The Impact Of Online Shopping On Society Information Technology Essay

Nowadays in new era of technology, internet has already become part of our life. As Internet is becoming more widely used, we almost can find or do everything via internet. As many businesses are attempting to globalize their sales, Internet becomes the primary means of advertising and selling their products or services worldwide. Many businesses are creating web pages in addition to their retail stores, and many start their businesses with online stores alone. Paul Demery (2006) said, according to a new report from Forrester Research, 75% of the 80 million U.S. online households have purchased products over the Internet, with more than two-thirds having made an online purchase within the past three months. 8 million of web shoppers, 19% households spent $500 during the past three months, 16% spent between $250 and $499, 26% spent between $100 and $249, and 39% spent between $1 and $99. Due to online shopping is becoming more and more popular, there will have a lot of issues like, privacy, cheating, Fraud and security concerns, consumer expectation and etc.

Online shopping websites is build to allow people to sell and advertise their item or buy any things that they needed via website. In 1990, Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser. According to Kathryn (2010), in 1992, several years before Amazon was launched, there has a first-ever online bookstore been opened by a man named Charles Stack. Now it becomes Books.com. But, the first businesses to really make shopping online popular are Amazon and eBay which is launched by 1995 and 1996. These two businesses remain among the top online shopping sites today. The system is build in ethical way as it allows people to sell and advertise their items or buy any things as they needed via website. However, some people who having guilty mind take this advantage to do cyber crimes, such as cheating or scamming, stealing credit card information and etc. As stated in Wikipedia (2010), online shopping website brings a lot of advantages to public, such as more convenience, lower price and selection, information and review and etc. On the other hand, there are some disadvantages exist too, such as fraud and security concerns, lack of full cost disclosure, privacy and etc.

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Online shopping website brings good impact to the IT industry. To maintain online shopping websites, it needs a lot of programmers, such as, analysis programmer, database administrator, security programmer, web designer and etc. It means that online shopping website is giving more opportunity for job. Data centers which providing hosting services will bloom and many e shopping portals will be up online. On the time, many different e shopping portals will race to be the best which provides the best service and lowest price. It also gives more jobs opportunities to people for courier services.

The implications of online shopping website toward the society have advantages and disadvantages. It depends on how people use on it. If people use it in right way, it will bring a lot of positive benefit. Kimberly Palmer (2007) said, according to Forrester Research, more than half of US households regularly shop on the web, but online purchases still make up only 7 percent of total retail sales. Nowadays, consumers can buy everything over the web, which mean it help us save time and money. Convenient is the main advantage for online shopping website, because it allows consumer shop at anywhere and anytime with just only a personal computer or laptop with an internet access. It also save consumer traveling time to retail stores. Convenience includes the overall ease of finding a product, time spent on shopping, post purchase service, complete contact information, and minimization of overall shopping effort (Christian Schaupp & France Belanger, 2005). Researchers also identify convenience as a ‘fundamental objective’ related to online shopping (Christian Schaupp & France Belanger, 2005).

Besides that, lower price and selection also play a very important role. It allows consumers able to quickly seek out deals for items with many different vendors. Consumer able to compares many different products, prices and product’s quality in same time. Online shopping is always get cheaper prices compare with retail stores, because online store does not have to pay the costs of running a shop and wages to salespeople, and all of the other running costs of a real world business. Other than that, for those who only have limited budget and want to start their own business, it highly recommended start from online shopping website.

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On the other hand, online shopping also will bring negative impact to society if it misused by public. For example, credit card or identity fraud. When consumers wanted to purchase something from website, they need to use credit or debit card to make payment. So, some hacker will take this advantage to steal credit or debit card information via online shopping website. According to Danielle Miceli & Rachel Kim (2010), the chart below shows that make purchases in person and make purchases online are more than four in 10 cases of fraud, which mean the security of online shopping is too weak. Because online purchases require only a credit or debit card number, this method of fraud is increasingly favored by criminals. Additionally, slightly more than 20% of victims of identity fraud had their information use to make phone or mail-order catalog purchases.

Figure 1.1 what are the most common methods of fraud?

[Danielle Miceli & Rachel Kim (2010)]

Besides that, cheating and scamming also one of very serious issues. For example, Philip Reed (2010) shows an example of online car-buying fraud, a girl named Joan (not her real name) won an online auction for a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country minivan. It was a great deal, and the pictures made it look brand-new. But three weeks later, her family had lost $6,000 and she never got the van. She was a victim of a rapidly growing scam: Internet fraud. In Joan’s case, she bid a minivan on Yahoo.com and then she has received an e-mail which informs her that she had won the bid and the van was hers. However, she did not see that Yahoo never posted her as the top bidder. The con artists merely captured her e-mail address and contacted her directly about a car that actually existed but was being sold by an unsuspecting third party. What made Joan’s case especially tragic was that she was buying the van for her parents. She urged them to take out a loan to finance it and then sent their money to a supposedly secure escrow site. Escrows are used in car-buying as an impartial middleman, an agency that holds the money securely until the vehicle is shipped to the new owner. However, this escrow site, given the legitimate-sounding name “safe-purchases.com,” was a bank account controlled by the criminals. Once the funds were transferred there, the money was withdrawn, the account was closed and the paper trail was erased.

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Other than IT industry and society issues, online shopping also bring negative impact to environment. According to William Chen (2008), online shopping is encouraging more trash at the curbside. They mostly use courier to deliver their goods. Although there is not only in the local deliveries but also with amount of paper, plastic and cardboard that is pushed into city waste stream. Environmentalists are showing a great concern towards this. They have understood from surveys that the negatives are by far greater than the positives on environment. E-commerce has negative effects on the environment. A big negative impact online shopping has had on environment is the amount of non-recyclable materials that come with products ordered online which is bubble wrap, foam rubber and expanded polystyrene.

As conclusion, online shopping website is become more popular and powerful. Although online shopping have bring a lot of advantages to society, but there are some negative concerns of online shopping too. To avoid cyber crimes, consumers must be careful while using credit card via online shopping website. In addition, web programmer should upgrade and enhance the security level of the website to avoid those crimes. Except cyber crimes, pollution on our environment are getting more serious, as a human being, we should protect our earth and home. It is also suggested that consumers and retailer should use some recyclable material to deliver the goods. Eventually, all consumers will adapt to the online shopping technology and able to enjoy the convenient, innovative way of shopping.

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