E-commerce is a major contributor to sales globally, with 93.5% of internet users having made at least one purchase through the internet. E-commerce is growing at a rate of 23% per year, and it is expected that it will be a significant sales platform by the year 2040, with 95% of purchases being made online.
What is e Commerce?
E-commerce refers to making business online without interacting with the buyers physically. It is a modern approach to business, and more brands are moving towards e-commerce to boost their sales. E-commerce involves online selling and payments through online payment gateways. While it provides a space for people to sell their products without having a physical store to display their goods, there are also some disadvantages.
Advantages and Disadvantages of eCommerce
|Available 24/4||Lack of direct interaction|
|Larger market||No tactility|
|Lesser cost||More competition|
|Convenient buying||No guarantee of quality|
|More choices||Long delivery time|
|Detailed product information||Internet access needed|
|No need to go out||Website crashing|
|Affordable marketing||Bad reviews cause losses|
|Access to customer data|
|Better sales through reviews|
Advantages of eCommerce
Can customers go to their favorite apparel store at 5 in the morning and get the jacket they need for a trip urgently? No.
But can they order? Yes.
When you set up an e-commerce store, you are 24/7 open and available to your customers without any time restriction. They can place an order any time of the day, and you can dispatch their goods at the soonest to engage the customer and convince them to buy from you often.
The world has become a global village, and e-commerce is the best product of this global village. Websites are worldwide, and you can reach potential customers across oceans if you want to. Even a high school student can do it too. E-commerce gives you access to people globally to expand your business by catering to a large number of people.
E-commerce stores are a one-time cost and do not require continuous maintenance. While you may need 4 employees to run a physical store, e-commerce stores do not require the same workforce. Online selling also saves the cost of electricity and other forms of maintenance in the store, eventually decreasing your monthly expenditure. E-commerce stores are more automated, avoiding human error and reducing the need for many staff members.
Online sales have rocketed in the past years. Do you know why?
E-commerce allows people to buy at the comfort of their homes without going out. Everything they need is readily available on the internet, and they can buy quickly, just with a single click. Many e-commerce stores also provide the option of replacements where they pick the purchased good from your home. E-commerce is every busy shopper’s dream come true.
Anyone might not have enough time to visit one store to another, you can always scroll through multiple stores online. The presence of hundreds of options online gives you more choices to select from, offering a wide range of colors, designs, sizes, and material quality. With so many options, you are more likely to easily find what you want.
Detailed Product Information
Another benefit of e-commerce is the information mentioned with each product for ease. Customers do not have to ask the seller about the features of the product as the product description and details give it all out themselves. You can find all information about a product on the e-commerce store or search engines to make the right choice of purchase.
No Need to Go Out
Online buying has made accessibility easy than ever before. If you do not have enough time to go out and buy the pack of cheese for dinner, order it right away, and it will be at your doorstep in a few minutes. While sometimes you have to pay a minimal delivery fee, e-commerce does not only save time but also cuts down fuel costs.
We won’t say that billboards and TV advertisements are gone, but the era of digital marketing has definitely taken over. Now, most businesses are looking forward to digital marketing and making the best use of social media platforms to market their products to a wider audience. Digital marketing costs less than traditional marketing, and your product reaches a global market.
Access to Customer Data
Online selling gives you access to customer data and enables you to design your store according to customer needs. You can add products that your customers usually look for and cater to the needs of potential customers in a better way. By targeting the right customers with the products they need, you can make them choose you more often.
Better Sales through reviews
Reviews on the internet are just like words of mouth but reach more people. Reviews and testimonials are one of the most effective ways to enhance sales through e-commerce. Reviews on the website by your satisfied customers help new buyers make a decision about the product, and you sell more.
Disadvantages of eCommerce
Lack of Direct Interaction
One of the major drawbacks of e-commerce is the lack of direct interaction. Interactivity and body language are two vital components of communication, and they both are lost during online dealing. This loss of interaction during selling products online sometimes makes the customers move to retail shopping to understand the product better.
Besides not being able to communicate face-to-face with the sellers, the customer also misses the experience of touching and trying the product before buying. Many customers want to try a particular product such as shoes, clothes, spectacles, and others to make sure they are the right fit, but this is not possible in online shopping.
E-commerce allows everyone to create a website and have their online store, increasing the competition among sellers. Buyers visit multiple stores within minutes and choose the one with better quality and lower price. High competition makes business difficult on e-commerce platforms as customers tend to choose products that cost less, and store-owners have to keep prices competitive.
No Guarantee of Quality
Talking of buying something online, there is no 100% guarantee of the product’s quality when it reaches you. It may be the same product as mentioned, but the rate could be worse than you imagined. When setting up an e-commerce store, it is important to ensure that your quality is unparalleled to keep customers loyal to your brand.
Long Delivery Time
Ordering and receiving goods is incredibly easy with online shopping, but not that quick. It usually takes 2 to 3 business days for the purchases to deliver and more if you are ordering from a distant place. Sometimes people avoid shopping online if the store does not offer urgent delivery if needed and prefer to go and buy from a retail store.
Internet access Needed
E-commerce is highly dependent on the availability of the internet as you cannot buy anything online in the absence of an active internet connection. Internet access is a must for online shopping to add an item to your cart and make payment through the card. Some website functionalities need a high-speed internet connection and may not be accessible to buyers with slow internet.
While the need for the internet is inevitable when going for e-commerce, it may have a few other problems. Having an e-commerce store always comes with the possibility of your website crashing or having a glitch that may push your customer to move to another site.
Bad reviews cause Huge Losses
Let’s say you have a bad day and deliver a wrong product to a customer, and they leave a bad review. You may try to fix it, but sometimes buyers are very critical about service and do not hesitate to leave a bad review right away.
Reviews are as risky as beneficial they are for e-commerce. Good reviews can help you get more customers and direct them to your website; bad reviews can stop potential customers from buying from you.
Online shopping comes with numerous security issues and has higher chances of fraud. As people usually pay for purchases through their credit or debit cards, there’s always a risk of stealing information leading to money fraud. If any such scam happens after shopping through your site, the customer usually leaves a bad review, and the word spreads like wildfire. Ensure a safe shopping experience for your customers by providing security and cashback when needed.
The Bottom Line
E-commerce is growing massively, hundreds of females started the business with low investment in recent years at there are a wide market and hundreds of product options to sell and the dimensions of shopping are changing. Now more people are moving towards online shopping as it offers numerous advantages like having more options, getting all information about the product, and the possibility of ordering from an online store any time of the day.
Besides the advantages, some disadvantages also come along, like lengthy delivery time and uncertainty about the quality of the product. Despite the disadvantages, e-commerce is expected to expand more with most purchases and transactions made online. If you are looking to set up online, give it a try with any of these profit generating ideas.
Matthew is a Co-Founder at BusinessFinanceArticles.org. Matthew was a floor manager at a local restaurant in Wales. He lost his job after the pandemic and took initiative to make a team and start the project.