E-commerce is simply the act of electronically purchasing or selling goods over the Internet or via online services. It’s also considered as a way of conducting business by entering into commercial transactions over the Internet, rather than physically going to a trade show or showroom. It’s an effective solution for businesses to increase their sales and income, especially during slow times in sales growth or market penetration. What’s more, it can provide you with a higher level of efficiency in managing your business while cutting costs at the same time.
E-commerce has gained immense popularity in recent years, with most people now doing at least some of their purchases through electronic commerce. However, not all e-commerce businesses are created equal, and not all sellers or buyers who make use of e-commerce have the same goals in mind. So how do you determine whether your business transactions are e-commerce or conventional? Here are a few questions to ask.
What is ‘E-business’? According the United States Department of Commerce (USC), e-commerce means “unauthorized access to a protected computer system.” Under this definition, a business may conduct electronic commerce when one of the following occurs: The seller obtains tangible items from a customer through any means, including online transaction processing or mailing or faxing of identification documents; and The seller and buyer both agree to terms of payment before completing the sale transaction. In this case, e-commerce would be considered an unlicensed commercial transaction. This definition is broad and may include all business transactions, regardless of whether the parties involved are licensed accredited, or registered.
How do you know if your e-commerce transactions are lawful? To determine whether a particular transaction is conducted legally within the confines of the law, it’s important to understand the legal structure of e-commerce itself. Although the legal framework of e-commerce varies among countries, some general rules remain consistent. First, a business that ships consumer goods is not engaged in e-commerce unless it is also licensed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Second, all merchants who engage in electronic commerce – whether by mail or Internet transaction – must register with the Commerce Bureau. Third, all businesses conducting e-commerce must maintain records that allow them to comply with data protection and dispute resolution. Fourth, e-commerce businesses that do not conduct actual sales face stiff penalties, such as fines or temporary restrictions on opening new accounts.
Is it safe to purchase items online? It is safe to purchase most products online. However, consumers need to exercise caution when purchasing goods online and should exercise caution when giving out personal or financial information to businesses that they have not received information from or agreed to information from. Additionally, consumers need to exercise caution when dealing with websites that sell products online through email or a facsimile machine. Most e-commerce sites require a valid credit card number, which consumers should never provide to an individual that wants to order products online.
How does e-commerce differ from brick-and-mortar stores? In an economic scenario where the demand for goods is expected to continuously rise over time, e-commerce websites benefit from economies of scale from buying power afforded by the growing number of online consumers. Also, unlike in prior decades when consumers went to stores to buy products, shopping online is convenient and allows consumers to shop for items whenever it is convenient for them. Additionally, consumers can avoid the hassles of fighting through busy malls and going through worn-out traffic. Furthermore, consumers can avoid many of the security risks associated with physically walking into a store.
Does the ecommerce business model to deliver sustainable long-term benefits? It is difficult to answer because of the uncertain economic factors of the future. However, most e-commerce experts agree that the advantages of this business model will continue to rise as consumers become more familiar with using electronic commerce tools. As more businesses realize the potential of e-commerce, the industry will continue to flourish. The evolution of ecommerce will continue to provide consumers with more convenient ways to purchase products.