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• Electronic commerce is the paperless exchange of business information using electronic data interchange (EDI), e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, fax transmissions, and electronic funds transfers.

• Internet shopping, online stock and bond transactions, the downloading and selling of “soft merchandise” (software, documents, graphics, music, etc.), and business-to-business transactions.
• The concept of e-commerce is all about using the Internet to do business better and faster.

Pros For Consumers
• Price • Quick, convenient and easy • In depth product overviews • Consumer reviews (Less biased opinions) • Find products online that you can't find at a local, real world store • Doors are always open to customers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week • No sales pitches (store employees)

Cons For Consumer
• Unable to examine products personally • New way for cyber-criminals to steal personal, financial info, and even your identity • Product Overload • Don’t always know what your getting • Shipping delay (purchases and returns) • Slower product verification and problem resolution • Loss of emotional fulfillment

Pros For Businesses
• Increased market share (Global) • Provide for niche markets • Operation costs • Increased productivity • Survey of customers • Less likely to make returns

Cons For Businesses
• Elimination of face to face interaction • Distribution (in-stock?) • Competition (prices down=profit margin down) • 24/7 (updating, responding, etc.)

E-Shopping Tips
• Personal recommendations - Friends or Co-workers who have online shopping experiences to share
• Use consumer reviews and internet to get informed •,, etc.

• Total e-commerce sales for 2007 were estimated at $136.4 billion, an increase of 19.0 percent (±2.8%) from 2006.
• While, Total retail sales in 2007 increased only 4.0 percent (±0.3%) from 2006.

- What do you feel is causing consumers to turn to the Internet?

Question Have you ever contacted an online customer service representative regarding a product you have purchased? How come? If so, how did you and what was your experience like?

• How do you determine where you purchase an item from online? - (best price, security, recommendations, site design, brand, etc. ?)

Article Citation
Online is great, but physical is powerful. (2007, December 10). Bismarck Tribune,p. B1-B6. Retrieved February 27, 2008, from ProQuest Newsstand database. (Document ID: 1396104501). Article Link: x=12&did=1396104501&SrchMode=1&sid=1&Fmt=3&VInst=PROD&VType =PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1204146892&clientId=2302