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What kind of information materials are available?
CD: Texts available on CD version.Texts available in multiple languages.

· Department of Commerce. E-GOV
e-commerce definition
Federal Trade Commission - Protecting America's Consumer
· Pew Survey about:
The Internet and Consumer Choice

Original Documents
· E-Commerce 2006
· E-Stats: Frequently Asked Questions
· Electronic Signature in Global and National Commerce Act

· Measuring the Electronic Economy
· Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales

· Retail E-Commerce Sales
· Statistical Abstract 2008: Online Retail Sales

Teacher Resources
· How E-Commerce Influences Consumer Choice
· Impacts of Electronic Commerce

Link Lists
· Small Business information Center: E-Commerce Guide
· Federal Trade Commission. Privacy Initiative
E-Commerce Times


Computer screen and shopping cartThe convergence of computer and telecommunications technologies has revolutionized how we get, store, retrieve, and share information. Consumers now routinely use computer networks to identify sellers, evaluate products and services, compare prices, and exert market leverage. Electronic commerce (e-commerce) are business processes which shift transactions to the Internet. E-commerce is growing at a rapid rate. The value of e-commerce transactions, while still small relative to the size of the U.S. economy, continues to show strong growth despite a recent economic downturn. More significant than the dollar amount of these transactions, however, are the new business processes. Many new Internet-based companies and traditional producers of goods and services are working to transform their business processes into e-commerce processes in an effort to lower costs, improve customer service, and increase productivity, with varying degrees of success.

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced in May 2008 that U.S. retail e-commerce sales for 2006 reached $ 107 billion, up from $ 87 billion in 2005 - an increase of 22 percent. From 2001 to 2006, retail e-sales increased at an average annual growth rate of of 25.4 percent, compared with 4.8 percent for total retail sales. In 2006 e-commerce sales were 2.7 percent of total sales. Over 90 percent of retail e-sales were concentrated in two industry groups: Nonstore retailers (73 percent, $78 billion), and Motor Vehicles and Parts Dealer (19 percent, $20 billion)

There are a range of policy issues which will certainly affect the future of e-commerce activities. Internet use erases national boundaries, and the growth of e-commerce on the Internet and the complexity of these issues mean that domestic and global e-commerce policies will become increasingly intertwined. Issues currently under discussion include Internet taxation, encryption and electronic authentication (i.e., digital signatures), intellectual property protection (i.e., patent or copyright infringement), computer network security, privacy safeguards for individuals and organizations, and telecommunications infrastructure development. In the United States, legislation enacted as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001(USA PATRIOT ACT of 2001, P.L. 107-56) gave U.S. lawmakers greater authority to gain access to electronic financial transactions (for example, to ferret out illegal money laundering).

See also:
About the USA > Science & Technology > Information Technology

Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
Any reference obtained from this server to a specific commercial product, process, or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the United States Government of the product, process, or service, or its producer or provider. The views and opinions expressed in any referenced document do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government.
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Updated:May 2008