Commerce is the exchange of goods and services which often requires their transportation from one place to another (between cities, countries or between parts of a country), especially on a large scale.[1] More specifically, commerce is the part of business which includes all activities, functions and institutions related to the movement and distribution of goods and services from the producers to the consumers on a large scale. Commerce not only includes trade, which is the actual transaction, exchange or transfer of goods and services, but also the auxiliary services and means which facilitate such trade. These auxiliary services include transportation, communication, warehousing, insurance, banking, financial markets, advertising, packaging, the services of commercial agents and agencies, etc. In other words, commerce encompasses a wide array of political, economical, technological, logistical, legal, regulatory, social and cultural aspects of trade on a large scale. From a marketing perspective, commerce creates time and place utility by making goods and services available to the customers at the right place and at the right time by changing their location or placement.

Commerce was a costly endeavor in the antiquities because of the risky nature of transportation, which restricted it to local markets. Commerce then expanded along with the improvement of transportation systems over time. In the middle ages, long-distance and large-scale commerce was still limited within continents. With the advent of the age of exploration and oceangoing ships, commerce took an international, trans-continental stature. Currently the reliability of international trans-oceanic shipping and mailing systems and the facility of the Internet has made commerce possible between cities, regions and countries situated anywhere in the world. In the 21st century, Internet-based electronic commerce, and its subcategories such as wireless mobile commerce and social network-based social commerce have been and continue to get adopted widely.

Legislative bodies and ministries or ministerial departments of commerce regulate domestic and foreign commercial activities within a country. International commerce can be regulated by bilateral treaties between countries. However, after the second world war and the rise of free trade among nations, multilateral arrangements such as the GATT and later the World Trade Organization became the principal systems regulating global commerce. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is another important organization which sets rules and resolves disputes in international commerce.

EtymologyEdit

The English-language word commerce has been derived from the Latin word commercium, from com ("together") and merx ("merchandise").[2]

HistoryEdit

 
The caduceus - used today as the symbol of commerce,[3] and traditionally associated with the Roman god Mercury, patron of commerce, trickery and thieves.

Historian Peter Watson and Ramesh Manickam date the history of long-distance commerce from circa 150,000 years ago.[4]

In historic times, the introduction of currency as a standardized money facilitated the exchange of goods and services.[5]

Banking systems developed in medieval Europe, facilitating financial transactions across national boundaries.[6] Markets became a feature of town life, and were regulated by town authorities.[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Commerce". English: Oxford Living Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. n.d. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved December 11, 2018. 1 The activity of buying and selling, especially on a large scale.
  2. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Commerce" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 765.
  3. ^ Hans Biedermann, James Hulbert (trans.), Dictionary of Symbolism - Cultural Icons and the Meanings behind Them, p. 54.
  4. ^ Watson, Peter (2005). Ideas : A History of Thought and Invention from Fire to Freud. HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-621064-X. Introduction.
  5. ^ Davies, Glyn (2002). Ideas: A history of money from ancient times to the present day. University of Wales Press. ISBN 0-7083-1717-0.
  6. ^ Martha C. Howell (12 April 2010). Commerce Before Capitalism in Europe, 1300-1600. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-76046-1.
  7. ^ Fernand Braudel (1982). Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century: The wheels of commerce. University of California Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-520-08115-4. Taken over by towns, the markets grew apace with them.