E-commerce is short for ‘electronic commerce’.
It means buying and selling goods using the Internet.
Using E-commerce gives businesses access to customers all over the word.
This is known as ‘The global market’ which is reached by means of a website.
Think of examples of websites you or your family frequently use to make purchases.
Disadvantages of e-commerce for customers
• Customers need to own or have access to a computer and be on-line and know how to use the Internet. • It is not easy to assess the quality and suitability of many products on the screen. • Inconvenience of returning unwanted goods. • Customers usually have to have a credit card to make Internet purchases • Security risks of buying on-line
Advantages of e-commerce for customers
• Customers have a huge range of goods to choose from • They can ‘shop around’ the ‘web’ for the best bargain • Internet prices are often lower than in shops • Customers can shop from the comfort of their own home ’24/7’
Advantages of e-commerce for a business
• Access to the global market means the business will be better known • A business using e-commerce can get ahead of its rivals • Increased sales, leading to increased profit • Savings on expensive showrooms • Reduced advertising costs • Increased sales leads to ‘economies of scale’ • Business is open 24/7
Disadvantages of e-commerce for a business
•Being part of the global market means the business is in competition with lots of others • Designing and keeping the website up-to-date is expensive and requires specialists • Market research needs to be very detailed to meet the needs of customers in such a wide market • Packing and distribution of products can be very costly and involve long distances • Not all the businesses target customers have access to the internet.