The Difference Between E-Business and E-Commerce

Online business or e-business (electronic business) is the business process involving the exchange of information via the Internet. E-commerce is a part of e-business and focuses on transaction processes.

On the one hand, E-business (electronic business) describes the initiation, agreement and execution of value-adding processes through the exchange of services via private or public communication networks (Meidl, 2015, p. 6). This includes Internet and electronic data interchange (EDI), to improve and change business processes.

On the other hand there is E-commerce. Although often used as a synonym, the two basic terms can clearly be distinguished. In literature, the term e-business is used as an umbrella term for a number of business processes that are handled in companies via information technologies. E-business is thus a large area of internet economics. E-business represents various subtopics such as E-Content, E-Context, E-Connection and E-Commerce (Meidl, 2015, p. 6).

ecommerce-taxonomy (1) E-business compared to E-commerce and E-procurement (presented by Aioma)

E-commerce encompasses outward-facing processes that touch customers, suppliers and external partners, including sales, marketing, order taking, delivery, customer service, purchasing of raw materials and supplies for production, and procurement of indirect operating expenses such as office supplies. It's about new business models and the potential to generate new revenue.

Immediate access to the communications infrastructure and advancing digitalization inspire the customer journey in e-commerce (Meidl, 2015, p. 5). Trade in products and services forms the base of the activity (Meidl, 2015, p. 6). Accordingly, purchases are also no longer limited to stationary implementations, as there is a wide range of options for selling products directly in the online environment. E-commerce, also known as online shopping or online retailing, describes any form of activity that serves to buy and sell goods and services via electronic networks. There are various other forms of definition for e-commerce. However, the transaction is always at the core of the statement. At this point, a distinction should also be made between e-procurement and purchasing. Within this field, electronic data interchange, known as EDI, is currently a relevant topic.


E-business compared to e-commerce (representation taken from Meidl, 2015, p. 6)