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  1. 1. Topics 1) Online shops Whether we like it or not, the Internet and World Wide Web are increasingly becoming a focal point in American life. Computer ownership is rapidly becoming the norm. “One research firm reports 45% of the population has a personal computer (PC) at home. Beyond ownership, most PC users are going "online" with new, interactive media channels along the Web. The American Internet/online community is now estimated to be about one-third of the adult population. Online shopping, or the use of the Internet to gather information on products and services, has already shown significant growth. While 19.7 million Americans visited commercial Web sites from the comfort of their homes in 1997, up to 40 million now shop online (Online Shopping, Buy or Not to Buy). Actual financial transactions are also on the ascent. Electronic commerce has grown from 2.6 million total online purchases in 1996 to an estimated 13 million people who made online purchases (some made multiple purchases) in 1998. Most projections suggest electronic commerce revenues will rise from $4 billion in 1997 up to $50 billion-plus early into the new millennium. (Intelliquest, 1998). Internet shopping has never been easier. More and more computer users are going online and visiting shopping malls, their favorite online stores, viewing clothing catalogs, and -- no small thing -- avoiding the rush and crush of real-world shopping! The advantages of online shopping are that customers can shopping anytime and any place as long as there is an internet access. The online stores are open 7/24. The online shops included business to customer, customer to customer and service orientated shopping. A) Some frequently used links:(Business to Customer) B) Online shopping is easy at the All-Internet Shopping Directory, where you'll discover great bargains at shopping malls, online stores, and clothing catalogs.
  2. 2. C) (Card B) Ebay (Customer to customer) Ebay is the leading global online marketplace for the sale of goods and services by diverse community of individual. The Ebay community includes 49.7 million registered users. On Ebay one can selling or buying from a book and a pair of shoes to aircraft or boat. Anything you name it can be on Ebay. Link to Ebay C) Service orientated grocery shopping and delivery services Some links to the sites Internet usage statistics strongly indicated that the increase of online shopping. See attached spreadsheet. 2) Advantages and disadvantages A) Benefits to business Decreased in cost in Advertising: the need for print advertisement is decreasing, since businesses have realized than consumer use the internet as a source of exploring products. As a result, cost decrease. For the website store, there is no need for a physical store. Thurs, all cost associated with building or renting and maintain a building is eliminated. Product delivery: Companies that offer service are able to use the internet
  3. 3. as a medium of presentation as well as a means to deliver. This is specially applicable to companies that offer information as their product and companies that offer financial services. The Internet puts the business in direct contact with their consumer, even if they are halfway around the world. Instead of selling their product to a store in that country to gain market access, the Internet provides direct market access. Increased market intelligence of consumer needs and wants: The Internet allows businesses to track consumers' buying habits more accurately than anonymous cash transactions. Opportunity to cater to a niche market: This applies especially for small business, which could reach more potential customers online than with an actual store. Increased market expansion. The Internet provides a global market to businesses, erasing the restrictions of physical locations. B) Benefits to the Consumer Choice: The Internet provides consumers with access to a vast array of products and services from businesses around the world as the global market emerges. Price: All the decreases in price due to a supplier decrease in cost will serve to benefit the consumer. Customization: The Internet provides direct contact with the producer allowing customers to request personalization of product. Convenience: As the popularity of online grocers and supermarkets increase, consumers will benefit with such services, which provide delivery of such necessities. C) Disadvantage to Businesses The most significant disadvantage of Internet commerce is that it lacks the establishment of a customer repertoire. This translates into a lack of consumer loyalty; and forces business to renew tactics. Dependency on web server - if it malfunctions, a business that is totally web-based could loose potential sales over the time period.
  4. 4. Technological adaptation costs due to hardware and software upgrades require companies not only to spend money on purchasing the upgrades but also on training employees in its use. D) Disadvantage to Consumers Access: Consumer access to a web-based store is limited by hardware, software, and Internet connections. Inspection: The consumer is unable to physically inspect product, since the Internet provides a picture and verbal description. Privacy: The Internet decreases the privacy of shopping habits since electronic trails make it possible for a store to monitor you, whereas in real life, you would still maintain anonymity with cash transactions. 3) Safety Issues If you want to start an e-shopping portal or for that matter want to shop online, than you need to go to big Company like Shoppers Stop, who has got both virtual and real presence so that they can be quick in delivery and the quality can be checked Just as you would hesitate to hand your card to a shaggy fellow selling sunglasses on the sidewalk, you should steer clear of questionable retailers on the Web. You can reduce your risk of unpleasant surprises while shopping on the Web by employing a bit of common sense: A. Know who you're dealing with First, ask yourself how you heard about the site, counsels Walter Effross, an associate professor of law at American University's Washington School of Law. "Did you see an ad in The New York Times or a respectable magazine -- or a spam e-mail?" he asks rhetorically. You can feel pretty confident in nationally known brands that advertise on television, in newspapers and magazines, and on Web banners. At the same time, a little storefront on the Web might be just as trustworthy and efficient as the big boys. Does the site
  5. 5. provide phone numbers, an address and an e-mail link? Those are indications, but not guarantees, that the company is on the up-and-up. B. Insist on secure transactions The good news is that it is relatively safe to use a credit card on the Web if you are buying from a reputable seller. The bad news is that it's not absolutely safe. It is possible, though unlikely, for a hacker or a dishonest employee to steal your credit card number over the Internet. C. Follow these safe sense tips to protect yourself: a. Enter credit-card information on secure server pages. b. Choose good passwords and don't give them to anyone. c. Use credit cards instead of debit cards. d. Confirm whether your order was taken correctly. For safety's sake, you should enter credit-card information only on pages that are on secure servers. Usually your Web browsing software will alert you when you load a secure page and when you leave one. If you are on a secure page, you should see a tiny icon of a locked padlock or an unbroken key in the status bar at the bottom of your Web browser window.