E-commerce is the activity of selling products or information over the Internet, and the processes that are established to support a company in such a practice. It is a relatively new area of trade, given the still-recent development of the Internet, but the web’s establishment as the global communications network of choice has made it a particularly important commercial enterprise. As with physical commerce, the trade cycle is more or less categorised into four areas. First is the identification of a supplier by a consumer, and the agreement of terms for supply. The second stage is selecting the goods and taking delivery. The traditional third stage, payment and invoicing, is usually executed along with the selection of goods, in e-commerce. The final stage is after-sales, in which complaints are addressed, support given, and any further involvement of the supplier with the product as specified in the terms of supply is engaged. As an example of the trade cycle, a consumer will go to Amazon to find a specific product. This is the identification of a supplier. Once the product is added to the shopping basket, the consumer will check out using Amazon’s specific e-commerce software, and pay for it while specifying an address at which to take delivery, combining the second and third phases. Once the product arrives, and if it is unsatisfactory, the customer returns it to Amazon, who then will provide a refund, a replacement or another service, thereby fulfilling the fourth phase of the e-commerce trade cycle as agreed through that country’s laws and Amazon’s own terms and conditions. More complex products are subject to altered trade cycles, as are e-commerce systems for less consumer-focussed areas, such as consultancy or bespoke manufacturing work. All will, however, follow the same basic cycle at the heart of their operation.