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Limitations of e-Commerce (e-Business)

- you should understand some of the limitations and be able to explain these to a potential client
because not everyone is convinced the internet will be a major way to conduct business
- example TV has been around for a long time - but only a small percentage of all companies
advertize on TV !!
- radio - some very successful companies, like Sleep Country Canada advertise on radio

Schneider uses the term "Disadvantages" but we can

KEY interpret this to mean the same thing as "limitations"
o Technical Limitations o Non-Technical Limitations

o Technical Limitations

o costs of a technological solution

o some protocols are not standardized around the world
o reliability for certain processes
o insufficient telecommunications bandwidth
o software tools are not fixed but constantly evolving (ie. Netscape 3,4,4.7,4.75 etc.)
o integrating digital and non-digital sales and production information
o access limitations of dial-up, cable, ISDN, wireless
o some vendors require certain software to show features on their pages, which is not
common in the standard browser used by the majority
o Difficulty in integrating e-Commerce infrastructure with current organizational IT

see also

Some of the points in the above list are adapted from Schneider et al Electronic Commerce 5th Ed. and Turban et al Electronic
Commerce: A Managerial Perspective 2004

o Non-Technical Limitations

o customer fear of personal information being used wrongly

 privacy issues
o customer expectations unmet
o rules and regulations (ie. Jan 2004 Bill C6 - new privacy law)
o security and privacy
 vulnerability to fraud and other crimes
o lack of trust and user resistance
 fear of payment information being unsecure
o tactile limitations
o Schnieder, 3rd ed. added "many businesses face cultural and legal obstacles"
 legal issues outstanding such as jurisdiction
 legal environment has many new and conflicting laws
 cultural obstacles
 linguistic challenges
o limitations of support services
 financial cost
 sourcing tech support in foreign languages
o lack of critical mass in certain market areas for sellers and buyers
o accessibility outside of urban/suburban and areas effects universality
o higher employee training required to be click and mortar
o people's resistance to change

o people not used to faceless / paperless / non-physical transactions

"Three particular pitfalls or mistakes that will undercut or delay the benefits of e-commerce. They
1. Broad expectations.
We must avoid over-expecting—or over-promising—e-commerce lest we create a backlash
when its promises are not fulfilled. E-commerce will not, in and of itself, correct all the industry's
2. Rote applications.
Little or no improvements will come from the rote imposition of e-commerce techniques on bad
practices. Ensuring the appropriate application of e-commerce requires us to ask more than
whether we can apply e-commerce to a practice and to consider whether we should... For
example, it does little good, and may even do harm, if suppliers simply receive inaccurate
information more quickly via the Internet.
3. Incomplete implementation
The benefits of e-commerce will be restricted if we do not recognize its full system implications,
and instead implement it in limited ways that only partially meet its requirements. For example,
some e-commerce benefits depend on replacing people with bytes. To the extent that we do not
reduce headcount, or even worse, run parallel people/byte systems, e-commerce’s benefits will
be limited.