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ICT

Changing work patterns

Effects of e-commerce on businesses

High street stores now find themselves competing with each other for business both on the high street and online.

Selling goods online

Advantages

  • opens the market to customers nationally and internationally
  • enables smaller companies to compete with larger companies
  • reduces in staffing and/or high street stores thereby reducing costs
  • provides the option to offer 24 hour shopping at minimum additional cost

Disadvantages

  • Stiffer competition - businesses once competing with the shop in the next town now find themselves competing on a global scale.
  • Staff reductions - with increased competition, local companies may have to reduce their work force.
  • Cost of restructuring - the move to e-commerce may not be a smooth one and will certainly require a degree of investment.
  • Customer concerns - if high street stores are closed in an effort to save money, customers who prefer to shop on the high street may not be comfortable buying online so may go elsewhere.

Increased dependancy on the Internet

Now, both for companies and individuals, there is pressure to have Internet access to do everyday things such as submit orders or look up details in a catalogue. There are initiatives to make as many services available on the Internet as possible, including e-government, where government departments such as the Inland Revenue can be dealt with using secure websites [website: a web page or group of web pages hosted on one web server and viewed in a web browser ].

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