Commerce and trade in the twentieth century have definitely changed in many ways. One of the significant transformations is that it has moved beyond the traditional brick and mortar stores to a more dynamic option namely e-commerce that is an abbreviation for electronic commerce.
E-Commerce Advantages And Disadvantages
As the name suggests E-commerce in the simplest terms means the buying and selling of goods and services electronically or online using devices such as mobiles, computers, tablets, etc.
While over the past decade e-commerce has gained quick momentum with more and more users opting to buy and sell online, e-commerce has its fair share of pros and cons. Let us discuss them.
Advantages Of E-commerce
👉 Saves time
The coming of e-commerce has revolutionized the shopping experience for customers as well as the selling experience for businesses. One of the many ways in which it does that is by saving time. All products and services are just a click away for the customers who can now get what they want without having to ever leave the comfort of their homes. They can also browse through multiple different stores for many different products at the same time.
👉 Global reach and access
By listing products and services on the internet the sellers have overcome the huge challenge of limited reach due to geographical barriers. E-commerce has made the world into a store for businesses and has expanded their market significantly. Similarly, buyers now have access to multiple options for a product and/or service from around the world.
👉 No time constraints
Unlike physical stores, e-commerce platforms do not have an opening and closing time and are available for customers literally every minute of the day. People can buy and sell according to their own convenience.
👉 Zero operational cost
Running a brick and mortar store comes with a lot of expenses such as electricity and water bills, rent, staff salaries, etc. However, with e-commerce, the operational costs for businesses have gone down to zero
Disadvantages of E-commerce
👉 Increase in unemployment
The coming of e-commerce has greatly reduced the companies’ need for employees. For instance, unlike a physical outlet, an online store has no need for a person to clean the store. Similarly, there are other services provided by employees that e-commerce has either eliminated the need for or are doable by the computers. With more and more businesses moving online, there is a large majority of people losing their jobs to the internet.
👉 No surety about product quality
When purchasing something on the internet, you can only see the image and description of the product instead of the actual product. So the customers can never really be sure about the product quality.
👉 Delivery Time
One thing that physical outlets ensure is that you get the product immediately as you pay for it. However, with online shopping, there is always a waiting time between placing the order and receiving the product. So in situations where a product or service is needed urgently, physical stores are prioritized over e-commerce websites.
👉 Online scams
One concern that often discourages people from using e-commerce platforms is the fear of getting scammed. Unfortunately, the internet has made it easy for frauds to scam people and therefore the instances of online thefts have also been on a high. People are skeptical of sharing their credentials online.
The coming of E-commerce has revolutionized the economy and has made an irreversible impact on trade however it has not yet made a grip strong enough to entirely replace traditional commerce. While E-commerce is growing rapidly it is also true that it still has a long way to go. It provides benefits such as lower costs of running businesses, global reach, etc. but there are still areas that it needs to work on such as ensuring that the customers are protected from online frauds.
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