Protection For Consumers in E-Commerce

Electronic commerce or e-commerce has received much attention from governments, businesses and regional bodies.  This importance has been attributed to several converging factors.  These factors include the development of the the use of the internet as a means by which information is disseminated and through which communication and connectivity is enabled and secondly, the affordability of personal computers and their increase in computing capability and the wide use of open standards.

In the business environment, traditionally there is a need for a tangible and permanent form of communication in a transaction between buyer and seller.  However, in e-commerce there is the ability to communicate in an electronic from where a computer is able to recognize, reproduce and store means that business could now be conducted in a paperless environment.  Electronic commerce is the process of trading across the Internet, that is , a buyer visits a seller’s website and makes a transaction there.  Less rigidly, it includes deals where the Internet plays some role, for example, assisting the buyer in locating or comparing products and / or sellers.

This new mode of transaction has raised several concerns for governments, businesses and consumers.  In additional, there is a need for international standards as the e-market transcends any national border.  Governments are also grappling with regulatory guidelines and frameworks in an environment of rapid technological changes in order to promote e-commerce as well as to ensure the occurrence of smooth commercial transactions.  In all this advancement, consumer protection cannot be overlooked.  without the confident e-consumer, there would be no e-commerce.  Thus it is imperative to ensure that the online traders observe specific rules and guidelines to allay the fears of the consumers and promote ethical online transactions.

Research has also estimated that about 619 million people, some 10% of the world’s population had Internet access as of 2002.  There can now be few in the developed world who do not have access to Internet connected computers at home, work or through facilities such as public libraries and cyber cafes.  Nearly one billion people or 15 percent of the world’s population will be using the Internet by year 2005 and it is expected their use will fuel more than $5 trillion in Internet commerce.  Although electronic commerce is currently in its infancy, research and reports suggest that it is growing rapidly.

Challenges

For the full potential of e-commerce to be realised, a number of challenges remain to be  overcome.  Two of the primary challenges that have been listed in almost all literature on e-commerce include consumers online security and privacy.  These are of primary concern to all parties for all consumers. According to publish report like Web Navigation ; O’Reilly 1998, cited in Finnis, 2003, “for most shoppers, feeling secure about entering financial information is the most important consideration in shopping online.”  She justifies her assertion by making reference to the 8th GVU User Survey in which “shoppers overwhelmingly listed security as a concern.

Consumers who would happily mail their credit card number, read it down a telephone line or even hand it across a bar, hesitate before typing it into a browser screen.  Although confidence is beginng to grow, fears are reignited by news reports of hacking such as the attacks on net giants like Yahoo E-Commerce currently offers secure server and encryption technology as a solution to the security risks associated with transmitting data through cyberspace.

Encryption involves encoding information into a form that only the intended recipient can interpret.  The commonly used public key encryption involves two keys for each user ; a public one, made freely available and a private one known only to the user.  Sensitive information (ex : a credit card number) is encoded using the intended recipient’s public key before transmission, even if intercepted by a hacker it is thus useless without the corresponding private key.

While it is certain that security technologies will continue to improve, it is at least, if not more, important to reassure consumers that the online transactions in which they are engaging are secure.  An informative and easy-to-read explanation of a site’s security features forms an important part of its promotional strategy.  More importantly, regulatory measures – both legal and otherwise – need to be in place to authenticate all online traders and ensure consumer protection in e-commerce.

Closely, related to the issue of security is that of privacy.  Privacy is second only to security in most shoppers’ minds.  The process of requesting and storing personal information is one where the interests of site providers or vendors and visitors or customers are seemingly at odds.  Web users are naturally concerned about the potential invasion of privacy associated with provided information online.

Finally, international initiatives are seeking to build international consensus on core protection for the electronic consumers, like those by Europe, the US and Asian governments.  However, there is still a gap in the agreement to resolve how countries can specifically address dispute resolutions and the other concerns of both the local and the international e-consumers.

The future of e-commerce seems to be very bright.  However, it can only remain so if there is consumer trust and confidence in it.  Therefore, there is a need for online traders to be accountable and responsible to the consumers. Government and businesses need to work together on an international platform to ensure specific standards are set, which will assist the electronic traders to meet their responsibilities more systematically.

Lastly, more regular and intensive research needs to be done to identify the weaknesses that exist in individual nations in consumer protection issues in electronic commerce transactions so that they can be rectified concurrently as the digital industry advances rapidly.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Dr_Watson_Goh/43028

 

Pros of B2C E-Commerce Solutions

Electronic commerce is in a boom currently. That is not surprising given the fact that the Internet has become a potent venue where products and services can be rolled out these days. While the online media was originally conceived and developed to facilitate information dissemination, many businesses and ventures have struggled and succeeded to turn it into a convenient and bankable trading media. The rise and popularity of B2C e-commerce solutions is a proof of this.

Many online companies and businesses are struggling to secure and use B2C e-commerce solutions. That is not very surprising. Through the years, companies and ventures, which embraced and utilized e-commerce strategies, have been attesting that online presence and operations are very effective and beneficial. If you are starting up your own small-scaled or home-based business, for sure, you are considering securing and using B2C e-commerce solutions for your business.

Why would it be helpful to you if you would use B2C e-commerce solutions? For one, these solutions would provide you and your business the best and most effective options to help promote, advertise, market and operate your startup.

What are B2C e-commerce solutions?

It would be appropriate to first look at what B2C e-commerce solutions are. B2C is short for business-to-consumer, in contrast with the equally popular B2B, which stands for business-to-business, where transactions are done between businesses, usually suppliers and distributors. B2C e-commerce solutions are computer software or applications that are specifically developed, designed and sold to help businesses carryout operations to directly transact with consumers.

To better understand the concept, look at the usual and standard operations of most manufacturers and businesses, Manufacturers or producers of goods make the products. To reach the market, such goods are coursed first to marketers or distributors, who are responsible for selling the products to consumers. In other words, distributors are serving as intermediaries. Logically, distributors collect commissions or impose added costs to the products’ tag prices.

Pros

The first advantage of B2C e-commerce business solutions is that systems for businesses to transact directly to consumers are established. In turn, consumers would get fairer and more affordable prices for the goods. Because distributors are eliminated, added costs to the tag prices are also eliminated. B2C e-commerce solutions are facilitating establishment of online tools. Thus, consumers can look at and buy the products and services online.

As mentioned, online, direct transactions help lower the overall prices tag of products or commodities. Other than that, added costs could be prevented as both businesses and consumers are avoiding intermediaries. Shopping for products or goods is facilitated faster and is significantly made more convenient. Adjustments to prices tag can be made easier, faster and more instantaneously, to the direct advantage of the business.

If your business would decide to invest in B2C e-commerce solutions, you would be delighted that part of the package is integration and design of call centers, which would help the business boost up. Call centers or customer support services are necessary add on and facilities have help boost sales. Most B2C and e-commerce B2B solutions are integrated with such call center services facilities.

The advent of broadband

While in the past, the speed of Internet connection has always been an issue, technology these days have managed to introduce new solutions to accelerate transactions online, Broadband Internet is now a sought-after technology. And it has effectively made Internet connections and information transfer faster.

With the rise and popularity of broadband, B2C e-commerce solutions are now more useful and helpful. If you aim to boost productivity and sales of your business, invest n B2C e-commerce solutions and see why most businesses are satisfied with such applications.

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National Level E-Commerce Strategies For Developing Nations and Emerging Economies

I wrote an article before trying to mention three major national level strategies in which I think the developing nations and emerging economies should follow in order to get the benefits of E-commerce; which are Raising awareness about the benefits of E-commerce among their societies, Applying Electronic ways of doing business for their enterprises, whether small medium or large businesses, and Making governments play the leading role in the advancement and application of E-commerce such as through applying E-government technologies. In this article I would try to add other major strategies which I think should be given priority.

1. E-commerce Policy making

Driving E-commerce policy is among the major strategies that developing nations and emerging markets should focus. No E-commerce transaction can be done without a policy. Policies could be country specific with the current conditions of the nation. However, nations can take lessons from each other.

2. Use of Local language

Lack of local language Internet content is one of the obstacles E-commerce is facing in the developing nations. English is the most widely used language over the Internet. There is a high need of content by other languages especially those from the developing world. Thus it is very important for the societies of these nations to prepare Internet content with their own language. It is also another effective strategy in order to promote E-commerce in the nations.

3. Gender issues – giving equal access

In many countries, women make up the majority of the rural population, which is often marginalized in terms of telecommunications infrastructure, education and training.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, E-COMMERCE AND DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2003

Most developing countries and emerging economies lock half of their E-commerce capacity behind doors. If all E-commerce opportunities are given with equal access for women, changes could be doubled. Thus, these nations should be sensitive on gender issues. Equal access for education and infrastructure should be granted if they want real change.

4. E-commerce Infrastructure

Telecommunications, banking, Hardware and Software are among the major infrastructures E-commerce needs to run. Unfortunately, the high cost of Internet, hardware and software are obstacles that limit E-commerce activities in the developing world. Infrastructures are primary for the establishment of E-commerce. Thus, these nations should set strategies to eliminate this problem.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Hanna_Shiferaw/357040

 

How Do I Create a Good E-Commerce Website?

The Internet has virtually revolutionized the way businesses operate. The world has witnessed a sea of changes in business transactions and business processes due to the penetration of the Internet and the ease with which monetary transactions can be carried out nowadays. Every business worth its salt has to have an online presence, and in order to tap in to the huge global market, every website has to be e-commerce enabled. E-commerce is the acronym for electronic commerce and is actually what it means. Very simply put, e-commerce is the combination of methods and processes that help in business transactions over the Internet.

There are two aspects of doing business on the Internet. The first part is attracting traffic to your website, and the second part is to sell once potential customers are on your website. Both these aspects of online business require good technical and marketing skills. An ideal online businessperson is one with a skill combination of marketing and technology. There is no reason to worry if one is lacking in any of the fields mentioned, as there are a large number of companies that provide consulting and turnkey solutions.

The First Steps:

The first step is to ascertain whether the product or service that you wish to sell is apt for the online segment. Online business is preferable only when it is convenient and when the products are of the highest quality. One other factor to consider is the viability of the service and the unique selling proposition of your product. The pertinent question is why would a person log on to the Internet and choose you when there are a lot of service providers near home? The business should have a wide base and must not be confined to any tiny segment. One of the most critical aspects is to market the e-commerce website extremely well so that there is immediate brand recall. One must also remember that the delivery charges of a product may shoot up if it is huge and bulky.

Promotion:

When you design an online shop or start an e-commerce site, you must remember that a customer needs to be aware of your online presence and must think of you when he needs a service or product offered by you. Just as in the real world, the most important criterion for a retailer is location. A good e-commerce website must be promoted vigorously to attain a distinctive position in the online segment, which is virtually a jungle with millions of e-commerce sites jostling for space.

There are a lot of ways of promoting your website, and the most basic method is to have your products and any papers produced by your company bear the name of your website clearly. Traditional marketing and advertisement can be used in conjunction with online promotion campaigns to maximize the benefits of the investment.

You must ensure that anyone who gets onto the Internet finds a way to learn about and visit your website. You may register with the popular search engine companies and also employ Search Engine Optimization techniques to ensure that whenever there is anyone on the Internet looking for a product or service offered by you, your website appears on the top of the search engine result.

You may also have arrangements with noncompeting websites to advertise your website or add links to your website, thereby ensuring that some of the traffic from that website will get diverted to yours too. You may also initiate discussion forums and develop blogs to highlight the products or encourage participation amongst customers. These initiatives go a long way in developing strong bonds with the customers and help in the growth of brand.

Features of a Good E-Commerce Site:

A good e-commerce website must be easy to remember, easy to navigate, have clear photographs of the products, and communicate easily and effectively with customers so that they are lured to come back time and again. The features that make an e-commerce web design great are as follows:

• There must be as few clicks as possible between navigation.

• The layout of the website must be simple to facilitate the shopping process.

• The colors and overall design of the website must be in tune with the attitude of the products and services. The website must be designed to attract more and more traffic.

• The idea should be to start the process of selling as subtly and as effectively as possible.

• The option of “Add to shopping cart” must be pushed in front of the customer at the slightest of pretext to prod him to buy.

• Try and address the concerns of most online buyers who may have queries on fiscal transactions, the security of e-commerce, the quality of the product, warranties, after-sales service, or refunds and replacement of products once bought.

• Please try and be as customer friendly as possible by putting yourself in the shoes of the customer. Ask yourself, “What would I look for had I been the customer?”

• Innovate, experiment with ideas, and try to offer deals that a consumer would find hard to refuse.

The Technology:

If cost effectiveness is your idea, then do it yourself is the best way to go about building a website. However, if you are not tech savvy and are handicapped due to lack of exposure to the Internet, you may use the services of professional web developers and web content developers, who would work with you for a fee to create a functional website. The Internet is full of information pertaining to such companies. Do thorough market research and understand the services offered by a company before deciding on one.

There are also some server-based solutions that enable you to host your website on a server somewhere far away using easy web-based wizards from the comfort of your home or using only your web browser. However, if you deal with sensitive information, it is not advised to use the services of a third-party server. Software-based solutions are the best way to move forward, as there are a large number of companies that develop secure and safe software for e-commerce businesses.

The Internet does not offer the opportunity of instant riches; however, if one has a good business plan, the Internet offers immense opportunities of growth. It is an excellent idea to start an e-commerce site as the market is huge, and with proper planning and effective execution, one can expect to get a very good return on investment within a short span of time.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jane_M_Dawson/728542

 

E-Commerce Solutions – Complete and Professional E-Commerce Development

The extension of E-Commerce is Electronic commerce. In the world market, it is also preferable as e-business. It includes the products or services for buying and selling over electronic mediums such as the cyberspace and other computer networks. It is a gather point of the buyers and sellers.

Today, online business is the fastest growing industry in the world that has accepted by all the people of the world. If you want to increase your online business then you must need some specialists and experts of this thing. Website developers are the perfect solution of your every question regarding your business or online shopping cart. Today, small businesses and large organizations are demanding for web developers and web designers for their web business.

Various companies are there in the market that provides this service. Nevertheless, you need to choose one best among them. Once you got the perfect and professional web developer company, you can see the result. You can provide your clients the best payment option on your business website that allows the preferable payment ways.

You can get many from it that include secure shopping cart solutions, payment gateway integration, credit card processing integration and Content Management System Solutions for custom web applications.

  • Design and architecture
  • B2B solutions
  • B2C e-commerce
  • Payment gateway integration
  • E-commerce security
  • Multi-vendor solutions
  • Professional multi-stores
  • OsCommerce solutions
  • Storefront hosting
  • 3rd Party application integration

These are more than e-commerce website development and e-commerce hosting. Many companies providing this service are offering customized e-commerce solutions for their business website to fulfill their requirements and needs.

Benefits of e-commerce solutions for your online business:

  • Perfect and full solution with free ecommerce hosting, catalog builder and shopping cart integration software
  • Easy and simple online store within short time
  • SEO-friendly online business store to get more traffic
  • Flexibility allows you to change anything in your site
  • Eye-catching templates for your online business
  • Complete security for your website
  • Available at affordable cost without any extra charges
  • Payment gateway allows you to accept credit cards without your own merchant account
  • Fast and steady hosting service
  • Professional e-commerce web developers

If you are an owner of a business website and you are not getting enough returns from that, and thinking to do some changes by which your visitors will turn into your customers then you have an option to hire online shop development companies to get your needs. They also provide custom e-commerce solution service to the existing website owners and merchants. Web developers are experienced and professional to provide you this service completely effectively and efficiently. They have the ability and skills to turn visitors into customers by their unique techniques.

So, you have a great platform for your e-commerce online business to increase.

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Daina_Will/483819