Items which can fit in a standard mailbox—such as music CDs, DVDs and books—are particularly suitable for a virtual marketer. This section needs additional citations for verification.
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In a conventional retail store, clerks are generally available to answer questions. Some online stores have real-time chat features, but most rely on e-mails or phone calls to handle customer questions. Even if an online store is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the customer service team may only be available during regular business hours. One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services provided by many different vendors though some local search engines do exist to help consumers locate products for sale in nearby stores.
Search engines, online price comparison services and discovery shopping engines can be used to look up sellers of a particular product or service. Shipping costs if applicable reduce the price advantage of online merchandise, though depending on the jurisdiction, a lack of sales tax may compensate for this. Shipping a small number of items, especially from another country, is much more expensive than making the larger shipments bricks-and-mortar retailers order.
Some retailers especially those selling small, high-value items like electronics offer free shipping on sufficiently large orders. Another major advantage for retailers is the ability to rapidly switch suppliers and vendors without disrupting users' shopping experience.
Given the lack of ability to inspect merchandise before purchase, consumers are at higher risk of fraud than face-to-face transactions. When ordering merchandise online, the item may not work properly, it may have defects, or it might not be the same item pictured in the online photo.
Merchants also risk fraudulent purchases if customers are using stolen credit cards or fraudulent repudiation of the online purchase. However, merchants face less risk from physical theft by using a warehouse instead of a retail storefront.
Secure Sockets Layer SSL encryption has generally solved the problem of credit card numbers being intercepted in transit between the consumer and the merchant. However, one must still trust the merchant and employees not to use the credit card information subsequently for their own purchases, and not to pass the information to others. Also, hackers might break into a merchant's web site and steal names, addresses and credit card numbers, although the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is intended to minimize the impact of such breaches.
Identity theft is still a concern for consumers. A number of high-profile break-ins in the s has prompted some U. Computer security has thus become a major concern for merchants and e-commerce service providers, who deploy countermeasures such as firewalls and anti-virus software to protect their networks. Phishing is another danger, where consumers are fooled into thinking they are dealing with a reputable retailer, when they have actually been manipulated into feeding private information to a system operated by a malicious party.
Denial of service attacks are a minor risk for merchants, as are server and network outages. Quality seals can be placed on the Shop web page if it has undergone an independent assessment and meets all requirements of the company issuing the seal. The purpose of these seals is to increase the confidence of online shoppers. However, the existence of many different seals, or seals unfamiliar to consumers, may foil this effort to a certain extent.
A number of resources offer advice on how consumers can protect themselves when using online retailer services. Although the benefits of online shopping are considerable, when the process goes poorly it can create a thorny situation. A few problems that shoppers potentially face include identity theft, faulty products, and the accumulation of spyware.
Most large online corporations are inventing new ways to make fraud more difficult. However, criminals are constantly responding to these developments with new ways to manipulate the system. Even though online retailers are making efforts to protect consumer information, it is a constant fight to maintain the lead. It is advisable to be aware of the most current technology and scams to protect consumer identity and finances.
Product delivery is also a main concern of online shopping. Most companies offer shipping insurance in case the product is lost or damaged. Some shipping companies will offer refunds or compensation for the damage, but this is up to their discretion. The lack of full cost disclosure may also be problematic. While it may be easy to compare the base price of an item online, it may not be easy to see the total cost up front. Additional fees such as shipping are often not visible until the final step in the checkout process.
The problem is especially evident with cross-border purchases, where the cost indicated at the final checkout screen may not include additional fees that must be paid upon delivery such as duties and brokerage.
Some services such as the Canadian-based Wishabi attempts to include estimates of these additional cost,  but nevertheless, the lack of general full cost disclosure remains a concern. Privacy of personal information is a significant issue for some consumers.
Many consumers wish to avoid spam and telemarketing which could result from supplying contact information to an online merchant. In response, many merchants promise to not use consumer information for these purposes, Many websites keep track of consumer shopping habits in order to suggest items and other websites to view. Brick-and-mortar stores also collect consumer information. Some ask for a shopper's address and phone number at checkout, though consumers may refuse to provide it.
Many larger stores use the address information encoded on consumers' credit cards often without their knowledge to add them to a catalog mailing list. This information is obviously not accessible to the merchant when paying in cash or through a bank money transfer, in which case there is also proof of payment. Many successful purely virtual companies deal with digital products, including information storage, retrieval, and modification , music, movies, office supplies, education, communication, software, photography, and financial transactions.
Other successful marketers use drop shipping or affiliate marketing techniques to facilitate transactions of tangible goods without maintaining real inventory.
Some non-digital products have been more successful than others for online stores. Profitable items often have a high value-to-weight ratio, they may involve embarrassing purchases, they may typically go to people in remote locations, and they may have shut-ins as their typical purchasers. Items which can fit in a standard mailbox—such as music CDs, DVDs and books—are particularly suitable for a virtual marketer.
Products such as spare parts, both for consumer items like washing machines and for industrial equipment like centrifugal pumps, also seem good candidates for selling online. Retailers often need to order spare parts specially, since they typically do not stock them at consumer outlets—in such cases, e-commerce solutions in spares do not compete with retail stores, only with other ordering systems.
A factor for success in this niche can consist of providing customers with exact, reliable information about which part number their particular version of a product needs, for example by providing parts lists keyed by serial number.
Products less suitable for e-commerce include products that have a low value-to-weight ratio, products that have a smell, taste, or touch component, products that need trial fittings—most notably clothing—and products where colour integrity appears important.
Nonetheless, some web sites have had success delivering groceries and clothing sold through the internet is big business in the U. High-volume websites, such as Yahoo! These stores are presented within an integrated navigation framework, sometimes known as virtual shopping malls or online marketplaces. One of the great benefits of online shopping is the ability to read product reviews, written either by experts or fellow online shoppers.
In addition to online reviews, peer recommendations on online shopping pages or social media websites play a key role  for online shoppers when they are researching future purchases. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the W3C storage standard, see Web Storage.
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Bricks and clicks business model Comparison of free software e-commerce web application frameworks Dark store Direct imports Digital distribution Electronic business Online auction business model Online music store Online pharmacy Online shopping malls Online shopping rewards Open catalogue Personal shopper Retail therapy Types of retail outlets Tourist trap. Managing E-commerce in Business.
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Office of fair trading. The story goes that alchemists were searching for the formula for making gold. They wanted to transform the mundane into something exquisite.
By blending together different substances, they hoped to create the most precious material in existence. We pursue that same dream and believe that alchemy can occur when different elements come into contact with one another. We want to inspire, not dictate. Because beautiful clothes feel right. We are continuously striving to make Alchemist even more sustainable, and therefore consider carefully any new steps we take in this light.
It calls for constant dedication to working as sustainably as possible. Our commitment is long-term: Our founder and designer, Caroline Mewe, is a welcome guest at business conferences, speaking on how to make the fashion industry more sustainable. This is a robust covenant containing legally binding agreements between companies, government, trade unions and other stakeholders.
Read all about the five-year plan of the covenant. Finger on the pulse. As a signatory to the Covenant, every year Alchemist undergoes a thorough mandatory audit by the SER. This means we allow two independent parties to look over our shoulder and make sure we do what we say we do. The analyses that come out of these audits also help us identify where we can further improve our sustainability performance.
We visit our producers at least once a year, but usually more frequently, to monitor the conditions on site. Since , we have engaged a part-time employee to help us achieve our stated goals and to help Alchemist further improve its sustainability performance.
In the first quarter of , together with another FWF member, we commissioned an audit on the minimum wage policy of one of our most important suppliers in Portugal.
In our annual reports, you can see exactly what percentage of our collection is made from which sustainable materials. Alchemist produces two painstakingly assembled collections every year. Making sure our designs can easily be combined with those from previous collections. Our quality standards are high, because what is well-made lasts a long time.
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