The Internet has changed
many aspects of our lives, including the way we communicate with each
other, how we keep track of our finances, how we do research, and even
where and how we buy things. E-Commerce has been revolutionizing the business
world, growing steadily every year in breadth and depth. The Census Bureau
reported that 2003 first quarter U.S. e-commerce sales totaled $11.9 billion,
a 25.9% increase from last year's first quarter.
There are a variety of ways to purchase things online, and many traditional
methods of purchasing things are becoming obsolete because of the convenience
and speed of online transactions. Online Auctions offer sellers the ability
to reach a worldwide marketplace from their own home, and offers buyers
an immense amount of products along with the flexibility of naming their
own price. Travelers now have the opportunity to bargain shop for airline
tickets, a luxury that was unheard of before travel sites and airlines
sold airline tickets online. Even established retailers that have sold
their products in the same way for decades have had to offer their products
online to compete with emerging retail sites such as Amazon.com.
Buying and selling online is quickly becoming a major source of business
in America and throughout the world.
As the Internet continues to grow and influence our lives even more, there
is no telling how far e-commerce will develop. The following are just
some of the aspects of e-commerce that have flourished in recent years
and promise to continue to change the way we make purchases.