The Advantages and Disadvantages of Ecommerce

I remember my mom used to always test the water before she would put my little kid sister into the bath tub. Later my dad would say “Son, look at both sides of the coin before you start anything”. So here we are; mind made up and all ready to take the plunge but just before we do, some primeval instinct makes us pause and check both sides of the coin. The internet will provide you with a fairly extensive list of relevant, irrelevant and some downright fictional list of advantages and disadvantages of electronic commerce. What I’ve done is to lay out the real issues that would irritate or delight you on a day-to-day basis. So here goes:

The disadvantages of ecommerce

These usually consist of silly mistakes on the part of either the store owner or the customer:

1. Returned items – a major disadvantage of ecommerce
Very often customers misunderstand a description or are simply in too much of a rush to bother reading the detailed product description. Thus, an electrical item such as a cell phone charger that requires 220V of electricity and meant for use when on tour in Asia, is bought for local use in USA and subsequently returned often accompanied with a nasty “this is not working” letter blaming the seller for selling sub-standard products.

2. Back charging of credit card transactions – an irritating ecommerce disadvantage
Linked to above point, the customer will reject the charges. When that happens, the credit card company will not only reverse the credit but also levy a charge on your account. It wasn’t your fault but you’ve got to shoulder it.

3. Data entry errors – silly mistakes that are potentially expensive
Glenn, the store clerk entered the price of a box of finest pears as $0.96 instead of $10.96. Over the next two days the store owner was swamped with hundreds of orders for Pears. The missing digit nearly wiped out the profits for that month. Friends swear they saw Allan the store owner laughing and crying at the same time. Meanwhile Glenn, thanks to Allan’s generous heart, is now in the packing section.

4. The search engine fog – this a big disadvantage of ecommerce
If you set up a brick and mortar store at a prominent location, you get noticed instantly and will have customers from the moment you are open for business. This is not an advantage with ecommerce. In the virtual world, the only location that matters is the location in the search engine’s search results. If you’re not on the first page of the search results then you are relegated to the back alleys of cyberspace.

5. Can be equally expensive – hidden costs are a major drawback of ecommerce
True, you don’t have to spend on utilities or staff or for that matter, even on an office. But setting up a good online store requires a lot of hard work by professional people. First, they need to build you a good online store and then, it needs to be marketed by. The people who do it need to have special skills and deep knowledge, both of which are expensive. Successful ecommerce internet marketing of your online store results in a good search engine rank. The downside of ecommerce is that, the moment you stop spending on e-marketing, the search engine rank begins to slip. In a brick and mortar store you have to pay premium rentals for a premium location. The equivalent of premium rentals for an online store is e-marketing.

6. Rogue web hosting – a major irritation in ecommerce
My dad used to say “It’s so difficult to find good help these days”. I say, it’s very difficult to find good web hosting these days. Dropping rates have resulted in ecommerce web hosting services companies often running themselves on little more than hot air or recruiting staff who are clearly not competent. Any resulting down-time can prove potentially expensive. It is relatively easy to find good professional help to build and market your online store or office but finding good web hosting is a different matter altogether.

The Advantages of ecommerce

1. Location neutral – A fantastic advantage of ecommerce
How often have you heard the words “Location, location, location”? The first advantage of ecommerce is that it is location neutral. Every website is at a prime location and your customer only has to travel the distance of a single mouse click to reach you.

2. No need for supervisors and cashiers – ecommerce has a big cost advantage
An online store or online office does not need a separate set of supervisors or cashiers. At the most it needs one person monitoring the sales. Everything happens in a neat and orderly fashion. In fact, you can open as many online stores as you like for less than 5% of what it takes to set up a brick and mortar store or office.

3. Open 24 x 7, 365 days of the year – ecommerce does not take a break
You may be asleep but in other parts of the World, customers are awake and busy shopping. Ecommerce search engine optimization lets you take full advantage of this.

4. Go international from day one. Electronic commerce internationalizes your trade in an instant!
You’ve heard the term “global village” being bounced around by all and sundry. But did you know of its connection with your trade? By setting up an online store or online office, you reach out to customers irrespective of their location on the globe. For all practical purposes, you and your customers live in a village – a global village on an international scale. The advantage of ecommerce web site solutions truly boggles the mind.

5. Look Ma, no paper, no storage but I got money in the bank – Advantage of magic in ecommerce
Your online store emails you the orders; you collect them and email your suppliers the packing slips. Your suppliers ship out the orders. You don’t have to stock anything and can be as paperless as you like. Even your cash is collected directly by your bank which emails you a monthly statement.

In final analysis, if you’re careful, the disadvantages of ecommerce will not exist.
On the advantage side of ecommerce, its power is such that all you need is a little imagination and you could run an empire out of a laptop computer. Retailbizmd provides retail consulting services to help corporations in driving profitable traffic and optimizing conversion rates.

eCommerce Website Design and Its Benefits

The process and activity of getting involved in business over the Internet is known as ecommerce. As more and more people engage in online shopping, popularity of eCommerce website design continues to increase as a major economic activity around the world. As a result of this trend, many companies are now establishing their online presence and reaching a global market through eCommerce websites.

eCommerce website design aims to encourage online users to buy products and to stay longer on a website and to spend more. It incorporates a relevant and attractive business feel and look, reflects the businesses’ philosophy and vision, displays a professional design, has proper navigation and a well-organized layout. It also incorporates clear, market friendly content, and has a user-friendly interface. An eCommerce website also includes a shopping cart and a simple checkout. A professional gateway needs to be put into these websites to make sure that online payments can be done smoothly and stress-free.

These websites must be designed with secured methods of payment to make sure both the site owner and consumers have a valuable experience. Once a consumer is finished purchasing from an eCommerce website, a number of PHP scripts collect all the vital data about the customer’s payment information, shipping and billing address, and other important information that relates to the purchase. At the same time, a different PHP script analyses the consumer’s payment information and creates an appropriate format for a credit card online network for payment processing. Extra PHP scripts will be generated to make receipts and alert the website owner of the orders that have been made.

The designing of eCommerce websites is a very professional task based on their functionalities and is not the task of lay web designers. To create and design these types of websites, which will ultimately become profitable and successful, requires a talented and professional eCommerce website designer.

If you are thinking of starting an eCommerce project or upgrade your current eCommerce website, it is important that you hire a skilled and experienced website designer who will work with you with the highest level of professionalism and help you gain your website goals.

There are many advantages of eCommerce website design. One of the greatest benefits is the tax advantage you get from owning an eCommerce website that is not so with a physical business premises. The tax deductions will enable you to save more money. This is because you won’t be paying certain taxes that arise from rent, utilities, or mortgage bills. Another advantage is that the online presence will expose your business and products to a global audience. Your market region won’t be restricted to where you live.

An eCommerce website allows you to add large amounts of products to your catalogue. You can simply classify these products into the correct categories to enable your customers to easily access the products they want. Through an eCommerce web design, you can also enhance the awareness of your products and brand to a global market. This will increase your brand awareness, which is good for business. Finally, you will be able to easily convey information about your company and its products through the online platform. This will give your potential customers an opportunity to know you and your products better.

eCommerce and Its Advantages

eCommerce is the purchase of goods and services online. Increasingly, people have been buying things online because of its speed and convenience. Nothing can beat Internet speed in the purchase of these goods over large distances, except perhaps bad weather. There are many other advantages of eCommerce both for the consumer and the online vendor.

Consumer Advantage

Online shopping saves time, money and the trouble of long lines. People never thought online shopping would thrive ever since CompuServe created the first Electronic Mall during the 1980’s. However, now it has almost become a way of life.

Buying online offers a greater selection. It gives you the power of choosing your most preferred goods in the comfort of your own home. It gives the consumer less hassle and less waste of resources. For instance, many people needed travel agents to tell them which airline offered the best flights for the most affordable prices. It’s like you had to pay double then, both for the ticket price and the travel agent. Nowadays though, with the airline’s websites, one can just browse through the best travel bargains and the click of a button does it all. There are also websites now that tell you the best bargains and help you compare rates from different airlines. Such are Travelocity and Expedia.

Another advantage of the Internet is for the consumer is that it is open all day everyday. No longer do consumers have to wait for stores to open, or hurry to catch a closing shop. One can shop for shoes anytime, even when they are at home or at work. Finally, the Internet offers a wide variety of selection that no supermall can offer. This is because it provides the consumers access to online shops from areas outside their own. This definitely provides diversity and variety of choices, again all in the comfort of your own home.

Vendor Advantages

The online businessmen too find a lot of advantages in eCommerce.

First, it saves them a lot of cost on hiring employees. What perhaps 50 salesmen can pitch, can be done by one well designed and informative website. It saves up on what was supposed to be the salary of the employees. Moreover, the Internet is not only the salesperson; it’s the delivery guy as well. With digital downloads, profit can be obtained automatically without deploying a middleman. The customer can directly purchase from the online vendor and payment transactions can just be arranged. This is rampant in music downloading sites like iTunes or online shops like Amazon.com or eBay. Profit will then double, or might even triple.

eCommerce also levels out the playing field for both big and small businesses. A small home-based company can reach as much a market as the global ones. Businesses don’t have to set up different branches in other places. A good website and good advertising technique will do it. If the vendor does his job right, that is, putting all the information needed in a compelling way, his online business will sure thrive.