Examples of e-commerce transactions are:

  • An individual purchases a book on the Internet.
  • A government employee reserves a hotel room over the Internet.
  • A business calls a toll free number and orders a computer using the seller's interactive telephone system.
  • A business buys office supplies on-line or through an electronic auction.
  • A retailer orders merchandise using an EDI network or a supplier's extranet.
  • A manufacturing plant orders electronic components from another plant within the company using the company's intranet.
  • An individual withdraws funds from an automatic teller machine (ATM).

Identifying e-commerce transactions often is not as straight forward as the previous examples may make it appear. Some additional examples that demonstrate the complexity of implementing the proposed definition are provided below.

  • A consumer visits a bookstore and inquires about the availability of an out-of-stock book. A bookstore employee downloads a digital copy of the book and prints it along with cover. Not an e-commerce retail transaction since agreement to purchase did not occur over an electronic network. However, the right to access the digital archived copy is an e-commerce service transaction.
  • Consumer uses Internet to research the purchase of a computer, but calls a toll free number and places the order with an operator. Not an e-commerce transaction because agreement to transfer ownership did not occur over computer-mediated network; neither telephone was computer-enabled.
  • An individual visits a retail store and purchases merchandise not currently in stock from a computer-enabled kiosk located inside the shop. An e-commerce transaction since agreement occurred over computer-mediated networks. In contrast, the purchase of a pre-packaged music CD from a computerized kiosk would not be considered an e-commerce transaction. If the kiosk was network linked, the digital music was downloaded, and the CD was mastered within the kiosk this would be an e-commerce transaction.

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