Regardless of all advantages and disadvantages of eCommerce, the numbers are in favor of this business type. The statistics suggest that there are between 12 million and 24 million eCommerce websites in the world. And the thing is – these numbers are on the rise. So, before drawing any conclusions, let’s have a look at all the pros and cons of eCommerce.
What is eCommerce?
Before discussing its benefits and drawbacks, we’ll start with the definition of eCommerce. This sort of e-business stands for buying and selling goods or services using the internet. There are several types of eCommerce. The most popular types include B2B and B2C eCommerce.
Additionally, there are a few business revenue models related to eCommerce, such as dropshipping and subscription models.
Pros and Cons of eCommerce
Listing all the advantages and disadvantages of eCommerce should start with some good news. If you’re interested in starting your eCommerce business, you should know that ecommerce retailers in 2018 made $504.58 billion in sales revenue, in the US alone! And that’s only one of the many benefits of eCommerce we can think of.
Benefits of eCommerce
One of the prime advantages of eCommerce is the low initial cost. Jump-starting a business often gets costly, which causes lots of struggles to new entrepreneurs. eCommerce usually avoids this pain point. Still, there’s more to it and its valuable perks.
Non-stop Coverage (and incomes!)
eCommerce offers flexibility – all the way. Forget about traditional working hours. Skip the office space or a physical store (and its costs). Welcome to 24/7 coverage and unlimited time to receive income.
Of all the pros and cons of eCommerce, this particular perk can raise substantial interest in prospective business owners. If you do your social media marketing right, you can expand your business and conquer the global market. With no boundaries, limitations, and time-zone obstacles, you can attract buyers from any corner of the world.
However, in some types of eCommerce, you would need to hire a customer support team. They would be your most reliable representatives. Building a team from scratch is time-consuming and expensive. Due to these reasons, mainly, many eCommerce business owners choose outsourcing.
To sum it up: The main benefits of eCommerce include access to an international market and interaction with them 24/7.
Sellers Can Easily Display Their Products
Visibility, trouble-free purchase, and effortless display of products represent one of the primary benefits of eCommerce for sellers and buyers. Customers love to shop with ease. eCommerce businesses can grant them this pleasure. With easily increased customer satisfaction comes customer loyalty. More loyal customers equal augmented profits. And not only that. Customer loyalty raises brand awareness.
Brick and mortar stores can look appealing. Moreover, business owners can use interior design to direct their customers toward their best-selling products. Nevertheless, eCommerce does it better. It is far less demanding and costly to design your eCommerce website.
Pro Tip: Online shoppers will always choose best-selling products simply because their quality is proven. Showcase them in the best possible way to attract more customers and grab their attention.
Personalized Customer Experience
Choose your target audience and create a landing page they’ll find suitable for their needs. Your eCommerce website should help you attract and retain customers. And your social media presence is there to tighten the bond. Once you get into the eCommerce world, you should learn how to entice different types of people or businesses.
The online tools at your disposal will help you sell your products or services to the right (and vast) crowd.
Customer care plays a significant role in personalizing the customer experience. Consider offering them multiple options in case they require assistance or support. Even if they don’t, you should be there for them. You can handle customer care through a live-chat, call center, email support, text messages, and more.
Affordability all the way
Hiring costs are often too much for new business owners. Sourcing, hiring, training, and onboarding new staff can burn cash. Affordability is one of the benefits of eCommerce. You can hire people remotely, collaborate with freelancers, or find an outsourcing company.
Data-driven Decisions & More Ways to Reach Out
One of the crucial eCommerce advantages is that you can gain access to your customer data for analysis. Later down the road, the results you have obtained will serve as a guideline. You will base your strategic moves, campaigns, and alignments on your customers’ information and related notions.
The information customers leave will make room for you to create a connection with them. You have multiple means to communicate and ensure future collaboration.
Smooth Order Processing
There’s no waiting time with eCommerce. In some cases, this can represent one of the disadvantages of eCommerce. If there’s a sudden spike, and the business owner didn’t get to deal with it properly, the customers might feel dissatisfied.
However, placing the orders and receiving the goods or services timely and with no stress and complications represents one of the major pros of eCommerce.
61% of online consumers in the US have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. You can grow your eCommerce business organically with the right content. Driving more traffic quickly and attracting prospective customers is not that hard. Optimize your written and visual content, and you’ll see the results pretty soon.
The investments you’ll make are small compared to an increase in sales you’ll most likely experience.
One of the most significant benefits of eCommerce is that you can successfully scale your business quickly. All you need to do is monitor your ad performance. If some of your paid ads drive the optimal results, you should boost the budget intended for them.
If you chose dropshipping, all you should do is add more products to your store.
Are you feeling interested in eCommerce? Before finalizing your decision to start your own business, read the entire list of the pros and cons of eCommerce.
Disadvantages of eCommerce
Even though we can spot both pros and cons of eCommerce, the list of its advantages seems to be longer. However, there are some drawbacks related to eCommerce customers and sellers should know of.
If your eCommerce website crashes for whatever reason, no one would be able to buy from you. Your customers won’t purchase until everything is up and running again. Worst case scenario – the customers will turn to your competitors.
Pro Tip: Choose your eCommerce platform wisely, even if it includes paying a higher hosting fee.
When speaking of the pros and cons of eCommerce from the customers’ perspective, the inability to try a product or test a service before buying it makes the top of the list of downsides. Many online retailers share this problem.
One of the solutions lies in the AR. Augmented reality represents a way to showcase the products vividly. Customers will feel more confident about buying a correctly and fully displayed product.
Customers’ demands never stop growing. Year after year, we face the increase in efforts eCommerce businesses must invest in their customer satisfaction. We all know it – excellent customer service is a competitive advantage. These customers’ high expectations have led to the necessity to hire customer service reps, whether in-house or through a BPO company.
Still, dealing with customers 24/7 without missing a call or delaying responding to a text is a challenging mission. Every smaller inconvenience might lead to a negative review and a deterioration in your branding.
The growing number of new online stores and businesses counts as a blessing and a curse. The market itself can be classified as both the pros and cons of eCommerce.
One of the first steps is to find a suitable niche for your business.
You can battle your competitors with:
- SEO optimization
- Retargeting customers
- Paid ads
- Social Media marketing strategies
For example, if your competition based their online presence on Facebook, you can direct your aims toward Instagram.
The market will never be less fierce, but you’ll find your way around it.
Final Thought on the Pros and Cons of eCommerce
The world of eCommerce is expected to hit 4.48 trillion US dollars in 2021. Online shopping in the US is growing three times faster than its offline counterpart. As we have seen, these figures, stats, and facts stand for both the pros and cons of eCommerce. On one side, there’s a world of possibilities, limitless shopping, and future digital success. Its dark side is made of enormous competitiveness that’s difficult to pursue and overcome.
Nevertheless, if you explore your options carefully and think things through before acting, you might succeed quickly.
And if you need an ally – here’s the perfect place to find one.