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E-commerce: Defining its scope and risks within the retail industry

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The retail sector has faced many challenges in recent years, but the emergence of e-commerce has been a bright spot for companies that have embraced it. The strategy has been a significant generator of revenue, even as many retailers have experienced a drop in sales due to the uncertain economy. Surveys indicated a 39 percent growth in online sales on Thanksgiving this past year, a 24 percent Black Friday increase and a 33 percent rise on Cyber Monday; a welcome boost in what had otherwise been a difficult year.

If you are not actively involved in e-commerce, it would be wise to begin developing a strategy, as it will likely be a key criterion for growth moving forward. However, there are significant risks to be cognizant of, as companies have difficulty defining e-commerce and the expectations within the business. Find out how to define and evaluate your company's specific risks related to areas such as the business model, supply chain, personnel and technology.

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