Ecommerce and Security Issues

There are a huge number of upstarts in the wide world, each one fighting hard to attract visitors and users by offering lucrative schemes. Web communities are making informative, entertaining and exciting changes to the internet world which has opportunities for everyone. Whether it pertains to the entrepreneurs or hobbyists or it is about putting content online, web sites now offer monetization models that enable users to be paid.

Web sites are becoming more popular and e-commerce is scaling new heights in the field of business. It requires a lot of time and money to attract visitors to any website. Then converting the visitors to customers needs many actions and steps. Customers are provided with certain options to take actions such as placing any order, signing up for newsletters or simply sending an inquiry regarding any particular product or item. Previous experience surely comes in handy, but online businesses now offer opportunities to average user, who may have basic computer knowledge and has access to the internet.

Amongst hundreds of factors that affect conversion of visitors to customers, many factors come to play way before visitors even arrive to any particular website. The brand, the product, market place, user trends, understanding the customer interest, selling propositions and more over the mediums used to bring traffic towards any website plays vital role in boosting the online business. Every online business has potential customers and this can be categorized as people who come to buy specifically the product web is selling then there are people who research before they buy and the people who may buy any product when they are thoroughly convinced. It is a fact that every web site is different. So, a condition that may work for one website may not necessarily work for the others, not even for the closest competitors, since technically no one sells the same products in the same way to the same people.

In the era when e-commerce holds a significant importance, it is highly essential to pay due attention towards the modalities of the online business and making it more secure. In addition to the financial transactions, users and companies need to be more careful about the protection of personal and business information on the web, as this medium is not completely infallible. Online security loopholes have given birth to terms like phishing and internet frauds. Apart from the vulnerability issues, the question of credibility comes to the forefront.

Despite the fact that the internet has conquered the aspect of time and space exceptionally, still most legal obligations to date require a credible identity from a person or business entity. The best strategy is to keep testing what works for any particular web site and what does not and make changes accordingly. The prime benefit of information technology and online business is that it empowers people to do what they want to do at their own pace. It lets people to be creative, productive and more over it helps people to attain their full potential. The online business opens ever evolving and diversified paths for the human kind regardless of location, gender and region.

eCommerce and Its Advantages

eCommerce is the purchase of goods and services online. Increasingly, people have been buying things online because of its speed and convenience. Nothing can beat Internet speed in the purchase of these goods over large distances, except perhaps bad weather. There are many other advantages of eCommerce both for the consumer and the online vendor.

Consumer Advantage

Online shopping saves time, money and the trouble of long lines. People never thought online shopping would thrive ever since CompuServe created the first Electronic Mall during the 1980’s. However, now it has almost become a way of life.

Buying online offers a greater selection. It gives you the power of choosing your most preferred goods in the comfort of your own home. It gives the consumer less hassle and less waste of resources. For instance, many people needed travel agents to tell them which airline offered the best flights for the most affordable prices. It’s like you had to pay double then, both for the ticket price and the travel agent. Nowadays though, with the airline’s websites, one can just browse through the best travel bargains and the click of a button does it all. There are also websites now that tell you the best bargains and help you compare rates from different airlines. Such are Travelocity and Expedia.

Another advantage of the Internet is for the consumer is that it is open all day everyday. No longer do consumers have to wait for stores to open, or hurry to catch a closing shop. One can shop for shoes anytime, even when they are at home or at work. Finally, the Internet offers a wide variety of selection that no supermall can offer. This is because it provides the consumers access to online shops from areas outside their own. This definitely provides diversity and variety of choices, again all in the comfort of your own home.

Vendor Advantages

The online businessmen too find a lot of advantages in eCommerce.

First, it saves them a lot of cost on hiring employees. What perhaps 50 salesmen can pitch, can be done by one well designed and informative website. It saves up on what was supposed to be the salary of the employees. Moreover, the Internet is not only the salesperson; it’s the delivery guy as well. With digital downloads, profit can be obtained automatically without deploying a middleman. The customer can directly purchase from the online vendor and payment transactions can just be arranged. This is rampant in music downloading sites like iTunes or online shops like Amazon.com or eBay. Profit will then double, or might even triple.

eCommerce also levels out the playing field for both big and small businesses. A small home-based company can reach as much a market as the global ones. Businesses don’t have to set up different branches in other places. A good website and good advertising technique will do it. If the vendor does his job right, that is, putting all the information needed in a compelling way, his online business will sure thrive.

Ecommerce and Its Evolution Into Mobility

Ten years ago ecommerce was still a cool buzzword that everyone wanted to try, but at that early point it was largely limited to the Business-2-Business world. The use of personal computers, mobile phones and the internet was still experiencing its first period of growth, so the average person sitting in front of their behemoth CRT monitor hadn’t grasped the potential of the web quite yet.

It didn’t take long though. Soon dot.com companies selling anything from sock puppets to toothbrushes at unbelievably low prices were popping up all over the place. Beady eyed investors saw the potential in dot-coms: little overhead and massive profit. The credit industry chimed in with low interest rates and blanket application acceptances, knowing there was money to be made. Unfortunately and predictably, the house of cards fell. Dot-coms were collapsing by the dozens and investors saw billions of dollars seemingly evaporate into thin air within a very short period.

Since that dark period in the early history of ecommerce, there have been countless research studies conducted in an effort to answer the desperate whys and how’s being screamed from bankruptcy courts around the nation. By now we have all heard the answer explained in long winded speeches about boom and bust cycles etc. In the end the collapse of the dot.com bubble was the inevitable outcome of greed on a massive scale, more specifically, unchecked greed with few security protocols and no governing body.

The birth of the 1990’s brought a wider availability of personal computers and the internet, but the 21st century brought mobility to the internet. According to CTIA the Wireless Association, there were just over 109 million mobile phone users in the US in 2000, that’s 38% of the population. Of course at that point the smartphone was clunky and fairly unusable so few people owned one. Eight years later the number of mobile phone users more than doubled to 262 million, 85% of the population. Now the Neilson Company predicts by the end of 2011 at least 49% of Americans will have a smartphone and 51% will still be using their feature phone (out of the 96% of the population that uses a mobile device).

Between 2000 and 2011 there has been an about-face on the part of ecommerce. Security platforms have become more stable and widely used so trust has now been built. User interfaces evolved into dynamic places where visitors felt both stimulated to buy, yet secure in handing over credit information. Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley has amalgamated data from Japan that shows online commerce and paid services accounted for a whopping 32% of mobile revenue in 2008. We all know technology progresses faster than the Roadrunner, and we are equally aware that Japan and China are usually the first to set trends in technology. That begs the question, has the west fully realized the potential of ecommerce yet? Or are we still remembering the chaos of the 90’s?

The same report by Mary Meeker, dubbed the Queen of the Internet by Baron’s magazine in 1998, shows North American and European nations use of ecommerce on a mobile platform accounts for less than 14% of mobile revenue (2008). Are we still scared? No, we are being gouged. North Americans have some of the highest mobile phone bills in the world. Canada in particular generates an average of $55 revenue per user per month; the US isn’t much better sitting at $48. India is the most fortunate; making the phone companies about $5 per user per month.

Mobile ecommerce is the future; there is no doubt about it. For the average North American the ability to buy almost anything with a smartphone is far too convenient to give up simply because our data plan sucks. We may not spend as much as the Japanese, but we sure know the value of ecommerce. Then again, as humans we are cursed with the innate habit of reacting to the here and now. The bill is out of sight, and therefore out of mind. We are also experts at rationalization. The value of using an internet fax service to send a document to a client via your smartphone far outweighs the value of physically delivering it. The flexibility and potential of the smartphone and ecommerce has placed a much higher value on time. What we choose to do with that time saved is the subject of a whole other article.