The past century experienced a proliferation of retail formats in the marketplace. However, as a new century begins, these retail formats are being threatened by the emergence of a new kind of store, the online or Internet store. From being almost a novelty in 1995, online retailing sales were expected to reach $7 billion by 2000 . In this increasngly time-constrained world, Internet stores allow consumers to shop from the convenience of remote locations. Yet most of these Internet stores are losing money .Why is such counterintuitive phenomena prevailing? The explanation may lie in the risks associated with Internet shopping. These risks may arise because consumers are concerned about the security of transmitting credit card information over the Internet. Consumers may also be apprehensive about buying something without touching or feeling it and being unable to return it if it fails to meet their approval. Having said this, however, we must point out that consumers are buying goods on the Internet. This is reflected in the fact that total sales on the Internet are on the increase [8, 11]. Who are the consumers that are patronizing the Internet? Evidently, for them the perception of the risk associated with
Communications of the ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Published: Nov 1, 2000
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