ethical issues in online shopping

Topics: Online shopping, Electronic commerce, Retailing Pages: 6 (1877 words) Published: October 15, 2013
INTRODUCTION
Online shopping or online retailing is a form of electronic commerce which allows consumers to directly buy goods or services from a seller over the Internet using a web browser. Alternative names are: e-shop, e-store, Internet shop, web-shop, web-store, online store, and virtual store. An online shop evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at a bricks-and-mortar retailer or shopping center. The process is called business-to-consumer (B2C) online shopping. In the case where a business buys from another business, the process is called business-to-business (B2B) online shopping. The largest of these online retailing corporations are eBay and Amazon.com, both based in the United States. The acceptance of the Internet by the business community in the mid 1990s has resulted in a period of extraordinary growth in global electronic communications. However, to ensure the longer-term success of e-Business there have been calls for an adequate enabling framework to be put in place, particularly of a legislative nature. In past, technical issues were the main concerns of the e-Business companies. In present, many companies aim at creating the necessary commercial environment to stimulate the emergence of a global marketplace. The situation has changed yet again with the growth of the Internet, more specifically the Web. It is now common practice for companies to use the Web to advertize and promote their products and services, often including copies of product brochures, other promotional materials, and contact details. In near future, e-Businesses will involve greater concerns for legislative actions to safeguard the interests of all consumers with a sound technology base and commercial infrastructure. The Internet has posed significant challenges to the legal structure. Copyright infringement has come up against file-sharing technology, and privacy continues to be challenged by personalization mechanisms. The legal issues are of far more concern for those engaged in online commercial transactions over the Web than the more traditional business. This is because in the case of traditional business interactions usually some previous negotiations have established a relationship between the trading parties, whereas online customers appear as spontaneous users usually with no such prior relationship having been established between buyer and seller. COMMON LEGAL DISAGREEMENTS ON THE INTERNET

Disagreements on the Internet in an online shopping scenario occur often because of one of the following reasons: The customer pays, but the merchant does not deliver.
The customer pays, but the merchant delivers the wrong goods or in less quantity or broken. The customer pays, but the money does not arrive at the seller. The merchant delivers, but the customer refuses to pay.

The merchant delivers, but the customer has not ordered anything. These are the most common issues between buyer and seller. In order to resolve them, laws are in place to support one or the other. The problem that arises with the Internet is that other than in a local shop the buyer and the seller may be in two different countries, whereby the web server could be in a third country. The important thing for the courts to decide is where the business transaction has taken place. Depending on the Country where the transaction has taken place the laws are enforced

LEGAL ISSUES
The application of traditional law to the Internet is not always straightforward. The following four items are about privacy on the Internet, the others relate to the other areas of concern. I. Privacy Rights

An individual's right to privacy is not explicitly guaranteed by the businesses many times, but protection from government intrusion should be implicitly guaranteed. With widely usage of the Internet , the right to individual privacy moved beyond private property. The Internet is currently a...

References: i. Norzieiriani Ahmad, Azizah Omar and T. Ramayah, (2010) “Consumer lifestyles and online shopping continuance intention.” VOL. 11 NO. 4 2010 Business Strategy Series.
ii. Paul Whysall, (2000) Retailing and the Internet: a review of ethical issues, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management Volume 28 . Number 11 . 2000
iii. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_shopping
iv. http://www.emerald-library.com
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