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Unpublished Paper
ELECTRONIC COMMERCE AND LEGAL PROTECTION FOR CONSUMERS IN SPAIN
ExpressO (2009)
  • Juan-Antonio Mondejar-Jimenez
  • Mª Angeles Zurilla-Cariñana
  • Jose Mondejar-Jimenez
Abstract

Electronic commerce is becoming increasingly common at international level. It is defined as “doing business electronically across the extended enterprise”, which includes all forms of business, administrative transactions and information exchanges in which any type of information or communication technology is used. It has also been defined as “the form of commerce that by using the services and links provided in electronic documents in the Internet, allows the customer to query, select and purchase a distributor's offer using a device that is connected to the Internet, in real time and at any time or place”. In Spain, the Information Society Services and Electronic commerce Act defines in its appendix, among others, the concept of “information society service”, but it does not at any stage, in the appendix or elsewhere in the Act, define the concept of “electronic commerce”. Nonetheless, the first item included in the list of "information society service" categories, “the hiring of goods and services by electronic means”, despite not mentioning the defined concept, appears to be an acceptable definition of what may be understood by electronic commerce .

It is precisely the appearance of electronic commerce that is bringing about relevant changes in consumers' shopping habits in recent years, with repercussions and complete alterations of their relationship with conventional commercial establishments.

The massive growth of electronic commerce in recent years indicates the special potential of this new sales channel . In fact, on the basis of the various sources and data published on a regular basis on the evolution of supply and demand in this field, we should point out from the perspective of the supply that at international level, the main reasons why companies create web pages are as follows: to provide information to Internet users, to offer services and support, for marketing, branding and promotion initiatives, as a sales channel and to a lesser extent, for cost-saving. From the perspective of the demand, the number of Internet users has registered exponential growth in the last five years. From the perspective of the supply, it is important to highlight that the increase in the use of the new technologies is a clearly rising curve.

This growth is due to the advantages obtained by the company in using the Internet, which according to the literature related to this field of research, are mainly the increasing number of Internet users; the possibility of global access offered by this medium due to the partial disappearance of logistic and geographical barriers; the possibility of establishing ongoing interactive contacts with customers, thus promoting long-term relations; saving on costs (distribution, office materials, human errors in inventories, in marketing functions…); the possibility of carrying out customised marketing strategies in real time; the leveraging of good technological opportunities and access to information on an immediate basis, with no time or spatial barriers .

Therefore, to what is the lack of interest in electronic commerce in Spain due to and consequently, what factors determine the adoption of the Internet as a sales channel? On the one hand, we may highlight a series of internal factors that may be controlled by the company and which are relatively easy to influence: top management, the strategic plan for implementing the Internet and electronic commerce in the company and the availability of resources (technological, human and financial). On the other hand, there are a series of external or environmental factors that will also determine the possibilities of the Internet being adopted as a sales channel . To be specific, logistic problems, a certain degree of insecurity regarding the legal framework for Internet sales, security problems related to payments, the shopping habits of consumers that are not yet familiar with this type of environments as a shopping channel and the most important obstacle, the non-suitability of products for sale over the Internet.

Keywords
  • ELECTRONIC COMMERCE,
  • LEGAL PROTECTION,
  • CONSUMERS
Disciplines
Publication Date
January 6, 2009
Citation Information
Juan-Antonio Mondejar-Jimenez, Mª Angeles Zurilla-Cariñana and Jose Mondejar-Jimenez. "ELECTRONIC COMMERCE AND LEGAL PROTECTION FOR CONSUMERS IN SPAIN" ExpressO (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/juan_antonio_mondejar_jimenez/3/