According to a research done in January 2014, 87% of the American adult population use the internet. Most of these adults use mobile devices to access the internet. More men use the internet as compared to men. Statistically, 87% of men use the internet. On the other hand, 86% of women use the internet. Ethnically, whites are the ones who use the internet most. The Pew Research Centre indicated that 85% of white adults, 81% of African-American adults and 83% of Hispanic adults use the internet. The use of the internet significantly varies across various age groups. The most frequent internet users are aged between 18 and 29 years. This age group recorded a 97% internet usage. Adults aged between 30 and 49 years recorded a 93% internet usage. Adults aged between 50 and 64 and those aged above 65 years recorded 88% and 57% internet usage respectively (Pew Research Center, 2014).
The research shows that the frequency of internet usage increases with an increase in annual income. Households which earn $75,000+ recorded 99%, while those earning below $30,000 annually recorded a 77% internet usage. The type of community also has a substantial influence on the use of the internet. The urban, suburban and rural communities recorded internet usage by 88%, 87%, and 83% respectively. Clearly, the use of the internet is not only influenced by age, but also one’s income, education and type of community (Pew Research Center, 2014).
The results obtained in 2014 are very distinct from those collected in 2012. Generally, there has been a significant increase in internet use across all ages, sexes, education levels, income levels and communities. For instance, the 2012 research depicted that only 49% men and 51% women were using the internet. The trend across ages was different. Surprisingly, the adults aged between 18 and 24 years were the least users of the internet with a usage rate of 16%, while the eldest, age group of 55+ recorded a 26% rate which was the highest that year (Pew Research Center, 2014).
There are various legal and social trends and issues in the e-commerce sector and internet use. For instance, the issue of digital signatures has been trending for a long time. E-commerce transactions are equated to contracts. Therefore, like any other contract, validity is a sensitive and crucial aspect. However, it gets a little complicated to validate contracts in the internet environment given that the transactions are paperless. To help solve such problems, digital signatures were introduced. These signatures have helped increase the growth of E-commerce since they ensure that the involved parties have agreed to enter to a contractual agreement. The digital signature technology creates the evidence imperative for the integrity and validity of the electronic contract. In addition, this technology is able to detect if any changes have been made to the contract since its signing (In Lee, 2014).
E-commerce has been subjected to various issues touching on taxation. For instance, in November 2014, Main Streets claimed that there was a loophole which gave an unfair upper hand to the online retailers over the Main Street competitors. They also claimed that the unfairness was costing the local communities tax revenues and jobs. In addition, it creates a substantial unfairness in the trading places for both the consumers and business alike. Firstly, the challenge was on taxing the e-commerce businesses. This challenge is currently going on in India, where they do not know how to tax the newly introduce Amazon Company (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2014).
There are also social issues in this sector. The use of social media has continually become a big success for E-commerce businesses. Currently, it is said that if your e-commerce business is not engaging in social media, you are missing a lot of opportunities. Many experts in this industry concur that social media goes beyond mere brand promotion. It gives the online business a platform to interact effectively with its target audience. The E-commerce businesses have turned to social marketing campaigns which focus on creating a buzz amongst the target audience. The use of social media has turned out to be one of the most recent trends in the industry (In Lee, 2014).
Adoption of E-commerce strategies may have negative or positive implications on the business ventures. In America, the most successful online business is the Amazon Company. The company holds the highest sales volume among all web-based businesses. Clearly, the other E-commerce ventures can learn various things, from Amazon particularly regarding strategy adoption. The basic strategy implemented by Amazon is that of optimizing the business’ site to suit the product’s nature as well as the customers’ preferences. This ensures that the site’s content is perfectly customized. In addition, the business should adopt the most suitable software for its site operations. For instance, Amazon uses a pattern recognition software. This will enable the site to review a customer’s purchase history in order to make a recommendation list for the customer. Such features enable an E-commerce business to thrive amidst competition (Fox, 2009).
Communication is key in any E-commerce business. This enhances the customer relations as well as customer services offered. For instance, Amazon has adopted a highly integrated customer service system. The system supports communications through telephone, fax, and email. Communication between the customers and the business venture should be kept effective to allow the business to get feedback on its services and products. It also enhances the organizational responsiveness of the business. Such strategies will only have positive impacts on the current and future E-commerce ventures (Fox, 2009).
Dell has also significantly prospered in this industry. According to this company, it is imperative for E-commerce ventures to adopt customization and personalization tools. For smaller enterprises, they can integrate their websites with those of their trading partners to help ease their costs. In addition, the firms ought to place equal value on the product’s quality and content of their site. The firms should be concerned about the quality of customer service they offer for it is crucial in creating a broad base of customers. The adoption of such strategies has been proven to yield positive results (Fox, 2009).
E-government adoption may be defined as the intention to have citizens engage in information exchange and request the government services. E-government is a complex multidimensional construct. For the e-government adoption to succeed, various things must be put into considerations. Firstly, the site should offer the citizens utmost satisfaction. Satisfaction may be defined as the fulfillment one derives from a service. Analytically, customer satisfaction is differentiated into two constituent parts: overall satisfaction and transactional satisfaction. Transactional satisfaction may be defined as satisfaction drawn from particular individual transactions. The quality of transactional satisfaction differs from one transaction to another. Overall satisfaction is obtained when numerous transactional specific satisfactions are recorded as positive. It is imperative that e-government adoption provides the citizens with the highest levels of satisfaction. Higher levels of citizen’s satisfaction will in turn increase the rate at which the adoption will occur (Sebina, Moahi, & Bwalya, 2014).
The quality of services offered impacts citizen satisfaction. For the government to succeed in this online business, it has to provide the best quality of services. The governments need to comprehend the needs of its citizens and also tailor services which will adequately cater for those needs. The government may adopt an e-strategy founded on a user-perspective approach. This approach will help determine how information may be effectively organized as well as how it is delivered to citizens. While planning, the needs of the citizens should be given a higher priority than those of the government. As a result, the services offered are founded on the needs of the users rather than departmental structures. The quality of the services offered may be measured based on empathy, tangibles, responsiveness, reliability and assurance. The government may further subdivide the services to cover citizens, and non-citizens. The web design is very imperative in the adoption process. Therefore, the e-government sites should be designed so as to serve the target market effectively and efficiently (Sebina, Moahi, & Bwalya, 2014).
Fox, S. C. (2009). E-riches 2.0: Next-generation marketing strategies for making millions online. New York: American Management Association.
In Lee, I. (2014). Trends in e-business, e-services, and e-commerce: Impact of technology on goods, services, and business transactions.
National Conference of State Legislatures. (2014, November 14). Collecting E-Commerce Taxes | E-Fairness Legislation. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/fiscal-policy/collecting-ecommerce-taxes-an-interactive-map.aspx
Pew Research Center. (2012, November 7). A Comparison of Results from Surveys by the Pew Research Center and Google Consumer Surveys | Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.people-press.org/2012/11/07/a-comparison-of-results-from-surveys-by-the-pew-research-center-and-google-consumer-surveys/
Pew Research Center. (2014). Internet User Demographics | Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/data-trend/internet-use/latest-stats/
Sebina, P. M. I. I. M., Moahi, K. H., & Bwalya, K. J. (2014). Digital access and e-government: Perspectives from developing and emerging countries.