HTML and CSS Reference
1. Describe three advantages of e-commerce for an entrepreneur just starting a business.
2. Describe three risks that businesses face when engaging in e-commerce.
Define SSL. Describe how an online shopper can tell that an e-commerce site is using SSL.
In B2C e-commerce, the products for sale are displayed in an online catalog. On large
sites, these catalog pages are dynamically created using server-side scripts to access data-
bases. Each item usually has a button or image that invites visitors to “Buy Me” or
“Add to Cart.” Items selected are placed in a virtual shopping cart. When visitors are
finished shopping, they click a button or image link indicating that they want to
“Check Out” or “Place Order.” At this point, the items in their shopping cart are usu-
ally displayed on a Web page with an order form.
Secure ordering is facilitated through the use of SSL. Once an order is placed, there are
a number of methods to pay for the merchandise or service; the payment methods,
called payment models, are cash, check, credit, and smart card.
The cash model is the most difficult to implement—how do you send cash through a
computer? You don't. You use e-cash. You purchase digital money from a bank and
deposit it in a digital wallet. The transfer of funds is immediate. Vendors who provide
this service include InternetCashCard ( http://www.internetcash.com) and ECash Direct
In the check model the consumer writes a digital check to make the purchase. As with
real-world checks, the availability of funds must be verified and the funds are not
transferred immediately. One vendor that provides this service is PayByCheck
Credit card payment processing is a very important component of an e-commerce Web
site. Funds from the customer need to be transferred to the merchant's bank. In order to
accept credit cards, the site owner must apply for a merchant account and be approved.
A merchant account is an agreement between the business and the bank that allows you to
take credit card orders. You may also need real-time credit card verification using a mer-
chant gateway or third party such as Authorize.Net ( http://www.authorizenet.com). A dia-
gram of the credit model process is shown in Figure 12.6. Secure Electronic Transactions
(SET) is a standard protocol that enables secure credit card transactions on the Internet. It
provides security for credit card payments as they travel the Internet between merchant
sites and processing banks. SET uses encryption and digital certificates.