Consumers¡¯ Perception Towards Internet Purchase in the Uk

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND FOR THE STUDY

The Internet has grown tremendously during the past years. It radically changes the way people live, work and consume. It represents a tremendous opportunity as well as threats. As Chaffey and his colleagues (2003, p. xi) state: ¡°It gives consumers a much wider choice of products, services and prices from different suppliers and the means to select and purchase items more readily. For organizations, it gives the opportunity to develop new markets, to improve the competitiveness of the company, but it also gives rise to many threats to organizations¡±.

The UK, as one of the countries with the highest percentage of Internet users, is developing rapidly in Internet connections.
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It then will summarize the main benefits and risks of online shopping.

2.2 AN OVERVIEW OF E-COMMERCE

2.2.1 DEFINITION OF E-COMMERCE

E-commerce has been used as a general term in context of Internet. Some researchers define it as both financial and informational electronically mediated transactions between an organization and any third party it deals with (Chaffey, 2002). Many other definitions have been focused on buying and selling using the Internet. Torkzadeh and Dhillon (2002) describe it as the sale and purchase of products and services over the Internet. They further explain that the factors associated with e-commerce relate to the net value of both the benefits and costs of a product, and the processes of finding, ordering, and receiving it.

E-commerce is generally divided into two types: B2C and B2B. B2C is business to consumer, in other words, online transactions are made between business and individual consumers. B2B refers to business to business, that is business make online transactions with other businesses, such as when business purchase parts, fuel, or services online (Turban et al., 2003).

2.2.2 THE IMPORTANCE OF E-COMMERCE

The Internet allows people to communicate with each other over vast distances, and across all kinds of boundaries that formerly made communication difficult or impossible. Therefore it is able to commercially move business and people to a market
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