TECHNICAL PAPER ON ELECTRONIC COMMERCE
There is no official definition as to what electronic commerce is. Different experts have different definitions. Communication people say that it is the transmission of information, of products/services of payments through telephone lines, network or any other medium. From a businessman standpoint, e-commerce is the use of technology to automate business transactions and work flows. Someone from the service industry might say that e-commerce is a transaction and work flows. Someone from the service industry might say that e-commerce is a helpful innovation that allows business to cut costs, enabling it to provide better quality products with a quicker delivery time. For our purpose and probably the general and literal definition for e-commerce is that it is the actually the buying and selling of goods or services electronically online. Products are displayed on an online store and potential customers can read information about the product, see them on the website and have the option to purchase them online. There are sites selling everything from pets to automobiles. Virtually any product or service can be sold online. All the principles involved in good business practices apply here. Electronic commerce presents a fantastic opportunity for businesses to increase their sales. Online storefronts operate by using a shopping cart. A shopping cart allows visitors select multiple products and collects payment information. Choosing a shopping cart is a critical step in the design of your site. Shopping carts should be matched to the needs of your website. The internet is a new and existing realm that offers businesses the ability to reach millions of customers at very low costs. It also offers businesses the ability to conduct sales through their website 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Establishing an E-commerce website requires an experienced e-commerce designer. There is a multitude of issues, which must be addressed that require very specific knowledge in programming, security and in the unique nature of internet transactions. Failure to address many issues surrounding the creation of an e-commerce site can result in lost business, damaged credibility of financial losses. When you fill out a form on a website that information travels from your computer to the website’s server computer. A special program which resides then processes that information on the server computer. Generally this information this information is emailed to the owner of the website. Secure ordering occurs when a website or an order form is accessed through a secure server. A secure server is a server computer which has special encryption software installed. Any information you submit is encrypted or coded when transmitted. It is more complicated than that, but further explanation would require extra jargon. At this point the customer has placed their order; however the transaction is still not complete until the merchant receives the information. Many sites ordering systems are secure to this point. However, security problems can arise after the information arrives on the server computer. Many websites claim to have secure ordering while in fact they do not. The information is only secured during the initial transmission from the visitor’s computer to the server computer. After the information arrives at the server computer, man websites simply email the information to whoever processes the orders. Email is not a secure method of transmitting information. With the proper knowledge anyone can access the information as it is transmitted. There are several ways to handle securing the information after it arrives on the server. One of the options is to keep the information on the server. Generally writing the information to an inaccessible or secured section of the server computer does this. The merchant can then retrieve the information. A security risk does arise with this method if the...
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