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Ethics in internet selling and advertising

Ethics in internet selling and advertising

The digital world has made shopping easier. Be it a pair of sunglasses or a home theatre system, everything is available on the internet. The e-commerce market in India is estimated to be around $16 Billion as of 2013 according to ‘Online Shopping – Review & Outlook in 2013’ which was releasd by Asschom. This would mean that there are a great number of people who are interested in online shopping and to bring in more customers, e-commerce websites would have to resort to advertising. The best way to promote online shopping would be through strategically placing ads online.

A lot of these ads are present in various websites. They start from social networking sites to media websites to blogs. You must have encountered these ads everywhere while surfing the net. With the ever increasing advertisements, there comes a time when ads can just plain irritate the customer. These ads reduce the customer interface with the website or wrongly lead the person to another website. Such ads may catch attention but they tend to annoy the viewer after the first glance. These ads might help in diverting traffic to the website but it really does not serve the purpose of the brand or product.

Another trend when it comes to advertising is of the dialogue box type feature. Dialogue boxes which pop up makes it look like the desktop is warning them of some problem. These have a tendency to be clicked at. Instead of conveying the message these ads just make customers angry. They might not even see the ad and just close the window as it is of no use to them. At times ads are hidden inside the editorial content and the hyperlink that they might click will take them to another page.

SEO’s have also been one way to attract audience to websites. SEO’s main purpose is to garner viewers to their site. So they might misuse it and add a lot of unwanted words just to increase the traffic to their site. This wastes the audience’s time and they might never even visit that website again.

Online ads may also appear as paid reviews. However, the problem is there will be no differentiation between paid and unpaid reviews. There are also PR campaigns that run as features or articles on various website and the reader might be unaware of the same.

Online shopping and advertisement have become extremely unethical.  The sad part is there is no law which stops the unethical usage of ads.

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