Introduction
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last two years, you have heard about e-commerce! And you have heard about it from several different angles. For example:

  • You have heard about all of the companies that offer e-commerce because you have been bombarded by their TV and radio ads.
  • You have read all of the news stories about the shift to e-commerce and the hype that has developed around e-commerce companies.
  • You have seen the huge valuations that web companies get in the stock market, even when they don't make a profit.
  • And you may have actually purchased something on the web, so you have direct personal experience with e-commerce.
Still, you may feel like you don't understand e-commerce at all. What is all the hype about? Why the huge valuations? And most importantly, is there a way for you to participate? If you have an e-commerce idea, how might you get started implementing it? If you have had questions like these, then this edition of How Stuff Works will help out by exposing you to the entire e-commerce space. Let's have a look!