The efficiency and convenience of using e-commerce in the 21st century have brought high expectations to entrepreneurs to broaden and commercialize their brands and businesses. Nevertheless, due to the increase of e-commerce fraud online, especially online shopping. According to a survey, “125 retailers constitute 13% of online trading projects that online scams attempts will rise 43% this year over last” (Shin 2016).
This discourages the customer to trust in e-commerce platforms. Many argued that the online shopping platforms should be held responsible because of their negligence. But I strongly agree that the seller and the buyer should be responsible for the increase in e-commerce scams.
Firstly, the buyers should be held responsible for the increase in e-commerce scams because of the carelessness of buyers where they provide their personal information online without knowing that the online shopping site is certified or safe to shop at. This is because an unsecured website could possible steal the buyer’s information such as credit card fraud and identity theft.
Credit card fraud is no simple matter because global payment system, announce that global card fraud losses totalled around $22.8 billion in 2016, an increase of 4.4% over 2015 (Seidler 2018). According to a survey, 27% said identity theft happened when they shop online during the holiday season and 16% told that it only happened while shopping online on Cyber Monday, one of the most favoured online shopping days of the year (Tatham 2018).
Other than that, financial services sector detected and experienced the greatest rise in the number of attacks on identity theft was 15% from 2006 to 2007 in e-commerce (O’Raghallaigh 2015). In short, the buyers should be careful when they are purchasing products online and to always check that the online platform is certified and safe to avoid credit card theft and identity theft.
Secondly, buyers make mistake by not reading the reviews of other buyers when they are purchasing products or services online which could lead to the increase of e-commerce scams. According to statistics, 90% of the buyers read online reviews before they explore a business, and 88% of buyers put have faith on online reviews as much as personal suggestions (Saleh, n.d).
Other than that, reviews are important because they can extinguish any doubts of potential fraud the customers might have about a product as well as help with the selection of the products (Charlton 2012). According to Fullerton (2017), online reviews can be the best marketing tool and decision-making tool because consumers want to learn about other people’s experience to be much more confident on the product that they are going to purchase.
Therefore, when buyers do not pay attention on these reviews, it will cause them to purchase from illegitimate sellers. Thus, reviews are important to all buyers because it helps them to understand the product better and to avoid making mistakes that could lead to being scammed.
However, the sellers who participate in scams are also the one who to blame for the increase of scams because of their unethical practices to gaining quick profits that would benefit them but not the customers. Unethical business practices occur because of pressure from supervisors, when managers place an unrealistic and unattainable target that gives stress and they would tend to do anything to avoid being executed from their office (Pundita 2017).
For example, working in an environment that has cynicism or diminished morale, improper training, or ignorance are acts of unethical behaviour causes people to not think clearly (Schwartz 2014). Other than that, seller who are refusing to respond and correct customers complaints is also an unethical behaviour.
Ignoring unhappy customers that complain about the service they received was bad and not immediately seeking for a solution is a negative thing to do (Gregory 2010). In short, unethical behaviour in a seller’s playbook is not good for online business and would only cause problems as well as the increase of potential scams to happen.
In conclusion, the buyers must take responsibility for their carelessness when it comes to online shopping and avoid giving any personal information to the uncertified and unsafe online shopping websites. However, not only the buyers are the one to blame but also the sellers who are willing to jeopardise their online business by involving themselves in scamming activities in order to get more profit. The seller and buyer must respect each other in order to have good and long lasting relationship.
Both the seller and the buyer must follow and respect the ethics of online shopping and online marketing. Ethics are important because it distinguishes between the right and the wrong of human actions and help them learn from their previous mistakes and making sure to avoid any misunderstanding in the future so that the proses of sales and purchase in online shopping could flow smoothly without any troubles.