As you probably already know, e-commerce is any kind of business or commercial transaction involving the transfer of information across the Internet. It has lots of advantages and some disadvantages too, which is what we are going to try to figure out in this article.
One of the advantages is that e-business is cost effective, meaning that it reduces any logistical problem and puts small businesses at the same level as huge companies like Amazon or General Motors.
Another advantage is in economy. In e-commerce there is no physical store, unlike the brick and mortar environment, and nor insurance or infrastructure investment. You just need an idea, a product that is unique and a web store-front that is well designed to reach your customers.
You can also benefit from e-commerce in that it provides a better customer service, and a quicker one too. Instead of having to call your company on the phone, the web merchant gives customers direct to their personal account line.
Finally, other advantages are that e-commerce aids consumers in comparison shopping, thanks to hopbots, which are automated online shopping assistants that scour online stores and find deals, and that it improves productivity.
When it comes to the disadvantages, security is the main one, with customers having to feel confident about the integrity of the payment process before they commit to the purchase. Other concerns are in data protection and the integrity of the system that handles the data, as well as the fact that it isn’t for free or that there are some products that people will just not buy online.
However, these disadvantages are expected to be overcome in the future, and nobody doubts that ecommerce is the present and future form of commerce.
Benefits of mcommerce
Rather than just being used for making and receiving calls mobile devices are now used on a day-to-day basis. Although they were first used for calls, their use shifted to texting, MMS, camera, bluetooth, internet and now mobile commerce.
You have probably already heard about mcommerce, since mobile-based shopping is something that has already started. Just by touching your phone you have made a purchase.
We could describe m-commerce as business transactions made through mobile devices. As the mobile industry is full of mobile commerce applications we can benefit in many ways. Here are the benefits of m-commerce:
In the first place it’s flexible to access. This can be judged by taking into account easy-to use functionality and the experience of using it.
You can also benefit from its easy connectivity. Just while your network signal is available your mobile device will connect over to internet easily.
Another thing to bear in mind is convenience, and m-commerce is obviously convenient. Just with a few clicks on your mobile you can do shopping, banking and download media files.
Also, the wider target audience you have the sooner your business will grow. Making business transactionsthrough mobile commerce helps to increase the number of users. Higher sales can be generated by connecting to a larger number of audience.
Users choose mobiles because they allow for personalisation. Mobile commerce lets users modify the theme, the setting and contact information as well as allowing them to control the sending of emails, e-payments…
Finally, m-commerce is also time saving because users don’t have to plug in their laptop or PC to make a transaction, butjust have to hit a button on their mobile, and it increases productivity because it works 24-7.
If you want to create an e-commerce website there are a few things you should bear in mind, like data protection and consumer protection regulations.
When it comes to data protection you have to register under the data production act if you are collecting any type of data about people, whether they are customers, employees or customers-to-be. This data includes everything from names and addresses to telephone numbers and email addresses.
You should also state what you are going to do with your subject’s data without deviating from that statement.
The act refers to businesses of any size.
Finally you should ensure that the data will be revealed or deleted upon request from the subjects of the information and you should only record data that is pertinent to your prime business needs.
Consumer protection regulations apply to lots of ecommerce websites but not to business-to-business transactions. Before the purchase you should provide clear information about your products and services.
Plus you should also be clear about posting and package costs and about what taxes are included in the prices shown on your website.
You should also provide a written comnfirmation of order following the purchase, like a confirmation email and you should allow a period for the customer to change his or her mind and cancel or return the order.
And finally, customers should be informed of their right to cancel their order with no loss apart from return postage and packing.
For more information on ecommerce law you can read what the United States Small Business Association has to say about online business law.