When something is to be taxed and the taxman writes an 89 page booklet on it, then it is possible to say that it has become mainstream. Ecommerce has reached that elevated status and according to the mentioned booklet, electronic commerce (e-commerce) is rapidly transforming the way business is conducted throughout the world. So what is it?
Ecommerce is the buying and selling of goods and services of any kind over the internet. Essentially there are three types of transactions that can occur over the internet:
- On-line ordering of goods which are delivered to the customer from the supplier through the post or courier systems(clothes, furniture, car parts, etc.).
- On-line ordering of services (for example, flights, motor tax) where payments are made for services, which are delivered as usual.
- On-line ordering and delivery of digital items, such as music, online courses, books or software” services which are downloaded over the internet in digital form.
There are a multitude of online shops on the Internet, some genuine , some not. In any case when spending money over the Internet , it is important to protect yourself, so your card details are not in danger of being hijacked, and your personal information made available. Following the tips below should go a long way to ensuring that you are protected.
- Always ensure that your browser and your operating system are up to date. At your peril ignore the message boxes that pop up on your screen asking you to install updates.
- Shop with retailers that you know or get to know an online shop either through recommendations or your own research before you give them your hard earned money
- Ensure the site uses encryption so that your credit card details cannot be intercepted by another person. To check this look for an unbroken key or lock at the bottom of your browser window or check the website address, which should begin https:// rather than http://
- Keep a record of your internet transactions, including the retailer’s website address. Many online stores send customers e-mails summarising the purchase details, it is a good idea to save or print these.
- Before buying, read the delivery and return policies that should be on the retailer’s website. Can unsatisfactory items be sent back? If the items are faulty, can you get a refund or a credit note? or can you return the items particularly clothes if they are not suitable?, who covers the cost of postage, which can be substantial.
- The online shop should also have information about delivery arrangements and costs, credit and debit cards they accept and taxes that apply.
- Look for a telephone number or e-mail address and note them down in case you have any queries.
Ecommerce is the first in a family of electronic commerce facilities. A close relation of ecommerce is mcommerce, shopping using your mobile phone. It is suggested that half of all traffic to internet shops will be through mobile devices by the end of 2013.
If you have a product to sell, that can be delivered for a reasonable cost, it is the place to be.