E-commerce is a highly popular way to conduct business because of the faster connectivity and the highly effective online tools provided by the Internet. The online sales made much easier and faster by eCommerce help the businesses yield far greater revenues in sharp contrast with the traditional methods of commerce.
Advantages of E-commerce
E-commerce offers various advantages of multiple kinds. Let’s glance at the major ones:
1. Low Financial Cost
The initial cost is quite low in sharp contrast with the traditional retail stores that fall heavy on the pocket due to the high rent. Apart from the rent, the traditional stores also require a considerable bigger budget in many ways including the purchase of equipment, charges incurred due to sales design and inventory etc. However, if you opt for E-commerce, you are saved all the trouble and the expense.
2. 24/7 Potential Income
Unlike the traditional stores, the online stores are open 24/7. Besides, you may make use of the social media, e.g., Facebook ads to draw the visitors (that may turn out to be the potential customers) even at midnight or at the dawn.
3. Sell Internationally
Even if your business is an upcoming one, E-commerce allows it to gain grounds much faster in sharp contrast to a traditional business. Thus, you may soon find yourself providing services and/or products from your brand to the international clients.
4. Easy to Showcase Bestsellers
It’s far easier to showcase the bestsellers of all your products in an online store rather than a traditional one. Besides, the visitors find it much easier and convenient to find the best sellers (apart from any other suitable products for themselves) in an online store.
5. Personalized Online Experience
A personalized online experience can result into an accelerated conversion rate and hence, optimum number of conversions. Besides, a personalized landing page for a specific audience can convert the maximum number of the leads into customers without much of the effort on the part of a business.
6. Affordable Employees
It is one of the greatest advantages offered by E-commerce that you can hire the services of experts at very economical prices. You may outsource the work to the experts from the countries where the cost of living is quite economical. Besides, you need a much smaller team in the case of E-commerce as compared with the traditional ways of running a business.
7. Easier to Encourage Impulse Buying
E-commerce allows impulse buying to a far greater extent than an offline traditional store does. The lead is more likely to be converted into a customer with the attractive products that are smartly photographed or with the ads that are smartly phrased to appeal to the customer psyche.
8. Easy to Retarget or Remarket to Customer
E-commerce allows you to retarget the audiences. Facebook Pixel or Shoelace Shopify App may be employed to retarget the audiences who visit your online store, but do not make a purchase.
9. Customers Get a Less Invasive Experience
An online store is usually not as invasive as a traditional offline one. In case a customer feels like contacting the store owner, he may do so using the Facebook, e-mail or the live chat features.
10. Gain Access to Customer Data Easily
E-commerce allows you to gain an easy access to the customer data including his name, contact number, e-mail id etc. Usually, the customers are not asked for the same at the traditional offline stores. However, they leave the same details quite willingly at the website of an online store and the information can be used further to update the existing clients about the products or add to the clientele further.
Disadvantages of Ecommerce
There is always a flipside to the picture. The same applies to E-commerce as well. Though E-commerce offers multiple advantages, there are quite a few disadvantages as well.
1. No One Can Buy During a Site Crash
It is highly important that your E-commerce site is hosted on a suitable platform so that it does not crash all too often. You might have been employing a number of strategies, but the truth is, all your efforts will come to NAUGHT, if the site crashes for no user will be able to make a purchase.
2. Customers Can’t Try Before They Buy
Unlike a traditional shopping mall where customers can try the apparels in the trial room, E-commerce does not allow them to try any products unless and until they have actually purchased it. Thus, it might seem to be a big disadvantage to the customers if they insist on trying the product first, whatever it may be, before making the purchase.
3. E-commerce is Highly Competitive
As E-commerce is among the best of the ways to conduct business successfully, it is most competitive also. No wonder, you need to sharpen your strategies from time to time. If you want to gain the kind of the traffic, and hence the leads that can be easily converted into customers, you manage the SEO, Social Media Platforms, PPC and various types of the ads etc., to target the required audience in a highly competent manner.
4. Customers Can be Impatient
In case, a customer visits a traditional shopping mall or a traditional store, he is attended to by the sales staff there and then. All his queries are answered immediately. But, in case of the eCommerce, you have to be attentive to the customer requirements 24×7. A customer who turns impatient because his queries are not attended to in a little time by the E-commerce site, e-mail, social media platform employed by you, or for that matter, whatever strategy you have been using, may not be coming back to your site again. Thus, you might lose a precious customer to your competitor(s).
5. You Need to Ship Your Products
When a customer shops offline at a traditional store, he gets the product he has paid for immediately. However, in case of online shopping, E-commerce makes them wait to receive the parcel of the product for quite some time, say for a week or so.
6. Physical Retail is Still More Popular Despite Decline
Though E-commerce is gaining ground quite fast, people are still too fond of shopping at the traditional stores to change their shopping habits. Most of the people treat moving outdoors for shopping as a pleasant way to spend some time with their near and dear ones. The entire family going out for shopping is treated as a highly pleasant experience.