Electronic Commerce (Business) Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is Electronic Commerce (Business)?

Electronic Commerce, or Ecommerce, is the process of buying and selling products or services, making money transfers, and transferring data over an electronic medium (Internet). This network allows people to do business without the constraint of distance and time.

Ecommerce is conducted over computers, tablets, smartphones and other smart devices. Almost anything can be purchased through Ecommerce today. It can be a substitute for brick-and-mortar stores, though some businesses choose to maintain both.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in Electronic Commerce (Business)in the following subject areas:

  • MSc in Electronic Commerce (Business) – The MSc in Electronic Commerce is designed for graduates of business and computing degrees who want to advance their careers in the growing ICT industry in Ireland and abroad.
  • Diploma in E-Commerce – Gain the knowledge, understanding, and skills in e-commerce that are currently in very high demand.
  • Commerce with Irish – Learn about the dynamics of the relationship between business and language/culture and practical skills for the work environment.
  • Business/Commerce Degree (B.Comm) – Gain the knowledge and skills necessary to adapt to new business methods and sound knowledge of the fundamentals of business and management.

Studying Electronic Commerce (Business)

There are many courses in Electronic Commerce (Business) that may take place over a few days, weeks or even 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials and taught modules. Assessments will take place on a continuous basis with written examinations and practical assignments combined in order to achieve a qualification.

You could also consider work experience or a work shadow in the industry. Any experience is valuable, but where possible try to gain relevant work placements. For example, working as a sales assistant in a high street store provides invaluable, general experience of the retail industry. You’ll experience customer and company expectations and pick up transferrable skills such as customer service, communication, teamwork and trend spotting. Relevant work experience is a good way of demonstrating a genuine interest in the field and is regarded favourably by employers.

Work Experience will not only give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry, it will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing an Electronic Commerce (Business) course you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of online platforms and software.

E-commerce, also known as online retailing, is defined as ‘commercial transactions conducted electronically on the internet.’ It is a dynamic, fast-paced environment, where innovation is critical for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition.

Those working in online retail focus on the user experience and on procuring, displaying, supplying and delivering products as quickly as possible to satisfy customer demands. The e-commerce industry can be divided into sections of those who create/build the website, those who decide what is featured on the site, those who run the site on a day-to-day basis and those who pack, process and even deliver ordered goods.

If you’re interested in the technology side of e-commerce you could contribute to building the website as a web developer, web designer, UX researcher or UX designer. If your interest lies more on the retail side of things you could have a direct influence on what is sold on the website by working as a retail buyer or retail merchandiser. In these roles you’ll predict buying trends, identify what will sell and ensure that the website is stocked with the right quantity of products, at the right quality, at the right price and at the right time.

To entice customers to shop with the brand and to keep the customer-facing aspects of the website running day-to-day, online retailers need digital copywriters, editors and writers who can create engaging content and write accurate product descriptions. Marketing professionals and social media managers are also needed to promote the company and produce enticing email newsletters. SEO specialists are essential to increasing the visibility of the site in search engines and its number of visitors.

Working hours will depend on whether you are self-employed, employed by a company with set business hours or if you are contracted to various businesses or companies. You’ll typically work a 9am to 5pm week. Occasional evening and weekend work may be necessary depending on the hours of your business and if you are needed after hours.

Related jobs include:

  • Applications developer
  • Game developer
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Multimedia specialist
  • SEO specialist
  • UX designer
  • UX researcher
  • Web content manager
  • Web designer
  • Web developer
  • Artist
  • Database administrator
  • Information systems manager
  • IT sales professional
  • Software engineer
  • Software tester
  • Systems analyst
  • Technical author

Further study

After completing a course in Electronic Commerce (Business) you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skill set. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practise in certain career areas such as Web Development, Web Design, Application Development, SEO and Information Systems.


What is the importance of Electronic Commerce (Business)?

E-commerce gives businesses the ability to reach more customers than traditional retail. E-commerce is a huge part of the economy and is vital to businesses that sell their products or services online.

What are some of the advantages of Electronic Commerce (Business)?

The online marketplace is a good platform for any business and some of the advantages to going online include:

  • Faster buying process
  • Cost reduction
  • Affordable advertising and marketing
  • Flexibility for customers
  • No reach limitations
  • Product and price comparison
  • Faster response to buyer/market demands
  • Several payment modes

Where can I study Electronic Commerce (Business)?

Explore your options here

 Did You Know?

  • E-commerce actually started in 1979. Michael Aldrich connected a domestic television set with a phone line to create online shopping back, which boomed in the 1980s and 1990s before the Internet took off.
  • Amazon launched in 1995. However, Amazon didn’t start turning a profit until 2003. The average order value as of 2012 for Amazon is $47.31, and of course, Amazon is known as one of the largest online retailers.
  • Netflix was not the first online DVD subscription retailer. Blockbuster created Blockbuster.com in 2004, but it’s not clear when the service began that was like Netflix. Ultimately, Redbox and Netflix led to the downfall of what used to be the biggest name in home video entertainment.
  • Pizza Hut was the first pizza chain to offer online ordering in 1994.
  • 46 % of online shoppers count social media when deciding whether to buy something online.

Mariza Halliday

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