Electronic commerce, or e-commerce, refers to economic activity that occurs online. E-commerce includes all types of business activity, such as retail shopping, banking, investing and rentals. Even small businesses that provide personal services, such as hair and nail salons, can benefit from e-commerce by providing a website for the sale of related health and beauty products that normally are available only to their local customers. Source: Wise geek http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-e- commerce.htm figure 1
The invention of faster Internet connectivity and powerful online tools has resulted in a new commerce arena – Ecommerce. Ecommerce offered many advantages to companies and customers but it also caused many problems. Source : http://www.esalestrack.com/blog/2008/09/advantages-and-disadvantages-of.html figure 2
Faster buying/selling procedure, as well as easy to find products. Buying/selling 24/7. More reach to customers, there is no theoretical geographic limitations. Low operational costs and better quality of services. No need of physical company set-ups. Easy to start and manage a business. Customers can easily select products from different providers without moving around physically. Source : http://www.esalestrack.com/blog/2008/09/advantages-and-disadvantages-of.html
Any one, good or bad, can easily start a business. And there are many bad sites which eat up customers’ money. There is no guarantee of product quality. Mechanical failures can cause unpredictable effects on the total processes. As there is minimum chance of direct customer to company interactions, customer loyalty is always on a check. There are many hackers who look for opportunities, and thus an ecommerce site, service, payment gateways, all are always prone to attack. Source : http://www.esalestrack.com/blog/2008/09/advantages-and-disadvantages-of.html
The convenience of shopping online remains the primary driver of shopping site traffic and sales, according to Retail Forward. Top Reasons for Shopping Online: Can shop anytime: 84% Easier than shopping at stores/via catalogs: 65% Dislike dealing with holiday crowds at malls/stores: 62% Access to products, brands, stores not available where I live/work: 45% Received special promotion(s) to purchase online: 38% Source: http://www.auctionbytes.com/pages/abu/y201/m12/abu0060/s06
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