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IT AND RETAILING What is e-commerce E-commerce is the buying and selling of products and services by both businesses and consumers over the Internet Such practices have exploded over the last year as security has improved with more and more consumers now buying goods and services online This coupled with the computer revolution of the late twentieth century has lead to e-commerce now becoming the buzzword of trade and industry as hundreds of companies are now moving online in an attempt to broaden their product range and direct contact with customers Why has it grown so rapidly Firstly we must understand why companies are being drawn towards selling their products online An e-commerce site that is implemented well can significantly lower both order taking costs up front and also customer service after the sale has been made For example being located on the Internet means that place does not enter into the marketing mix of an e-commerce company As its customers will not visit the business it means having a prominent high street location is no longer of importance in fact a business can be set up in someones home if space for storage allows Also when considering mail order companies there is no longer the need to endure the costs of designing printing and sending out catalogues These factors contribute to e-commerce companies being able to offer products at greatly reduced prices as overheads have been minimised A company now has the ability to provide customers with a catalogue that has a far more extensive range than that of which any mail-order catalogue could provide Recently Amazon have advertised that they currently offer more than 3 million books to further their service they also give the customer the opportunity to read a description of every book supplied and also other titles buyers of the book have purchased It is inconceivable to imagine all this information being provided in any
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