E Commerce

Topics: Customer, History of the Internet, Internet Pages: 5 (1984 words) Published: March 1, 2010
E-commerce advantages and disadvantages
E-commerce provides many new ways for businesses and consumers to communicate and conduct business. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of conducting business in this manner. E-commerce advantages

Some advantages that can be achieved from e-commerce include: •Being able to conduct business 24 x 7 x 365 . E-commerce systems can operate all day every day. Your physical storefront does not need to be open in order for customers and suppliers to be doing business with you electronically. •Access the global marketplace . The Internet spans the world, and it is possible to do business with any business or person who is connected to the Internet. Simple local businesses such as specialist record stores are able to market and sell their offerings internationally using e-commerce. This global opportunity is assisted by the fact that, unlike traditional communications methods, users are not charged according to the distance over which they are communicating. •Speed. Electronic communications allow messages to traverse the world almost instantaneously. There is no need to wait weeks for a catalogue to arrive by post: that communications delay is not a part of the Internet / e-commerce world. •Marketspace. The market in which web-based businesses operate is the global market. It may not be evident to them, but many businesses are already facing international competition from web-enabled businesses. •Opportunity to reduce costs. The Internet makes it very easy to 'shop around' for products and services that may be cheaper or more effective than we might otherwise settle for. It is sometimes possible to, through some online research, identify original manufacturers for some goods - thereby bypassing wholesalers and achieving a cheaper price. •Computer platform-independent . 'Many, if not most, computers have the ability to communicate via the Internet independent of operating systems and hardware. Customers are not limited by existing hardware systems' (Gascoyne & Ozcubukcu, 1997:87). •Efficient applications development environment - 'In many respects, applications can be more efficiently developed and distributed because the can be built without regard to the customer's or the business partner's technology platform. Application updates do not have to be manually installed on computers. Rather, Internet-related technologies provide this capability inherently through automatic deployment of software updates' (Gascoyne & Ozcubukcu, 1997:87). •Allowing customer self service and 'customer outsourcing'. People can interact with businesses at any hour of the day that it is convenient to them, and because these interactions are initiated by customers, the customers also provide a lot of the data for the transaction that may otherwise need to be entered by business staff. This means that some of the work and costs are effectively shifted to customers; this is referred to as 'customer outsourcing'. •Stepping beyond borders to a global view. Using aspects of e-commerce technology can mean your business can source and use products and services provided by other businesses in other countries. This seems obvious enough to say, but people do not always consider the implications of e-commerce. For example, in many ways it can be easier and cheaper to host and operate some e-commerce activities outside Australia. Further, because many e-commerce transactions involve credit cards, many businesses in Australia need to make arrangements for accepting online payments. However a number of major Australian banks have tended to be unhelpful laggards on this front, charging a lot of money and making it difficult to establish these arrangements - particularly for smaller businesses and/or businesses that don't fit into a traditional-economy understanding of business. In some cases, therefore, it can be easier and cheaper to set up arrangements which bypass this aspect of the Australian...
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