Ecommerce also known as electronic commerce is the use of the internet or electronic network to purchase and sell goods and services as well as distribution of data or funds. These business transactions may either be throughconsumer to business (C2B), business to business (B2B), consumer to consumer (C2C) or sometimes from business to consumer (B2C). These transactions take place by use of a variety of applications such as fax, email, and file transfer protocol, shopping carts, online catalogs, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Web services. (Lallana, Quimbo & Andam, 2000)
While Ecommerce can cover all business transactions as discussed above, B2C or business to Consumer mode is a part of Ecommerce which covers business transactions between a business organization and a consumer only. B2C model is a business website where all the transactions between a consumer and a business organization take place directly (Seongleem, Sik Suh & Seong, 2004). This is where retailers or manufacturers of various products and services sell their products to their consumer via the internet also referred to as e-tailing. E-commerce is a model used by most people worldwide.
An example of a B2C transaction in this case is a situation where one can buy a home theatre from a manufacturer or an electronic retailer. An online transaction in the purchase of a journal or a book online or purchase of clothes or DVD’s from play.com and such sites is also another example of a B2C transaction.
Evolution and future of Ecommerce
In the recent past, the thought of purchasing goods and services online was accompanied by the thoughts of some shady characters who were very ready to make away with your cash. The thought of entering your credit card number often comes with some little doubt behind your mind. But how did we accept to be transformed to a point that we can’t leave our homes to go buy stuffs from the shops? We will go step by step in history so that we can get a clear view on how things changed.
In 1979, an online shopping means was invented by one Michael Aldridge in which a modified television set was connected to a computer capable of carrying out transaction processes through a telephone line.In the 1980’s an online software was introduced in France which was basically used for the ordering of goods and services. In 1994, the first witnessed online bank was launched and Netscape released its first Navigator browser. In 1998, PayPal, an online payment system was introduced in the market to ease business transaction amongst online business partners (Damanpour & Damanpour, 2001). In 2002, PayPal was acquired by EBay and made a great change on the system that made it the most efficient online payment system.In the year 2003, Amazon uploaded online its first yearly profits which in one way created trust in people that truly online business transactions are genuine.In 2012, the online retail sales and the US commerce were projected to make an increase of 12% from the previous year to $226 billion. (Nowak & Sigmund, 2005)
The changes through the years have continuously made a great impact on Electronic Commerce thus making the business grow tremendously.
Future of Ecommerce
All brand marketers are now finding new technological ways in which to boost their sales and make it more efficient to purchase their goods. The following is some of the insights gathered from some experts in the field of Ecommerce.
- BigCommerce, a provider for both independent and small retailers is striving hard to improve its service provision to boost its profits. This is by making the purchase of mortar and bricks easier by the year 2022. This as they plan should work in a way that instead of going personally to purchase and load goods and deliver them to your homes, the consumer will have the freedom of sampling the products, scan them, purchase and have them delivered. (Weiss & Mehrotra 2001)
- Index ventures, also an Ecommerce company, also works to ensure that fashion in the near future account for the largest percentage of Ecommerce. This is through the personalization and curation of the goods. This will help create a direct and binding relationship with the consumer. (Gefen & Straub, 2004)
- An online marketing company, Gilt, is advertising most of its products through mobile commerce. They have researched that most brands that majorly focus on mobile commerce are likely to thrive. This is because most people can readily access their phone no matter their location and thus are likely to see these products faster and easily. The marketers should thus base on improving the way their products will look if accessed through the phone. (Weiss & Mehrotra, 2001)
Existing and continuous threats to the security of Ecommerce
There are several issues that are constantly blocking the people’s acceptance of Ecommerce all over the world. These factors include;
- Price manipulation. This is where the price stored in the hidden HTML field is modified and the price of the good is changed. This makes the purchaser spend more on a good that was otherwise costing less. (Gefen & Straub, 2004)
- Weak authorization and authentication can lead to a very huge risk. System which do not pay strict attention to the failed logins are prone to face such risks. This is where a malware author might get into the system and at times lead to fake online purchasing. (Xiong & Liu, 2003, June)
- Anxiety by purchasers and business persons over credit card fraud and online identity fraud. Purchasers are afraid that their credit card numbers can be hacked and their money stolen. (Gefen & Straub, 2004)
- The client is mostly not able to see and analyze the goods before they purchase them. This increases the risk of a client acquiring a good and ends up not contented when the good arrives.
- It is very difficult to return the unwanted good once the client dislikes them. This is mostly because most online transactions require payment before the good is delivered and once in your hand, the cash cannot be refunded. (Kesh, Ramanujan & Nerur, 2002)
- There is normally very high cost of shipping thus making the goods acquired online fairly expensive.
There are several ways in which these threats and risks have been solved by several companies. These include but not limited to:
-Amazon has set a policy of offering free shipping basing on some set prize target limit which one must achieve in order to get the service. They have also set the policy on some specific goods.
– another good example can be seen by a company named Endless.com which has set a window period in which clients can return unwanted goods where there is guaranteed free shipping especially for the domestic orders.