fm.v3i10.624
Kelly, K. (1997). 3.14 New Rules for the New Economy: Twelve Dependable Principles for Thriving in a Turbulent World.

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