Advantages and Disadvantages of eCommerce for business and consumer
Because of the lockdown in Covid-19 crises many offline businesses were closed and a lot of them shifted towards the online medium of businesses which accelerated the expansion of the eCommerce industry.
Ecommerce helps customers to shop conveniently and safely in their home.
What is eCommerce?
The term eCommerce refers to electronic commerce. It allows businesses and customers to buy and sell goods and services over the internet. In this the transaction takes place online, and the buyer and seller need not meet in-person.
Type of eCommerce
There are mainly 4 type of e-commerce
- Business to Business (B2B)
- Business to Consumer (B2C)
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
- Consumer to Business (C2B)
1. Business to Business (B2B)
B2B is one of the common types of e-commerce. In this the transaction occurs between two businesses/companies like a wholesaler selling their goods to a retailer. Example: India Mart.
2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
B2C is also very common. In this, a business sells their goods and services to the end consumer. Example: Amazon, flipkart and snap deal.
3. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
In C2C eCommerce, A consumer sells their goods and services to another consumer online. OLX, ebay and amazon are some examples of C2C eCommerce websites.
4. Consumer to Business (C2B)
In C2B a consumer sells their goods and services to a business. For example
- A person sells their used phone to a website like chashify.
- A web designer builds a website for a company.
- A photographer taking pictures for a product catalog.
Just like nothing is perfect, similarly there are some pros and cons of eCommerce which affects business as well as consumer.
Let’s see some advantages and disadvantages of ecommerce for business as well as consumers.
Advantages of e Commerce
- Saves time and energy
- More choices
- Available 27X7
1. Save time and energy
In today’s world no one has that much energy and time to go and buy from an offline store and here ecommerce gives the benefit of online shopping.
Now, customers can Go, select and buy in just 15 minutes.
2. More Choices
E Commerce allows customers to choose from a wide range of products or services from all around the world. A customer can buy different products from different websites just by clicking on their phone.
3. Available 24X7
Almost every ecommerce store is available 24X7. So the customer can enquire and buy any product any time and from anywhere.
Even if the customer support is sleeping then the AI system can resolve the customer’s issue.
- Global reach
- Low cost advertising
- Customer profiling
1. Global reach
There are no geographical boundaries in Ecommerce, that’s why a business can sell their goods and services internationally very easily in e-commerce and it simply widens the number of customers a business can reach.
2. Low cost advertising
In E-Commerce the business doesn’t have to spend a lot of money on advertising and this is one of the largest benefits of online advertising.
Online advertising gives much more control to businesses.The businesses can use pay per click advertising (PPC), In which the budget is spent only when someone clicks on the ad.
3. Customer profiling
Knowing customer’s behaviour is very important for every business and customer profiling is unable to do so. Customer profiling is a tool which allows users to visualize the customer types who will actually interact with what businesses provide. Customer profiling became very easy in eCommerce.
Disadvantages of E-Commerce
- Security breaches
- Can’t Try Before Buy
- Product Quality
1. Security breaches
Security breaches are one of the major issues of e-commerce. Even after several changes and corrections are made, there are several cases of security breaches daily.
Many websites do not have that many capabilities to conduct authentic transactions and the fear of providing credit card information and risk of identity limit the growth of e-commerce.
2. Can’t try before buy
Many customers prefer to try before buying products like clothes and shoes, ecommerce can’t provide such type of experience to their customers.
But this won’t be a long-term problem. Nowadays many ecommerce stores are starting to add AR(Augmented Reality) elements to their store to allow customers to try products on.
3. Shipping charges
When a customer sees the product at first then the website generally doesn’t show any added shipping charges. But when the customer proceeds to buy, extra shipping charges are added. These charges make the product look more expensive than local stores.
There are some ecommerce stores who offer free shipping if the customer shops more than a certain amount, to avail the free shipping some customers end up shopping more than their requirement.
4. Product quality
Every customer wants to buy a good quality product and the sad part of ecommerce is the customer can’t touch and feel the product. A customer can just see images and videos and read the description.
- Not Everyone have access to internet
- RTO (Return to Origin)
- Price Comparison
1. No Everyone have access to internet
There are still some places where Internet access is not available so much and that’s why many potential customers that are living in remote villages have no access to the e-commerce business resulting in unreachability of all the consumers.
RTO stands for Return To Origin, it refers to non delivered packages that are returned and refused by the customer. This cost is extra expenditure to the business, because shipping companies don’t refund and charge extra money for the packages to RTO.
3. Price Comparison
Price comparison is an advantage for customers but on the other hand it is a major disadvantage for ecommerce stores because a consumer can compare prices of a product on two different websites in just some clicks.
Many online stores offer the absolute lowest price, and if the business can’t offer it then will probably lose some customers.
Is it better to Buy from an E-commerce store?
If you are one of those people who like to try before buying and want to buy something as soon as possible then it is better for you to buy from an offline store.
But during this time of Covid-19 pandemic I recommend you to save some energy and time of yours and buy from an e-commerce store. Here you can choose from a wide range of products and shop anytime from your home.
So that’s it for this blog, I hope you got to know a little bit about the advantages and disadvantages of E-Commerce. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to get in touch.