An introduction to e-commerce and distributed applications
An introduction to e-commerce and distributed applications

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2.5.5 Email providers

These are sites which provide free email facilities; often they provide other facilities such as sending anonymous mail and constructing mailing lists. Such sites are valuable to users who are too impecunious to be able to afford conventional mailing software and to frequent travellers who can access such sites anywhere in the world. Their main disadvantage is that they tend to be slow compared with conventional mailing utilities such as Microsoft Outlook and Eudora.

B2B and B2C

The internet is awash with acronyms. Two acronyms used within e-commerce are B2B and B2C. The former stands for Business to (2) Business while the latter stands for Business to (2) Consumer. B2C is used to describe those business ventures which use internet technology to sell goods and services to internet users, for example the online selling of insurance policies is an example of B2C. B2B describes the use of the internet for business transactions between companies, for example the holding of online auctions of bulk commodities such as crude oil. Current business thinking is that although B2C applications receive the most publicity it is the B2B applications which will have the biggest financial impact. There is also C2C (Company to Company) which is business between companies, for example the use of a network when two companies join together in some commercial activity such as building a shopping complex. The acronym C2C is occasionally used to describe ventures where consumers interact together, for example bulk buying sites; in this case it stands for Consumer to (2) Consumer.

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