I have been asked to produce a guide covering the regulations related to e-commerce and the implications of e-commerce on society. I will write a report examining the social implications of e-commerce on society.
E-commerce is Electronic commerce, commonly written as e-commerce, is the trading or easing of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the Internet.Bricks and clicks is a jargon term for a business model by which a company integrates both offline (bricks) and online (clicks).
Additionally, many will also offer telephone ordering and mobile phone apps.E-commerce has many advantages and disadvantages to it.
The main issue is the customer’s perception of trading online. The media broadcast stories that could deter customers from shopping online such as identity theft and items not being delivered which makes the customer distrust online stores. A site should offer specific things to attract customers. They should have value, not only lower prices but also products that won’t be available in stores.
They should also offer 24 hour delivery times for a small extra cost and open 24/7 and accessible from home to make it easy for customers to shop. This means that customers who live in more remote areas where Brick shops are rare, can still shop and buy goods.E-commerce is becoming even more popular and putting threat on traditional high street stores. For people with limited or no access to the internet ecommerce becomes less effective.
Families may not be able to buy a computer and pay monthly for broadband meaning they cannot take advantage of lower prices. This is known as the social demand.Brick and Click organisations are changing the way people shop. Before e-commerce people had to physically go to the store but now they can buy these products whenever they want in the comfort of their home.
This has led to different ways businesses run, to patterns of customer behaviour and to the businesses which exist in our high streets.The increase of e-commerce has been very beneficial to customers. E-commerce means that shopping can be done without leaving the house. This is valuable to customers who live in remote areas or find it hard to travel to towns or shopping centres like the elderly.
Prior to e-commerce these people would have to rely on other people but now can be independent and shop for themselves.Another benefit of e-commerce is that customers can buy anything 24/7. This benefits people who have jobs that do not fit the normal opening hours of shops which means they wouldn’t be able to get to a highstreets store and therefore wouldn’t be able to buy anything.In addition, online stores also offer very good deals and lower prices than in high street stores.
Because online stores don’t have to pay for rent, staff and utilities it means they are able to provide lower prices which will attract more customers. Although customers need to pay for postage and packing, which can sometimes be expensive, generally, buying online is often cheaper than the high street.Also, being able to search for products can be of huge advantage, and can be very helpful when in a hurry. The ability to search for a particular product then find the lowest price is provided by a number of sites which could lead to saving money and time which is beneficial to the customer.
Despite all the benefits to customers using e-commerce there are some drawbacks to customers. One of the biggest drawbacks is knowing whether the company can be trusted. Customers can be fearful that their maybe a poor standard with the product, customers like to see the product before paying for it which they cannot do whilst shopping online.When you shop online, you are more vulnerable to key loggers and other malicious software which can take all of your personal details without being the fault of the e-commerce site.
This has implications as they will need to ensure they employ a lot of staff to ensure the safety of the customers and to make sure all their personal information is secure.Another drawback is when ordering online, the customer has to rely on delivery services in order for them to receive the product. They must depend on that service to bring their item on time without being damaged which sometimes isn’t the case.E-commerce has a large impact on customers.
By trading online, businesses can open themselves to the global marketplace, something you can’t do in a high street store unless very successful and having lots of money.Despite, attracting to a larger customer base this may have implications on Brick stores. Due to the easiness and convince of online stores many Brick stores suffer from losses due to more people buying online than in store. Although, great for sales a lot of employees will lose their jobs to stores closing down.
When traditional stores close, workers cannot gain employment. But E-commerce favours those with IT Training so does bring some job opportunities to those with the skills.However, there are challenges that accompany the increase of e-commerce that are advantages for customers while being drawbacks to smaller businesses. Due to e-commerce there is lots of competition within businesses.
For instance traditional high street bookstores have to compete with Amazon who provide books online. E-commerce businesses can offer the same products as the traditional stores and for lower prices. This has led to a large number of high street stores being shut down due to lower demand and profit.Types of E-commerceE-tailersAn e-tailer is a business that sources products from other suppliers and sells them in their own store online; they only sell through e-commerce and would not survive without the internet.
E-tailers are a great way to be competitive as they do not need storage to hold their items which means they do not have to have overheads for shop space, electric and water or staff. This means they can set lower prices and attract more customers gaining more profit. An example of an E-tailer is Amazon. This is because Amazon sell products from different suppliers but do not sell their own brand of products.
ManufacturersManufacturers create and sell their own products online. They do not allow other retailers to sell their products nor sell in traditional shops. They can provide lower costs or special offers to customers because they do not need to pay for retail rentals and overhead for a traditional shop. Dell is an example of a manufacturer because they make the computers and dell them online, not through shops like PC World.
Existing RetailersExisting retailers are businesses who were originally a traditional shop (bricks) but have now expanded to e-commerce and now sell their products online. This means they work in both sectors and get all the benefits of being online and also being on the high street. Although costs for running both ways is high, it means you are selling to a wider customer base which will hopefully increase sales and profits. Tesco is an existing retail businesses as they originally started as a traditional brick store but now also sell and deliver their products online.
Consumer Led e-commerce entitiesA consumer led e-commerce entities is a site that allows you to buy or sell your items through auctions. These businesses will charge a fee to those selling products which allows them to make a profit. These sites use rating systems to score how trustworthy a seller is which makes it safer for customers as it reduces the risk of scamming. For instance, E-bay which hosts other people selling their products and get a percentage of the money that is sold.
Service ProvidersService providers are a business who do not sell physical products but sell specialised products for customers to use such as broadband, TV, phone or travel companies that provide holidays. For example, Sky sell customers services such as phone, TV and broadband to customers.Financial e-commerce entitiesA financial e-commerce entities is a service provider focuses on financial services. The main areas are insurance and banking.
They will not have a physical shop and everything is done online, although they may have a call centre to improve customer service. Because they have no overheads they can provide good deals to customers. An example of a banking financial e-commerce entities is Smile. An insurance example is quotemehappy.
A major issue with these businesses is trust. Because it is all online businesses there is no face to face service which some customers may not trust.
Cite this Examine the social implications of e-commerce on society
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