Online shopping knows a tremendous development nowadays, with customers turning to their personal computers, laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices to access various shopping websites and purchase their needed items. One of this website, and probably the most successful in the online shopping market, is e-Bay. As a consumer to consumer multinational company, eBay intermediates the offers of the sellers with the demands of the customers all around the world. In this global business environment it is possible for a customer from Eastern Europe to purchase a classical movie package from a buyer from North America, Asia, or any other part of the globe. However, such online purchases does come with various concerns for customers, given by the specificity of the online environment. As such, online environment is the place where frauds occur, as a result of the identity theft, of the account theft or as a result of selling items that never reach the customer, or that do not correspond with the expected and promised quality, or that has fake reviews in order to engage online customers into buying the items that do not meet their needs (Garver “Top 5 Dangers”).
However, being the leader of the online shopping industry, eBay has experimented various solutions for dealing with the above listed risks of the online shopping and, the company developed strategies for addressing these concerns, such as buyer protection service, which guarantees that all eligible items that do not reach the eligible buyers are covered by eBay Buyer Protection Policy (eBay official website). In fact, this strategy can be considered a strength of eBay, through which the company can address some of the security concerns of the buyers.
Regarding the types of purchase that the customers are likely to be using when purchasing online products on eBay, the company’s website proposes seven such types of purchase: comparing buying formats (allows the customers to compare various purchasing options when interested in an eBay item), auction-style format (where the highest bidder wins the auctioned item), buy it now, eBay shopping cart (that allows customers to reserve items in their shopping cart and purchase them individually or grouped, if the items are from the same seller), classified ads (allowing the direct dealing with the seller, but not benefiting from eBay buyer protection advantage), motor classified ad (allowing the search of vehicles close to the buyer, direct interaction with the seller, without the benefit of eBay buyer protection agreement) (eBay official website). Depending on the type of purchase selected by the buyer, eBay requests varied information, such as registering the details as a buyer, giving the account information for moving up with the purchase, and also the contact information from the customer.
eBay demands its customers to first register as buyers and this is the first and main condition to start using the platform for purchasing various items. This step implies demanding personal information and contact details, which may be needed in case of a buyer protection situation or in case there might be a dispute between the eBay buyer and an eBay seller. eBay also demands the payment method desired by the purchaser for knowing how and when the item will be paid. Likewise, eBay demands a feedback from its customers (eBay official website), which increase the accuracy of the website, and in the same time it emphasizes its brand equity.
eBay. Official Website. Accessed on 7 October 2013, retrieved from http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/formats.html#cart. N.d. Web.
Garver, Abe. Top 5 Dangers of Online Shopping and Precautions to Take on Cyber Monday. Accessed on 7 October 2013, retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/abegarver/2012/09/11/the-top-five-dangers-of-online-shopping-precautions-to-take/.