With the advent of internet technology, organizations have greatly improved in certain ways. One of the most important facets of the computer and internet technology that have undergone rapid change is the E-commerce (Umar, 2004). Ecommerce or electronic commerce is the act of doing business over the internet through the aid of remote computers linked to each other to form a network. Specifically, it allows the users to transact business over the internet, where very little or no physical contact between the two parties is involved (Umar, 2004). Companies throughout the modern world are increasingly changing from traditional in-store format due to the increased opportunities with online business, as well as reduced cost of doing business (Umar, 2004). Currently, most retail businesses maintain a web storefront, while others have completed deviated from their physical location and moved permanently to the online business location.
It is not necessary that the word shopping have the meaning of exchange of goods and services in a specific physical location, as it was the common definition (Columbus, 2009). For instance, it was the only way for the shopper to leave the physical location and visit to the physical market or store in order to shop. However, in the modern world, shopping has greatly been revolutionized primarily through the internet technology. However, there are facets of this revolution that has brought in certain weaknesses with the shopping method, which are not common with traditional in-store method of shopping (Umar, 2004).
Traditional in-store shopping method requires that the buyer and the seller meet in a certain area to do the transaction. The buyers must pay in cash or credit card. This method is very time consuming because all these activities requires time. In addition, in any case where the buyer and the seller have to negotiate on the price and nature of the service or commodity, they must do so within a given time, which increases the time spend on the process. For the buyer to choose the right product, he or she must take time seeing the product or service and verify its worthiness before paying for it. This is an advantage over the modern E-shopping, where even scammers have the opportunity to place fake or unworthy orders or products and feign as honest dealers or buyers. This might be a good way for the dishonest parties to execute their ill-intended actions over the intent (Umar, 2004). The traditional method of shopping is advantageous over the internet as far as this issue is concerned because it allows the two parties to carry out intensive verification of the other party’s intentions and degree of honesty. For example, there is enough time of the two parties to spend together and verify each other’s intentions and degree of honesty. In addition, physical shopping is quick because the buyer does not have to ship, especially for household and other goods, which are required on time and place (Columbus, 2009).
Despite these advantages with the traditional method of shopping, several issues are associated with it, which are easily solved with the online shopping methods. For example, this method is highly time saving because it allows both parties to transact business over the internet. In this case, the parties do not need to meet physically, but rather the internet provides the opportunity for the two parties to meet and even discuss from remote places. There are also certain ways to enhance security of the transaction. For example, it is possible to operate secure accounts over the internet provided by trusted companies such as PayPal and iKobo.
Ecommerce has increased the ability of doing business in foreign and new places. The internet is perhaps the driving force behind the modern concept of globalization. Globalization is a new dispensation in modern world, which has seen business organizations operate on worldwide scale, rather than dealing in specific regions (Umar, 2004). This new dispensation in business has increased the ability of the business organizations to diversify their business over extensive geographical locations, breaking geographical barriers and thus, distributing their risks and losses. This has further seen business organizations reduce the expense of crossing geographical barriers because they do not necessarily need to have physical outlets or these new offices, and those, which have these offices, are connected effectively the technology (Umar, 2004).
Shoppers have the opportunity to go over a large-scale window-shopping before they can settle on the items to buy. Comparison of prices over the internet is also simpler than physical shopping because one needs to browse the prices and products over the computer in a sitting location, which further reduces the time needed to make shopping decisions.
Express Corporation is an American organization that specializes in clothing, and has several outlets in America, Europe and Asia, most of which were opened and operated before the organization embarked on extensive ecommerce. Currently, the organization operates one of the best and consumer friendly website, from where consumers in any part of the world can browse through the great variety of products and product brands available in the company stores. In addition, it allows the potential customer to use a shopping cart, in which they are free to add or remove any item they wish to or not to purchase. The shopping becomes easy because the online buyers are able to decide on the item they want to buy over a long time, which could even be days. This allows the users to make sound decisions on their purchases. Moreover, the website has extensive list of available and products, alongside their prices, quality and other details. Payment is quite easy because the organization accepts credit cards online, PayPal and iKobo in addition to E-money services. The transaction can take a number of days, while the shipping can be very quick in cases where the customers are located in one of the 60 countries where the company operates in full scale. In addition to these features, the organization’s website allows the users to define their need and search through the website with just a click, and find their preferred product.
The internet technology has proved to be a tool for improving the methodology for doing business (Columbus, 2009). However, several legal and ethical issues are concerned (Umar, 2004). As a relatively new technology in business, the internet, as applied in ecommerce, has several issues concerning the security of the information, the money on transit as well as the product. For example, the organizations doing business through the internet relies heavily on the information on their website, and the information passed between the two parties. This implies that in case this information is leaked or interfered with, then both parties are likely to lose. Confidentiality of the information is also highly regarded in the business done over the internet (Umar, 2004).
Ecommerce further requires high product suitability since there are certain products that are hardly offered on the internet. For example, household products such as sugar, soap, and others may not be sold in retail scale over the internet; rather they need traditional method of commerce. Products such as clothing, vehicles and other machineries, information such as music and games as well as academic materials are highly suitable for internet transaction.