As the internet grows in popularity every
day, so too does electronic commerce. Electronic commerce,
simply put, is the exchange of money for goods and services via electronic
means. In other words, electronic commerce is usually when you purchase
something off of the internet. Electronic commerce is often referred
to as e-commerce , or e-business. In this paper I will be discussing
the technical side of e-commerce, security, different points of view regarding
e-business, and of course my personal opinion and experiences.
First I would like to discuss the types
of e-business. E-business can be anything from purchasing a toaster
from a department store online to checking your bank statement online.
All are examples of the many aspects of e-business.
There are several aspects of e-business
unique to it. When comparing traditional business to e-business,
one can see several differences between the two. The most obvious
difference when buying standard goods (such as a toaster, a book, or a
new computer) is the store. When dealing with e-business there is
no "real" store or merchandise to look at. It is all presented through
the merchant's webpage, or by other electronic means. You will not
be able to touch, or inspect potential purchases. All you will have
to go on is perhaps a picture and a brief description of the item in question.
This is obviously a big change from traditional store-based business practices.
Why would any self-respecting consumer buy something via e-business if
they were unable to touch, or inspect a potential purchase, and there is
a real store just done the street? There are several reasons why
e-business is appealing to a growing amount of people. For example,
e-business is based on the internet. If you are using the internet,
you are not bound by geography. You can access any site, anywhere
in the world from the comfort of your computer chair. What does this
mean to the consumer? Now the consumer has access to several things
they didn't before. The consumer now has diversity. With the
entire internet at your fingers, in a matter of minutes you can browse
several stores in several parts of the world without even leaving your
home. This allows you to compare prices and products. With
e-business you are not restricted to the prices and products of you local
stores. You can easily choose the best price on the best product.
Purchasing goods electronically is becoming
easier by the day. The majority of e-businesses have software set
up on their webpage to take and record your order as well as your credit
card and personal information. The software is set up such that you
can order anything you want without having to interac t with anyone what
so ever. You just have to enter your credit card number, address,
and other personal information. Some people are not comfortable with the
concept of sending their credit card number or other personal to a potential
merchant over the internet, but are more comfortable using the telephone.
Most businesses know this and have set up a special number or other means
to talk to a representative from the company to settle any questions, and
to accept credit card numbers or other means of payment. There are
of course several security issues involved in both forms of commerce. I
will discuss security in greater detail later in the paper.
The popularity of e-business is growing
almost as fast as the technology itself. More and more people are
using their computers to buy what ever they want, whenever they want.
Every day there is an increasing number of companies that join the electronic
world of business. Companies spend millions of dollars a year to
setup and maintain a website designed for e-business. Why are they
willing to spend so much? Most business people have a good knowledge
of how and why business works. It is not hard to see that there is
a huge market in e-business. With the price of computers going
down each day, more and more people have the opportunity to get in on their
piece of cyberspace.
A Typical E-business Transaction &
A few methods in which e-business is conducted
are shopping, and online banking . Let's examine the shopping aspect
of e-business first. When you go to a site to buy something, a site
such as www.amazon.com, there are a few things you should notice.
They have something called a shopping cart. When you finally decide
that you want to buy something, you enter the quantity you wish to purchase,
and then "add to shopping cart". The shopping cart it a CGI script used
to keep track of the things you want, and how