Discussing The Problems Of Online Shopping Information Technology Essay

The aim of this literature review is to critically analyze the various problems/solutions of online shopping system, and benefits of online shopping system in Nigeria.


In Nigeria, different business and market transactions are being practice face to face ie buying and selling of different goods and services are been done in the market. Implementations of online shopping practices has been difficult and associated with a lot of problems such as user privacy , insecurity and trust has made it not visible for such to be implemented.

The internet as a global network which allows people to communicate, perform business transactions, send, store and receive information.The internet has become an improtant process to everyday life and different people from different countries use the internet in order to carryout their effective skills in their different professions and for income making.

Looking at online shopping as the case study, today online shopping is becoming popular to people/client and consumer as another channel and fast means of making business transactions and customer satisfaction. According to (bbc) statistics, showed in december 2008 have reviewed the statistis of 50% rise in 2008 christmas online shopping, however (www.nma.co.uk) in febuary 2010 recorded the sales of 4.1billion pounds for online retailers and a rise of 13% in febuary 2010.

problems of online shopping

Belanger, F (2002) identified privacy, security and trustworthiness as a major factor that prevent people from shopping online. it is important to understand this factors that might prevent customer or users from shopping online and some of this factors include;


privacy which is a most important problem that stops people from shopping online or using the internet above the problem of cost and convienence giving. It is the will of the customer to share information online for purchase, However it is clear that customers concern with privacy of information is having effect on shopping online and therefore to resolve this problem, privacy potentials need to be further addressed (Belanger. F, p 4).

In 2000, pew internet and American life reported that 66% of users proposed that online tracking should be barred and 81% supported for rules to be implemented in online information systems and in 2002 National Consumers League survey, respondents ranked personal privacy above health care, education, crime and taxes as concerns to users (Paul, 2001) as cited by Belanger. F (2002) .

Privacy issues on the Internet include ‘spam’, usage tracking and data collection, choice, and the sharing of information with third parties. These areas of fear are found in the taxonomy described by Huaiqing, W (1998), are reflected in the Federal Trade Commission’s standard for privacy on the Internet. The FTC identifies notice, choice, access and security as elements of a pleasing privacy policy. Customers’ guarantee that the information shared will be subjected to personally outlined limits is the essence of privacy on the Internet. Therefore, for this research the definition of privacy that is adopted is the ability to manage information about oneself.

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Security threat has been defined as condition, state, or event which is possible to cause economic adversities to data or network resources in the form of destruction, exposure, change of data, denial of service, fraud, waste, and abuse (Kalakota and Whinston, 1996). Security, then, is the protection against these threats. Under this definition, threats can be made either through network and data transaction attacks, or through unauthorized access by means of false or defective authentications. This definition must be tailored in order to be relevant to customer transactions to acknowledge that customer’s information has value. For customers, it must be recognized that economic hardship include damages to privacy that is loss of information as well as theft, for example, credit information and authentication issues for customers will be reversed. This definition explains the security threats from a customer’s point of view. Security in online shopping is reflected in the technologies used to protect and secure customer data. However Security concerns of customers may be addressed by many of the same technology protections as those of businesses, such as encryption and authentication. Our description of privacy and security is similar to the distinction that Hoffman .L (1999) use in identifying ‘environmental control’ as separate from ‘control over secondary use of information’, described above. Environmental control refers to customers concerns with sharing information online due to expectations of threats to online security, including fear of hackers and identity theft.


For People to make important buying and selling decisions is based on their level of trust in the product, salesperson, and the company (Hosmer, 1995). Similarly, online shopping decisions involve trust not simply between the shop merchant and the customer but also between the customer and the computer system through which transactions are executed (Lee and Turban, 2001). Although many studies have identified the critical role of customers trust in online shopping, two critical issues have hampered empirical investigations of the impact of customers trust on on-line shopping activities. The first issue is focused on the lack of agreement about the definition of online customer trust (Lee and Turban, 2001). Although most of these definitions capture the notion of risk taking, many are merely operationally taken from the traditional shopping literature and applied to the online context. More importantly, few of these definitions specify the on-line trust equivalent for example, Moorman (1993, p. 82) . Defines customer trust as “a willingness to rely on an exchange associate in whom one has confidence’. This definition suggests that trust reflects a continuum of readiness that is readiness to engage in a relationship with the other party, such as a salesperson (Crosby, 1990) . Rather than focusing on trust in individuals, this study focuses on the electronic organization as well as its site as the exchange party. The second issue hinder richer examinations of online customer trust as the lack of experimental notice given to one critical precursor of customer. (Lee and Turban, 2001) Several researchers have identified three main elements of trustworthiness: ability, kindness, and integrity (Mayer, 1995; Lee and Turban, 2001). According to (Mayer,1995; Lee and Turban, 2001), the ability of a merchant is reflected in its ability to handle sales dealings and the expertise to generally conduct business online. In contrast, perceived integrity is evidence of the marketer’s honesty and sincerity. Finally, kindness was defined as the extent to which the trusting party believes that the trusted party wants to do good things rather than just maximize profit. In contrast to the other two transaction focused magnitude, kindness reflects perceptions of the marketer’s willingness to engage in flexible or humanitarian commitment to its customers. A similar dimensional distinction can be found in the corporate social responsibility literature (Carroll, 1979; Smith., 2001) cited by Belanger. F (2002) . Additional insights from this literature also indicate that a firm’s economic responsibilities that is to make a profit and its flexible responsibilities are often negatively correlated (Ibrahim, 1997) cited by Belanger. F (2002). These findings suggest that customers expect marketers to be have high ability primarily focus on maximizing profits often at the cost of being kind.

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Technology solutions

Winnie, C and John,P (2002, P 7) suggested that the advance of technology could be used as a solution for privacy protection and described two examples of this technologies. Firstly one established standard is called Platform for Privacy Preference. The privacy preference system works through web browsers to automatically alert users to what information is being collected online. The aim of privacy preference system is to have a common privacy language and standard on the internet that provides a rich language for services to express their information practices and for users to express their privacy preferences. Users will be warned and have an alternative to leave if the site is gathering information for shopping purposes also they can choose to give their private information only to sites that will not use it for shopping. Thus, privacy preference system technology helps users make informed decisions about when to release their data.

Secondly is the anonymizer which ensures users surfing the web anonymously, will hide their surfing history when users are browsing the web. It will not stop cookies, but it will allow users to surf the Internet while withholding their IP addresses and other information about them. This ensures that the identity of the users will not be identified. Recently, a new privacy enhancing cookie management feature has been released for Internet Explorer with this version, users will be asked and prompted in detail before letting a cookie enter into the system. A description of all cookies and their purpose will be given plus a clear distinction between first and third party ones. A default setting will alert the user when a persistent third party cookie is being served or read on the user’s system. It is argued that technical solutions cannot solve the privacy concerns permanently. Although the advance of technology is able to solve the privacy concerns at the moment, it will not work in the near future. Web sites can also utilise advances of technology to obtain personal information as the technology evolves. Thus, just using technological solutions is not reliable in terms of privacy concerns.

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Combination solutions

Winnie, C and John,P (2002, P 7) also believed that using a combination solution is possible to achieve privacy protection in a globally consistent manner. The combination of legislation, self regulation and technical solutions may provide synergy that is more effective than a single solution. Users must be assured that when they release their data, services will use it only as they have promised. Legislation and self-regulatory regime can help in providing such assurances. While self-regulation and privacy enhancing technologies are welcome developments in order to enhance privacy protection, they might not be sufficient by themselves and they could be accompanied by legislation.

Security solution

IBM (2005) stated that there are three main concept of security: confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Confidentiality which only permit authorized parties to read protected information and also talked about three types of security categories:

1. Authentication: confirm who you are. It requires that you are the only one authorized to logon to the shopping system.

2. Authorization: This allows only the user to manipulate his resources

In Specific ways.

3. Encryption: Deals with information hiding which prevent unauthorised

User from accessing customer information.


The growth of online shopping system is non-stoppable. Yet, online users spending only accounts for about 1.7% of overall revenues. The privacy, security and trust concerns are posing a barrier to the Development of online shopping in Nigeria. It is an issue that online Shopping system cannot afford to ignore because privacy, security and trust concerns are blocking online sales. And the key is that Companies doing online sales need to manage and meet their customers’ expectations where privacy, security and trust is concerned. A web site with a privacy, security and trust statement tells customers that their privacy right is being considered. It would not be good for the shopping system if a client finds that something unexpected has happened to their information, perhaps an unexpected access from unauthorised users. Shopping business open about their practice and abiding by their privacy and security statements will win both customers’ confidence and custom to shop online. For online shopping to succeed in Nigeria, online shopping must build trust with millions of consumers. Respecting consumers’ privacy and security is necessary in order to boost the growth of electronic commerce. Therefore it is believed that global consistency on Internet privacy and protection is important to boost the growth of shopping online.

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