The statement clearly defines electronic commerce (e- commerce) and elaborates how it has become an important factor in the growth of business in today’s world. It has revolutionized business and competition is now stiff from all over the world. We are going to look at how new business policy can incorporate e-commerce and ethically consider their consumer data protection. Then we shall also discuss the benefits and limitations of e-commerce. Lastly, the company’s e-commerce policies and the strategies being adopted will be discussed.
E-commerce and consumer data protection in new business policy
Electronic commerce has been on the rise in today’s world with the internet providing a marketing arena. Many business corporations have adopted this new technology. People can trade through the use of credit cards. However, this innovation is facing many ethical challenges as it involves the exchange of data and information which is vital and sensitive (Babu, R, 2011). To embrace e-commerce, new business policies must include consumer data protection. Below are the ethical issues that business policies must observe
All over the personal world privacy is recognized, and in many countries, the laws protect this right of human beings. E-commerce uses the internet as a medium of transaction, and it is important that companies transacting through the Internet should observe data privacy most importantly in situations where the buyer is guarded by the website owner in the transaction process. Protection of personal data also plays a great role in building transparency and trustworthiness in the process while transacting business through the internet. To build the confidence of consumers to engage in e-commerce, the policies guiding the businesses should ensure that data protection is their priority ( Hassan, KH& Bagheri P,2016, pp 4). In the e-commerce transactions are done electronically, and the payment systems identify the buyers who raise the need to protect their identities (Babu, R, 2011). Nasir (2007) notes that the in the process of the transaction the several people handle the information of the customers which leaves the safety of their privacy under the security of the business.
E-commerce has a fair share of criminal activities involving, consumer defrauding the business as well businesses stealing from consumers. The fraudsters have taken advantage of the e-commerce platform and have established e-commerce crime website which cons the buyers and businesses. The business policies should address how they can protect their customers from fraudsters.
Copyright and Trademark
Issues of copyright and trademark raise a lot of concerns when it comes to e-commerce. Trademarks are owned by individuals, companies or legal entities. The new business policies should ensure that these rights are protected in the new era of e-commerce. This would protect the owner of products against copy masters who end up becoming biggest benefactors of the products such as music, videos, and books.
Online Terms, Conditions, policies and laws
To guide the transaction taking place online, it is noble for companies to provide their terms, conditions, policies and laws on the website which provide a guidance of how they transact (Nasir, 2007). In doing so, the customers are fully aware of the privacy policies of any business organization they wish to transact with. The privacy regulation helps the organization to protect the personal information of their clients while transacting with other companies
The analog mode of transacting business involves direct personal interaction between the buyer and the seller. So in the case of any problem both of them know whom to follow. However, in e-commerce, the customer and the seller rarely know each other. So in the event of a faulty transaction, they may not know how to legally solve the problem. This is because the transaction may involve people from different parts of the world and the rules might quite be different. They involved parties may not have a clear choice on which rules to follow. It would, therefore, be good if the business policies include policies which protect the consumer's rights in case the products bought are faulty or does not meet their demand.
Benefits of e-commerce
E-commerce has changed the business world as it has provided a fair ground for many despites to compete with others despite their global location. It has taken the concept of globalization to another level since buyers and sellers from all over the world can transact at the comfort of their homes without necessarily having to travel long distances to transact a business since this can be done with a touch of the button.
E-commerce has expanded the global market for businesses; this new mode of business has empowered businesses to transact beyond their local markets (Jain, 2010). E-commerce does not only cater for the large companies only but also for the small businesses since they can equally access the global market.
E-commerce has great successes conquered the barrier of time. This is because the transaction can take place anywhere and at any time. This has led to the realization of the realization of the twenty-four hours economy. This translates to increased sales and therefore increased profits.
The presence of many products in the online market allows the customers to have a variety of products to choose from which enables them to consider the quality and prices which meet their demand as well as their bargaining power (Jain, 2010). Other consumers also provide views about the certain products which can help them decide on which is the best product to buy.
Considering the cost of marketing, processing, inventory management among other business operation costs e-commerce provides a cheaper option. This is attributed to by the fact that it reduces the need for extensive infrastructural development to enable business activities (Jain, 2010). Through the internet advertising has been made easier which makes it possible for many businesses to reach a bigger multitude of customers quickly and at a friendly cost.
According to Kart (2013), E-commerce has improved customer service this is by making it quicker and efficient thus leading to customer satisfaction.
Limitations of e-commerce
According to Jain (2010), E-commerce is prone to technologically related limitations. It is dependent on the internet, however not all people have access to the internet which blocks them from accessing online markets. Due to this challenge, many companies have to use the traditional method of trading to reach its targeted customers who cannot be reached through the internet. Many people do lack the knowledge of using the internet and understanding online transactions. It is also evident that some people do not trust online transactions and therefore does not find it safe to disclose their personal information online.
The online market does not provide a good platform for selling perishable products. Such products can only be purchased through the traditional way. The transaction may take quite a long time form the time of purchasing to the time of delivery.
The customer does not have the opportunity to directly inspect the product before buying which may end up not satisfying his or her want.
Example of some companies’ E-commerce business policies and strategies
According to Morey, T. et.al (2015), the transparency in the use of personal data will provide the competitive edge for many companies e-commerce business. The companies with clear privacy policies will have the advantage in the market as consumers will be confident to transact with them.
The websites and applications collect personal data and monitor online user activities to deliver advertisements. Extensive data collection about users’ location and behaviors can also be collected this data is used to offer better services to the clients. Data collection through websites has helped solve some of the challenges in many areas including healthcare, environmental conservation, and urban planning. For example, Uber shares traveling pattern data with the Boston officials with the aim of providing important information that can be used in improving city transportation and road maintenance. This increases the value of personal data.
Trust and transparency
According to Morey, T. et.al (2015), Firms might attract consumers to share their data by compensating them for the data. However, trust must be built to ensure that many people will be willing to share personal information. Studies have shown that the consumers’ willingness to share their personal data is based on transparency. Financial firms like PayPal and Alipay of China have the highest preference of acquiring personal data compared to social networks such as Facebook.
Companies build transparency through teaching their consumers about data privacy and its importance. Every firm must, therefore, provide information about the end-user licensing agreement and provide its policies, terms, and conditions at the sign-up. For example, Facebook had been accused of exposing personal data of the user to other websites without their knowledge and faced public critics. Realizing this Facebook has focused on safeguarding privacy through controlling and educating the users. Most recently Facebook launched the privacy basics which allow users to select who can view their information.
E- Commerce has many advantages in business. With the growing and ever changing technology business should take the full benefits of this new platform of business. However, they should consider the few shortcomings associated with E-commerce and take measures to curb them to protect themselves and the consumer and to build confidence in the consumer to transact online.
2. Business ethics
The concept of ethic is vital to the existence and development of any business organization. Each business has set policies which are guarded by ethics. The ethical part of the organization determines the perception or the reputation the organization has on the public.
The importance of business ethics to the business policies
Good business ethics help in maintaining a healthy environment. Ethical businesses will find safe ways of disposing of their wastes products to avoid environmental pollution (Joseph, 2013). For instance, a company can adopt the use of renewable energy instead of using other forms of energies which emit harmful gasses to the environment.
Business ethics also enables a business to continue growing over a long period. Ethics ensure sustainability of a vision which keeps on growing with persistence. Every business organizations desire to make high profits. However, they should avoid using risky means of achieving their goals. Longer periods of consistent and stable profits are preferable to short periods of high but inconsistent profits.
The need to share the limited resources that nature provides for us call for ethical business corporations (Applied Corporate Governance, 2015). Businesses should consider the future generations and use the available resources sparingly to avoid depletion and destruction of the natural resources.
Companies that follow the ethical guidelines are likely to abide by the law hence they avoid risks associated with poor behavior such as fines or any other legal action resulting from law breaking.
Employees will want to stay for longer in companies which observe business ethics. This benefit the company since the recruiting cost reduces. The company is also able to maintain a pool of talented workers (ACCA, 2014). Employees love the company reduces labor turnover and consequently the productivity increases.
Customers are attracted to buy products from firms with a good reputation. This increases their profits thereby promoting their growth. Business ethics also attract many investors who help maintain high value for its shares (ACCA, 2014). It creates confidence in the investors that money is being utilized properly since the company has declared its moral standing. It is important for businesses to understand that building a reputation may take years but once broken it becomes difficult to amend it.
According to Simpson, A(2008), companies with reputable, ethical policies will always have the upper hand in the market over its competitors. Consumers will always look for its products and services because they trust their conduct. This translates to customer loyalty which in turn results in increased sales and growth of the corporate.
According to Corporate Governance (2015), observing ethics is business reduces costs and risks, for example through inspection of products before going to the market ensures that only products with the desired quality reach the consumer. There will be fewer complaints from the consumer hence building the trust. The business is not likely to get involved in many legal issues that could lead to usage of huge amounts of the resource while trying to defend themselves in the courts of law.
How business ethics reflect corporate success
According to Joseph (2013), ethical conduct in business has far-reaching benefits not only to the business but also the consumers, employees and the community. While working in moral company employees will conduct themselves in a moral way and therefore increasing their productivity. Customers are also at ease while transacting with the corporate for they understand the process of production and the ethical responsibility of the company. For example, when a horticultural company states that it will only buy products from farmers who use the recommended chemicals in the production of the crops, farmers will ensure that the use the appropriate chemicals and thus produce high-quality products which will be healthy for consumption.
Ethical business operations ensure sustainable development of the corporate business organizations. If businesses are led by greed to make abnormal profits, they may fail to see the problems that may face them in the future and lead to the failure of the business this would mean that they can only enjoy profits for a short while. For example, in the fishing business, the fishermen may be driven by the urge to make huge profits which may result to overfishing with time they start experiencing fish shortage leading to lower returns, and the business may lastly fail.
Corporate success is also reflected by the growth of the smaller business in the country. This is because the huge companies observe ethical policies in their operations which do not suppress the upcoming business. In the long-term, this contributes to the development of the whole country (Joseph, 2013). However, poor business ethics in corporate business results to economic failure in any given country. Investors and other business corporations will by any means avoid trading with businesses with a bad ethical reputation which fails with time.
Long-term success in any business corporate shows the ethical strength of the corporate. Good ethics have a positive impact both on the business and the society. The business corporate should take the social responsibility to protect the society as well as the growing companies. All companies should struggle to attain the highest code of ethics to ensure sustainable development in the country.
E-commerce polices and success of the company
Any business should not only focus on making profits but should also focus on consumer satisfaction. They can do so by ensuring that they deliver the products bought at the right time and in good condition, for example, O’Neil Irish International Sports is a good example of an e-commerce company that focuses on consumer satisfaction. One among the many occasions where this company has fulfilled this policy is an instance where The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club ordered tracksuits to be shipped from Ireland. However a few tracksuits were detected with defects, they informed the club about the problem they gave the ones with defects as discounts and manufactured others also. This has made this company to maintain a monopoly in selling sports uniforms to many clubs all over the world.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Companies must recognize the important roles that they can play in the society to improve it. They have the social responsibility of ensuring to they build a good reputation to the public so as to maintain their market base. They should focus on transacting business focused on ensuring social good. For example, Accessibility Partners is an It company which works with private and IT manufacturing companies and federal agencies to ensure that people with disability access the information technology products. The majority of its workers are people with disabilities.
Teaching about data privacy
Transparency in the use of data and personal information should be a priority when handling personal data. An example of a company that has used this policy is Uber which is a growing transport industry connecting business people and their clients. Personal information about their locations is shared, and its handling should be handled with care. The transparency in the operations of the company has created a trust of the business people in the transport industry and their clients. As a result of the company, it is developing at a very high rate.
Business ethics are essential in the operations of any business cooperation. Visions founded on good ethics will be achieved, and sustainable growth of the business ensured. Business corporations should watch their conduct so as to build a good reputation to the public. Any misconduct may have irreversible effects on the business which may result in failure. Therefore acceptable business ethics should be the priority for any business which wants to grow.
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