Electronic Commerce: The Issues and Challenges to Creating Trust and a Positive Image in Consumer Sales on the World Wide Web

Anthony Ferraro


We live in a world increasingly propelled by technological change. The next big thrust in a quest to make our lives better, simpler and more productive is electronic commerce (or E-commerce). What is E-commerce? Who will use it? What are the barriers to its successful implementation? How will a viable consumer model be constructed?
While I will examine the technology that makes this e-commerce possible, I will also examine the issues of trust and image in e-commerce. It is not possible to separate the issues of technology, security, and trust. The whole image that secure, Web-based commerce needs polishing if it will ever meet expectations. One prediction claims that e-commerce will achieve revenues of $200 billion globally by the end of the year 2000. Considering that in 1995 approximately $131 million of goods were purchased online, the jump to $200 billion is staggering.
The technologies that make the World Wide Web and e-commerce possible have some potentially negative components. Privacy issues are a major concern for many, since there are the means to collect consumer information easily with digital tools. Transaction security is equally important as well. These issues need timely resolution with government and business working together to ensure the privacy of consumers and the fidelity of transactions. Business and government need to develop a set of specific standards that are part of a uniform business code for transacting business on the Internet.
Without cooperation, government agencies will step in and deal in a reactionary mode to abuses that are either taking place or imagined.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v3i6.601

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