Impact of Internet On Society With Special Review On Home-Shopping

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Internet is any network that connects two or more computer networks to each other. In theory, any network of networks is an Internet. For example if the five computers in any office are connected to a network of computers at a local university, then that is an internet-a network between networks.

However when people talk about ”the internet” they are usually referring to the internet that spans the globe, and that connects individuals, businesses, universities, governments, countries and continents.

The reason that this ”Internet” has become so large is that it utilises a particularly adaptable kind of software. The software controls how computers communicate with each other, and it allows any kind of computer to ”talk” to any other kind. This flexibility is what has allowed ”the Internet” to get so big: anyone can hook up to it.

As an Internet user, one becomes a member of the first truly planet-wide community and part of a great experiment in nearly instantaneous communication in words, pictures, sounds, and video. Here you can find more information and entertainment than you could possibly absorb in a lifetime.

How Did The Internet Start? (History of Internet)

The Internet began as a U.S military experiment called DoD ARPA net (Department of Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) over 20 years ago. Because of the potential for nuclear war, and the fact that more and more aspects of national defence relied on computers, the decision was made to create a completely fault- tolerant computer network.

A fault-tolerant network was the goal because such a network would allow for the loss of certain segments of the network. For example, in a fault-tolerant network a computer in Kansas City could be destroyed without cutting off communications between Washington D.C and Los Angeles. The system would immediately re-route all communications through Dallas, so messages would still be able to get from coast to coast.

At the same time that ARPA net was being developed, academic researchers were increasingly using computers. Some of the problems they were tackling required access to the most powerful computers in the world. Arrangements were made to give non-military researchers access to a handful of super computers via the Internet as it existed then.

At that time, windows, the Macintosh system, or any type of graphical intertace, didn’t exist except in experimental environments. But just the ability to send an electronic ”letter” to a friend, or trade scientific papers with someone doing similar research, created a huge demand for internet access. The largest contribution to the internet, however, was made by a few independent computer networking masters who rather than waiting for the government to do so, got together and figured out the standards that could be used by virtually any computer to communicate with others, making the world wide internet possible.

Eventually, with the internet up and running, large companies who had purchased and installed national and international computer networks of their own saw that they could better utilise resources by connecting their computers to the internet.

Today’s Internet is a result of that original small experiment in maintaining control over national defence in case of war. At that time barely one hundred people participated in the Internet. Now, estimates of the number of users range from 10 Million to 30 Million. Nearly every country participates in the Internet, with over 25% of the computers located in Europe.

With the development of Internet it has given rise to home shopping, which has really played apart in our day to day life. To start with, if one is new to the whole process of home shopping, there is an Internet shopping Directory. This site boasts an extensive list of Internet malls and shops, with thousands of entries or alternatively. Use store search to locate stores, just select multiple search criteria to target products, locations, brands and stores.

Electronic Commerce on the Internet

Electronic commerce over the Internet is a new way of conducting business. Once the true potential of the Internet was realised, following the arrival of the world wide web (WWW) and browsers in the early 1990’s, e-commerce over the Internet has accelerated at a massive rate. According to Forrester Research, Business to business e-commerce will total an estimated $17 billion in goods and services in 1998 – more than double the amount in 1997(It is also important to note recent developments in the stock-market – where there has been a great deal of hype surrounding online companies which have yet to make money, despite huge increases in the cost of shares). Electronic commerce (e-commerce) can be defined as any commercial transactions occurring over open networks, such as the Internet. Electronic commerce can be sub-divided into four distinct categories:

1. Business-to-business

2. Business-to-consumer

3. Business-to-administration

4. Consumer-to-administration

Business-to-business transactions are by far the largest category in electronic commerce, and currently account for around 80% of revenue on the Internet. This category has been well established for many years in the form of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) over private networks. EDI on the Internet is developing and an example would be a company that uses the Internet for placing orders with its suppliers, receiving invoices and making payments.

The Business-to-consumer category is spreading rapidly. Electronic retailing on the Internet offers a great deal of potential for driving economic development in the next few years. As stated earlier, the number of users on the Internet is expected to reach 300 million by the year 2000, according to independent analysis these Internet users will be transacting business worth around �184 billion annually. (British Telecom 1998) Many companies have developed web-sites offering the same products and services that can be received in high-street stores. is a good example of a ‘virtual company’ that trades solely on the Internet.

Business-to-administration category covers all transactions between companies and governmental organisations. The consumer-to-administration category is only just beginning to develop; possible developments include electronic transactions of welfare payments, and self-assessed tax returns.

Electronic commerce enables:

* New markets and new ways for buyers and sellers to find each other in these markets;

* New services geared specifically for electronic media;

* The rapid creation of extended enterprises that are competitively superior; and

* Many well-established companies to design improved, more efficient processes, and increased level of customer service and customer interaction, creating new revenue streams.

America was the first country to expand the possibilities of the Internet, yet other countries from all around the world have since helped make the Information Superhighway a global medium. This is the most important factor regarding e-commerce; it is a truly trans-national entity, and far larger than any one country. The IDC estimates that by the year 2002, 60 percent of Internet users and 40 percent of e-commerce revenue will come from outside of the United State.

Convenient is another beauty of Internet shopping. A robot program called a bot is used on the Internet to perform a repetitive function such as posting a message to multiple newsgroups or searching for information. Shopping bots- ask you what you’re looking for, traverse the web for you, find every online store that sells your specific want, and then return with all examples listed, by price. And it allows you to buy the item, right there on excite.

Electronic commerce offers a radically new way of conducting commercial transactions and is potentially one of the major factors in driving economic growth and world development as we enter the next millennium. Electronic commerce on the Internet offers huge benefits to its users – lower prices, greater choice, and better access to information and products. For a good example of how the Internet can reduce costs to both the supplier and customer:

– Impact of electronic commerce on transaction costs (for suppliers)

– Airline reservation: $8 via a travel agent, but just $1 via Internet

– Typical banking transaction: $1 via human teller, but just $0.01 via Internet

(Source: US Department of Commerce)

Many companies have used Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) over closed networks for a number of years. The Internet is not however a closed network between a few sites, rather a vast, open network that links millions of computers all over the world.

Shopping bot has also set up an online to help one find the best bargains. If one is looking for a specific CD, for example, the software checks eight different web shops to find the best prices. To purchase, one simply click on the cheapest site. Another software called an intelligent agent, is a software merchant site use to track customer behaviour. When one register with certain sites an agent records what types of products you like so that they can suggest other items you might like.

Another thing that makes e-commerce easy is the shopping basket technology. Virtual shopping baskets allows buyers to pick several items within a web store or mall and load them into a ”basket” that keeps a running tally of selections. When you’ve finished shopping at a particular store, check the contents of the basket – which usually will appear as a list that includes prices and item numbers. If you’ve changed you mind a bout an item, returning it to the virtual shelf usually is as easy as pointing and clicking ”delete”. Then proceed to the online payment form to purchase the remaining items.

On the other hand another thing that makes the ‘Web the ideal shopping tool is the real-world stores often give discounts to those who visit their online incarnations, this actually save one money as well as time by staying home and buying from them online instead of off-line. The web is ideal for conducting intelligent research on products, or for price comparisons between different companies. There are site on the web positioned as the ”authority” on the quality subject. The site has tons of information on quality issues and conducts a yearly survey on quality. The interactive buyer’s site that compares appliances, automotive items, electronic, services, software, home-office equipment and other stuff.

Another good thing with e-commerce is that one is able to learn about desired products, choose the features you want, and the site will provide you with a list of all the commercially available models that match your specifications.

With home-shopping (e-commerce) there is the better business bureau site, where tips, resources and fraud alerts help one distinguish good deals from bad here. Online vendors can go there to see if their businesses are doing the things people like or complain about. For example if we take the Tesco direct site, they offer two types of home shopping on their site. There are two ways you can shop with Tesco direct, online or offline. Offline shopping involves home-shopping software available for Personally computers (PC) only. This allows one to connect to the Internet to get the latest product and price details, then disconnect to shop to shop offline. It’s faster, because you don’t have to wait for web pages to load you’re not affected by peak time on the Internet. It’s cheaper and more flexible, because you spend less time connected to the Internet and it lets you create and save your own special shopping lists. (Tesco web site).

Secure online ordering and delivery time that suits one, is another thing that makes e-commerce very popular with shoppers. When you order goods you do so over a secure encrypted connection. You also choose a convenient time for the delivery to be made on your doorstep, which is really good for very busy people. And you account will be debited on the day of delivery (not on the day you order your goods), hence any goods your don’t want will be taken out of your bill.

Trust and security on the Internet

Companies who conduct business via the Internet can gain competitive benefits by reaching a worldwide audience, at a very low cost. However, like any other distribution channel, the Internet poses a unique set of security issues, which businesses must address in order to minimise risks.

Despite the increasing popularity of e-commerce for Internet sales, communicating with a mobile work force and the sharing of information with business partner’s, many companies and users continue to perceive the Internet as an insecure environment. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, the lack of existing legislation and legal protection on a national and international scale means that there is a high level of uncertainty involved in e-commerce. Secondly, the physical logistics of transporting information over an open network, such as the Internet, means that the actual security of that information can be compromised unless specific protection is provided.


The rapid growth of the Internet eclipses all other forms of mass-communication in the developed world. In 1994, three million people, most of them in the United States, used the Internet. In 1998, 100 million people around the world use the Internet. By the year 2000 this number is expected to reach 300 million. Some experts believe that one billion people may be connected to the Internet by 2005. This expansion is driving dramatic increases in investments in computers, software, services, and communications, and has acted as a catalyst for the wide range of business and social changes.

At the same time, phone companies and even cable companies are racing to install new high-speed fiber optic networks with the capacity to handle the tremendous amount of traffic that is expected over the next few years. This combination of government and commercially operated networks will eventually provide Internet access to virtually every human being. All this investment in bigger and better computers and networks ensures that the Internet will not only maintain its current capabilities, but provide higher speed at lower cost even as the volume of users and content increases dramatically.

It is extremely difficult to estimate the actual number of people using the Internet; these figures are taken from studies carried out by the US Department of Commerce, although the European Union and OECD have made similar estimates.

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