If you want to keep your business alive and well, you must be open to change and the constant alteration of business rules. For example, Covid-19 had an impact on online retail sales, which increased by 32.4 percent in 2020. We are discussing the transition from physical to virtual in this text.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce business, and what advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce will you encounter on your way to the online world – read more below.
The Benefits of Ecommerce or Why Brick-and-Mortar is Giving Way to Click-and-Order
One thing is certain: e-commerce is rapidly expanding. In fact, global e-commerce sales will have surpassed an incredible 4.2 trillion dollars by 2020. But what is it about e-commerce that entices retailers to build online stores? Let us delve deeper into the benefits of e-commerce.
Advantage #1: Cost Effectiveness
Because of the numerous overhead expenses, running a brick-and-mortar business can be costly at times. Going virtual is advantageous because you will not be required to own a physical store in order to sell your products. This means you can avoid paying expensive rent, hiring on-site staff, paying utilities, and insurance if you use online technologies and the right ecommerce platform to launch your startup more easily and affordably.
Advantage #2: There are no physical or temporal constraints.
In the online world, the laws of physics operate differently. When it comes to time and space, there are no bounds. The number of items you want to show potential customers is limitless, as are your working hours. You can stop worrying about in-store “shelf space” for your products and stay open for business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because 72 percent of consumers prefer to shop late at night, you can welcome a larger number of customers while also delocalizing your services and expanding your business globally.
Advantage #3: Global Market Access
When you go online, you go global! Why is this important for an e-commerce business? The reason is simple: more opportunities to sell! Meet your customers where they are — on social media, Google Shopping, or their favorite marketplaces like Amazon or eBay. It is entirely up to you!
Furthermore, you can begin selling internationally and break down cultural barriers; after all, some commodities may perform better in other parts of the world. Similarly to Nintendo, a Japanese-based brand whose primary revenue source is North America. In other words, there is a world of opportunities out there, and grabbing the right one is just a matter of coordinates.
Advantage #4: Using Data to Attract, Convert, and Retain Customers
Another significant advantage of e-commerce is that you don’t have to yank on your customers’ sleeve to get their feedback. Instead, there are simple analytics tools available in e-commerce to track this. The data is perfectly measurable and adaptable to successful digital marketing strategies. With tools like Google Analytics, MailChimp, Kissmetrics, and others, you can easily monitor your customer journey and manipulate data to meet the expectations of online shoppers.
You can easily gain insight into the following valuable data:
Trends and customer preferences Customer feedback Effectiveness of marketing strategies Inventory management
Advantage #5: New and Quick Ways to Market Products
If you want speed and variety in your marketing, online selling is a great option. To begin, it only takes a few clicks to introduce loyalty programs, set up targeted social media ads, and notify your audience of the new product you’re launching. Second, you can benefit from personalization by incorporating a recommended products engine into your website and successfully cross-sell and upsell your products. Third, you can integrate digital channels into your physical retail and embrace the omnichannel strategy (especially since the omnichannel purchase rate is almost 10 percent higher than the single-channel purchase rate).
Purchase rate in a single channel vs. omnichannel commerce.
In general, when it comes to ecommerce marketing, the world is your oyster. Use it wisely.
Advantage #6: Unlimited Scalability Possibilities
Another significant benefit of e-commerce sales is the ability to scale indefinitely. The COVID-19 pandemic compelled 150,000,000 customers to shop online for the first time, significantly increasing online market demand.
Be prepared to scale up and expand your business when the market demands it. Here are some more upscale suggestions:
Improving your infrastructure Expanding communication channels with customers Upgrading your services or product offering (adding more products to your catalog) Adding more payment options
When the time comes, you won’t have to worry about your sudden need for extra “shelf space,” because e-commerce platforms (such as Magento development) can handle any kind of traffic spike with no performance issues.
Advantage #7: Additional Sales Channels
One of the most significant advantages of ecommerce is the availability of multiple sales channels. You have more options for informing customers. This means you can provide product information through various modes of communication, such as demo videos, audio instructions, user experience, and tips and tricks. This can actually attract more users’ attention and help the product sell more effectively.
Disadvantages of Ecommerce or What Turns Retailers Off of Online Sales
Starting an online business from scratch or converting an existing brick-and-mortar business can be a rewarding change, but it is not without its challenges. Let’s look at some of the disadvantages of e-commerce.
Disadvantage #1: Privacy & Security Concerns
Unfortunately, the increase in online shoppers has also resulted in an increase in cybercrime. Identity theft and fraud reports increased by 45 percent in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute, compared to 2019.
This new “trend” is hurting the e-commerce economy, but not enough to prevent it from growing. In the future, we may encounter new and more efficient fraud prevention systems.
Power comes from knowledge. To increase the security of your website, arm yourself against potential fraudulent online activities and follow these best practices.
Guides and Tips
Disadvantage #2: The possibility of downtimes and technical issues.
Joining the online world eliminates physical restraints while imposing new ones through technological issues. They frequently represent more complex, interconnected, and difficult to discern error systems, such as:
System failures, human error, and network outages are all possibilities.
The downtime caused by these events may be only temporary, but it can have long-term consequences for the brand. For example, it can result in data loss, as well as harm to the brand’s productivity and reputation.
The good news is that you can address this problem before it becomes a problem. If you experience some frustrating downtime, Magento support services can come in handy.
Disadvantage #3: Immense Online Competition
According to Statista, global e-commerce sales in 2020 totaled 4.28 trillion US dollars, with a projected increase to 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022. Everyone wants a piece of that pie now! This means that the online market is a very competitive place to thrive, and you will have to work extra hard to stand out. If you intend to enter the crowded e-commerce market, make sure you are well acquainted with your competitors.
Disadvantage #4: Uncertainty Regarding Product Quality
Despite the fact that e-commerce is on the rise and offers some very convenient and practical shopping options, some customers are simply not buying it, literally! For some, the inability to personally inspect the product is simply repulsive. According to the Smart Insight survey, the inability to see and touch the product is the primary reason why customers prefer traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
Top reasons why people prefer to shop in stores rather than online
A favorable return policy is an absolute must in this case. You can get more information about e-commerce return policies by clicking here.
Disadvantage #5: Difficulty in Shipping
OTD (On Time Delivery) can be extremely difficult for online retailers. Mostly because it involves third-party services that the seller cannot fully control. According to the Smart Insight survey, 34% of customers would not shop online because delivery takes too long, 25% believe delivery costs are too high, and 14% find complicated return policies repulsive. Of course, the customer is always correct! In this case, being honest and realistic with your customers about delivery time goes a long way.
Disadvantage #6: Taxation and Legal Difficulties
Access to the global market and the general public is a setback in this case. If you sell internationally, you must be aware of local legal and taxation regulations. For example, if you sell wine online, you should be aware that each country has different requirements for liquor store permits and licenses. Unfortunately, not all are set up to sell spirits online (as in the case of some provinces in Canada).
This obstacle, as daunting as it is, is not insurmountable; it simply necessitates more time, effort, and accounting knowledge. Make sure you’re prepared!
Is It Worth It to Start an Ecommerce Business?
Numbers are never deceptive. And, after weighing all of the benefits and drawbacks of electronic commerce, we conclude that the exponential growth of e-commerce trends in recent years is undeniable.
Cost-effectiveness, easier access to the global market, and a practical approach to data manipulation are all enticing. Furthermore, new creative approaches to digital marketing can be very stimulating and inspiring for both users and sellers. However, keep in mind that knowledge is power, and make sure you gather all of the necessary information about the benefits and drawbacks of e-business before becoming overwhelmed.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into the world of e-commerce, we’ve got you covered! Follow our step-by-step guide to online success by clicking here.