Have you ever made an online purchase? Perhaps you bought your latest DVD at amazon.com, or purchased your text book at barnesandnoble.com, and maybe you are one of the millions who buy and sell on internet auctions. These internet based business transactions have a name, and that name is e-commerce.
The term e-commerce seems quite self-explanatory, and many businesses tend to think of e-commerce as the basic exchange of goods and services for payment over the internet. In its broadest sense, electronic-commerce encompasses any commercial activity that takes place between a business, its partners, or its customers through a combination of computing and communication technologies. E-commerce has revolutionized the way business transactions are conducted today, and has many advantages and disadvantages compared to typical brick and mortar or paper based business transactions (Trepper 4).
The advantages of e-commerce seem unlimited, and it is common to see and hear new figures in assertion of e-commerce benefits daily. The internet has created a global market, allowing e-commerce companies to be accessed by people all over the world. E-commerce allows businesses to receive sales revenue much faster than traditional sellers. Interestingly, active internet shoppers rated convenience as the number one reason they prefer to shop on line. As important as convenience is to the consumer, the vast amount of savings to businesses has definitely fueled advancement of e-commerce. For example, The U.S. Air Force has begun to put nearly $ 30 billion in annual requests for contractor bids on the internet. The U.S. Air Force feels that its operational budget can be reduced by millions of dollars annually by using internet technology (Fellenstein and Wood, 10 - 20).
Although the benefits of e-commerce seem infinite, the amount of disadvantages and limitations of e-commerce scare many businesses and individuals away from this form of commerce. At...