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ECT News Community   »   E-Commerce Times Talkback   »   Re: E-Commerce's 1.3 Percent Problem

Re: E-Commerce's 1.3 Percent Problem
Posted by: Bob Woods 2003-01-20 13:24:38
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E-commerce, once the domain of "geek types" or consumers with high disposable incomes, has hit the mainstream. The U.S. Census Bureau says e-commerce spending increased by more than 34 percent year over year to $11.1 billion from the third quarter of 2001 to the same period in 2002. But the Census Bureau also places total e-commerce revenues at just 1.3 percent of all retail sales. There is definitely a disconnect here. If e-commerce is becoming an ever-larger part of consumers' daily lives, then why does it account for such a small slice of the retail pie?

Re: E-Commerce's 1.3 Percent Problem
Posted by: MikeJacobs 2003-01-23 15:32:40 In reply to: Bob Woods
Broadband, technology, usability, etc. Yes, they're all issues that impact ecommerce. While advances in these core areas are constantly advancing, none will address one of the larget impediments to online sales... product content. Some sites have good search functionality, great taxonomy and thin content but miss the mark on featuring accurate and complete product information once the customer finally gets to the detail page. It's great to think that someday core infrastructure components will catch up to deliver the kind of user experience we all dream about. But in the interim, we all have the capability to feature product information that a consumer can actually use to make a purchase decision. How many sites have incorrect specifications or attributes that are not normalized (forcing one to think hard about product differentiation in the same sub-category)? It does not take rocket science to feature accurate and complete content, just a solid strategy, process orientation and efficient workflows and tools.

Re: E-Commerce's 1.3 Percent Problem
Posted by: IBLS 2003-01-20 18:20:41 In reply to: Bob Woods
One major area that was not addressed in the article is the lack of cohesive E-Commerce laws. Businesses and consumers do not know what jurisdictions and laws apply to their transactions. Businesses need to educate themselves on the global rules and regulations for doing business online. Next, they need to clearly post a framework as to what a consumer can expect and who they can turn to outside of the company if there is a legal dispute.
Companies such as ours, IBLS, are gathering content from E-Commerce focused lawyers and compiling it into capsules for easy reference. This is one solution, but governments need to also take the lead and create effective roadmaps as to #1 - how their existing/new laws apply to online transactions and #2 how their regulations mesh with other countries of the world.

Re: E-Commerce's 1.3 Percent Problem
Posted by: davidport 2003-01-20 14:13:14 In reply to: Bob Woods
Why does e-ommerce account for such a small slice of the retail pie? ...Our research indicates it's largely because most people can't be sure they'll be home to receive deliveries, and don't like having stuff left exposed outside their door or taken back to the depot.

Re: E-Commerce's 1.3 Percent Problem
Posted by: Heather G 2003-01-20 15:07:54 In reply to: davidport
No doubt the transactions on auction sites such as eBay are not considered "e-commerce," yet the same consumers visiting "retailers" such as Amazon and the like are buying from eBay sellers online. I wonder if auctions were included, whether the total percentage would be affected.
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