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ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

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@CloudExpo: Blog Post

An Analysis of the Effects of eCommerce | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Analytics

Understanding how eCommerce has affected the marketplace

Today's world is a completely different place than it was in the past. Even compared to just 20 years ago, everything about the way the world runs has been totally altered. This is in large part thanks to the widespread usage of the Internet as well as other advancements in technology. The Internet has given birth to eCommerce, a term that describes something that all people are familiar with: purchasing and selling goods online. While the advent of eCommerce has undoubtedly transformed the marketplace, it has come with numerous positive and negative effects on the way in which people buy and sell merchandise.

Altered Landscape of Commerce
In previous eras, commerce was transacted in a traditional storefront setting, with customers purchasing goods from vendors whose career was selling their merchandise. Whether it was furniture, clothing, or automobiles, consumers would go to a traditional brick-and-mortar store and purchase their products. However, as most people who have used a computer in the past 20 years realize, today's landscape of commerce is significantly different. Any website attempting to sell products likely has its own eCommerce store or uses alternate eCommerce websites such as eBay, Amazon or Craigslist. This has altered the way business is transacted on numerous levels: anyone can now become a vendor, customers no longer need to go to a traditional store, there is a much wider selection of products available, as well as many other attributes.

While all of the above listed items have obvious benefits, there are many negatives that come with eCommerce as well. Firstly, since everyone can now become a vendor, there is less regulation on what is being sold. The quality of items may be less than what is promised and oftentimes it is very difficult to deal with sellers, especially those who are unscrupulous. While websites like eBay and Amazon do have teams designated to making sure there is as little fraud as possible, websites like Craigslist do not have such safety nets, leading to the possibility for scammers to swindle customers. There are many reasons not to purchase items on Craigslist and other similar websites, and buyers need to be careful of this, unlike they did in the era before eCommerce. As well as possibly falling victim to a scam, consumers no longer going to stores can be construed as a negative as well. It is possible to save time and money by only shopping online, but it also makes for a less personal experience where customers may not be getting exactly what they think they are purchasing.

Final Thoughts
eCommerce has indubitably altered the way in which people buy and sell products. While eCommerce does have numerous benefits over traditional commerce, consumers need to realize that it also comes with many hidden negatives as well. Since the advancement of the Internet in the past 20 years, eCommerce is only getting more and more popular and will continue to grow as technology advances further. It will be interesting to see how far the progression of the Internet and eCommerce goes and how it will affect society in the future.

More Stories By Eric Horowitz

Eric Horowitz is a professional eCommerce specialist. He had worked for major companies and graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School.

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