Legal Issues in E-Commerce

E commerce is the application of the business principles, ideas and methods through electronic media and more specifically through internet. E commerce is also referred to as internet business and online business are frequently interchanged, and can often be considered synonymous. E-commerce is the process of selling, buying and advertising a brand using the Internet. It includes both direct response marketing and indirect marketing elements and uses a range of technologies to help connect businesses to their customers.

By such a definition, E-business encompasses all the activities a business conducts via the worldwide web with the aim of attracting new business, retaining current business and developing its brand identity. Are all the online or electronic- based activities that facilitate manufacturing of goods and services by the producer to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers? There are two types of websites that are designed for the internet marketing, business to customer and business to business website.

In this regard, each website plays a significant role in development and welfare of the business. In the two types of the website, there are legal and ethical issues that govern each of the two types of website that may differ in one way or another. Ethics, legal and regulatory issues differ on a Business 2 Customer site compared to a Business 2 Business site Business 2 Customer -Ethics and legality in business is very important.

It’s important especially when establishing a good relationship with the clients and in creating a good relationship that is based on trust. In the B2C website, the clients’ information should be kept anonymous as that would a great maintenance of the customers’ ethics. In B2C website, mutual trust is an ethic as agreements between the partnering or the transacting bodies should have a respect to the existing agreement. By not respecting the ethics of the provided information, it might have unwanted impact to the end user which might bring in losses to the company.

To maintain a good relationship between the customers and the business, and business to business, the website management should discuss any changes before they are done and placed on the website. This will enhance that only the right information is given and the customer will have the positive response to the product in question as he has the final say as far as all maters are concerned. In most cases, the customer should be provided with the advice on what might be the consequences of providing personal information on the website as the end user and also from the competitors’ point of view.

Another thing to be considered is that, its not only the customer will be viewing the website but also the competitor may be visiting the website and might get some useful information and learn the business weakness giving him a chance to keep a head in business. (Roger, 2002). In the B2C website, the given transaction procedures and the rules that have been agreed by the partnering business should be respected as an ethic of the business. The main difference with the ethics

As in the designing of this website, the customer should not be cheated in any way, the governance and the regulation of this type of website; it would be unethical to provide any information that would not provide truthful information to the intended buyer. The main aim is to provide the customer with a wide range of information concerning the company’s or the business product, how to find them, where to get them and in some other cases how to use some products especially if they are new to the market.

The internet is one of the most efficient ICT tools that have been of great use to the electronic business. Just at the click of the mouse, a buyer is able to access a wider rage of goods and services which have been posted over the internet. It’s very legal to conduct any business over the internet, but would be illegal to have a business that has no mutual benefit to the customer. The aim of a business to customer website is to reach as many customers as possible and therefore increase the chances of the product being bought by these customers by providing legal information. (BEMA, 2007)

Business to business- Business to business website is a website that is designed for business to business transaction. The legal factors that govern this type of website are more of benefiting the companion that is there between the businesses that are doing the business together. The most important of all is to have legal and ethical benefit between the two businesses. In this type of website, businesses control each others business through the set rules. Other than buying and selling of products to each other, it also comprises the chain management as most companies are partnering in their trades.

This helps in outsourcing parts of the partnering business in their supply chain. B2B e-business has benefits to the companies. It saves time and money for the business as it would be easier to manage the inventory in an effective way, it markets the product more quickly and also reduces the paper work that would have been incurred by the company. (BEMA, 2007 The main difference between these two types of type of websites is that the legality of B2B much concerns on the welfare and the ethical value of the business as opposed to the B2C which concentrates much on the customers.

The regulation of the customer to business site is in most cases governed by the government or the constitutional law while the business to business sites are regulated by the set agreements by the transacting businesses.

Reference: BEMA, (2007), Business Ethics Marketing and Advertising, Retrieved from http://pwebs. net/marketing/ethics/marketing_and_advertising_ethics. htm on 17th Nov 2008 Roger, M. (2002). The Legal and E-Commerce Environment Toda

Sarah from Law Aspect

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