Electronic commerce is inclusive of the whole sales process from marketing and sales through to payment and delivery. There are four basic electronic commerce software functions. The first is Catalogue Display. This can be in a very simple or very detailed form of display for instance numerous photographs of items with a detailed description of the item or service with availability, search features, exclusion features and descriptive options to include and or exclude search results as well as item number if known.

The second feature is shopping cart capabilities. This stores the information about the items a customer has bought enabling them to add and remove items as they shop. When a customer has finished shopping at a click of a button the items in the shopping basket can be purchased and taken through to the transaction stage of the process, the third fundamental of Electronic commerce.

The Transaction processing stage is the virtual checkout. The software calculates discounts, volume of order and postage. This is where a transaction between the seller and customers financial accounts occurs and a secure online payment for goods and services takes place. Some software also enables tracking so that the customer can virtually see the order at various stages of dispatch.

Customer relationship software is the fourth basic electronic commerce software function. Many customers have concerns over the security of internet transactions and it is vital that secure transactions occur to build trust in the relationship. This is also vital to improving the business, making it more profitable by assessing customer behaviour. Customer relationship software enables a company to become customer-centric in an ever increasing competition in e-commerce.