E-Commerce (shopping online through a shopping cart) has become one of the most popular ways people now shop. Published according to Mathew Pailthorpe, (on a Facebook groups page for the major Australian Internet marketing and web design regulation body, the
Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA)) around 6.7 million (37.9% of all Australians) bought a product or service online in the last 12 months, spending a total of $23 billion.
Online sales are expected to grow 9% annually by 2012. This is faster than sales from traditional stores. Research also shows half of Australian shoppers are going online before they go into a shop.
An article by Abhinash Chaudhary entitled “The Benefits of E-commerce” states these benefits below:
1. E-Commerce allows people to carry out business without the barriers of time or distance. One can log onto the Internet at any point of time, be it day or night, and purchase or sell anything one desires at a single click of the mouse.
2. The direct cost-of-sale for an order taken from a web site is lower than through traditional means (retail, paper based) as there is no human interaction during the on-line electronic purchase order process. Also, electronic selling eliminates almost all processing errors, as well as being faster and more convenient for the visitor.
3. Web design companies describe how E-commerce is ideal for niche products. Customers for such products are usually few, but in the vast market place i. e., the Internet, even niche products can generate viable volumes.
4. Another important benefit of E-commerce is that it is the cheapest means of doing business.
5. From the buyer's perspective, E-commerce offers a lot of tangible advantages:
a. Reduction in buyer's sorting out time
b. Better buyer decisions
c. Less time is spent in resolving invoice and order discrepancies as electronic selling eliminates almost all processing errors
d. Increased opportunities for buying alternative products
e. Faster and more convenient