Electronic business (e-business) can be defined as the use of the internet to network and empower business processes, electronic commerce, organizational communication and collaboration within a company and with its customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. E-businesses utilise the internet, intranets, extranets and other networks to support their commercial processes. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) is the buying and selling, marketing and servicing of products and services via computer networks. Since e-business includes the process of transacting with suppliers and customers there is an overlap in activities with e-commerce. Although the terms ‘e-business’ and ‘e-commerce’ are often used
synonymously, the distinction between them lies in the broader range of processes in e-business that incorporates internal transactions within an organisation. These include transactions relating to procurement, logistics, supply chain management, payments, stock control and order tracking. As Chaffey (2004) notes, e-commerce can best be conceived as a subset of e-business. Where the two concepts overlap is in the buying and selling of products and services.
Buy-side e-commerce refers to electronic transactions between a purchasing organisation and its suppliers and sell-side e-commerce refers to electronic transactions between a supplier organisation and its customers. Figure 1.1 illustrates the relationship between e-business and e-commerce.