E-commerce, profitability and challenges – Delco Times

The power and influence of e-commerce is changing the landscape of how consumers engage in the marketplace. Brick-and-mortar companies are no longer king of the hill, the new flavor is e-commerce, and the numbers show consumers are never tired of it!

Electronic commerce is “the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks” as defined by the accounting firm SR Dinodia & Co. Electronic commerce offers ease to buy and sell products and services via online / electronic means from the comfort of your own home.

Products like clothing, food, home appliances, toys, telemedicine, streaming entertainment, stocks and mutual funds, and other products and services are easily traded through the ridiculous convenience of various online platforms. In order of net sales transactions generated for goods and services in 2019, here are the top online e-commerce platforms, as reported by Statista.com:

1. Amazon.com 73,782,000,000 $

2. Walmart.com $ 19,613,000,000

3. Apple.com $ 11,361,000,000

4. HomeDepot.com $ 9,312,000,000

5. BestBuy.com $ 7,640,000,000

6. Target.com $ 6,613,000,000

seven. Wayfair.com $ 6,211,000,000

8. Macys.com $ 5,467,000,000

9. Chewy.com $ 4,847,000,000

ten. Costco.com $ 4,549,000,000

“Another advantage of e-commerce is that online stores are always open to business,” reports Oberlo, an online platform that allows people to source products from suppliers and provides access to resources and resources. e-commerce courses. Most brick-and-mortar businesses operate during set business hours, while e-commerce businesses are open 24/7!

Ecommerce businesses have lower start-up costs than traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, which alone provides huge savings in overhead costs. Physical businesses need people to run the business, to provide necessary security in some cases, and space is required for inventory storage. In comparison, personalized landing pages on a business’s online website can generate a large consumer audience with less start-up expense.

As popular and profitable as e-commerce is, it has inherent problems and skeptics. Economists, industry leaders and lawmakers are constantly grappling with the issue of cybersecurity. Ease of access online allows the average consumer to shop online to purchase goods and services in a relatively safe and secure manner.

“You can never protect yourself 100%. What you are doing is protecting yourself as much as possible and mitigating the risk to an acceptable degree. You can never remove all risk, ”says Kevin Mitnick, one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity and hacking.

In the 1990s, Mitnick was viewed by law enforcement as the world’s most notorious hacker. In 1995, the FBI arrested him for wire fraud and for hacking into the computer systems of large companies. Since serving his sentence, Mitnick has been released from prison and is now a in-demand cybersecurity consultant to large corporate clients around the world, helping businesses protect their e-commerce business from hackers.

Another difficult consideration is the taxation of electronic commerce. An imminent question for lawmakers and economists is: How should business transactions and e-commerce businesses be taxed fairly?

“The juggernaut of e-commerce is not without dangers and flaws. It greatly affects traditional businesses that cannot continue to do business according to the traditional economic model. This can sometimes lead to an elaborate and often untraceable form of tax evasion. Transactions that may be legal and valid in one jurisdiction may not be enforceable in others. This is not only a threat to civil society, but it also goes beyond traditional principles of taxation ”, SR Dinodia & Co.

Electronic commerce business transactions are not always as transparent as you might think. Due to the modern electronic payment systems that exist, online business transactions can be a bit underground, making it difficult to determine how much the government can actually tax an online business. The result is the sad reality that some companies get away with paying their fair share of taxes. Less taxes paid means less money for schools in our country, health care for our seniors, road repairs, the expansion of major infrastructure projects, etc.

“Nowadays, an electronic payment system obscures the identity of the parties to every transaction and sidelines normal banking channels, making it more difficult to trace electronic transactions than traditional transactions. Web-based businesses sell scanned photos, videos, various intangibles and software, etc. and are generally located in one of the many offshore tax havens for the purpose of minimizing taxes. These tax havens have strict bank confidentiality laws and strict debtor protection laws. By using the Internet, they have the opportunity to keep their income-generating activities more secret than if they were to engage in traditional economy trading, ”SR Dinodia & Co.

Another consideration is the legal liability of e-commerce companies. Where does the responsibility and guilt start and end for online businesses that sell products and services from third-party vendors? Should online businesses be legally responsible for faulty products and services that they don’t even own or over which they don’t have ownership rights? Surprisingly, the courts said “yes” and made an example of the largest online retailer, Amazon.

“In 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled that Amazon was responsible for a dog collar that it sold to a third-party supplier that caused permanent vision loss to an woman from Pennsylvania. For the average ecommerce startup, the decision illustrates the importance of clearly defining a product’s responsibilities and warranties, especially if you’re dealing with third-party vendors. You can be sued by customers for product defects for items your company doesn’t even manufacture, but you can spend thousands of dollars on legal fees to defend your company in a lawsuit, ”Business.com .

I am a huge fan of online shopping. All of my new work wardrobe was purchased through a good online men’s retailer. It was easy. Quickly done. Effective. Secured. And very user-friendly. But this ease comes at a price. Are Online Ecommerce Businesses Bypassing Legal Limits To Make Huge Profits? Do consumers care that their enraged consumerism may exacerbate the problems and challenges that exist with e-commerce? I don’t know all the correct answers, but what I do know is that there is a pair of beige oxfords that I saw online that I need to add to my wardrobe, and the price is right. . Click on!

Michael Robinson is a mild-mannered freelance journalist, award-winning business leader and college administrator, and community activist. Robinson resides in the small town of Lansdowne in Delaware County.

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