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.

Advantages of Ecommerce – 5 Real Advantages of Online Marketing to Ponder About

Within the last 10 years, Ecommerce has seen a surge in profitability. Many businesses, both large and small, are looking to the web for increased consumer patronage. Here are some real advantages of Ecommerce:

1) Open 24/7. Ecommerce systems are operational all day, every day. Consumers can visit your site any time, day or night, regardless of whether or not your physical storefront is open for business. Even if you are operating a service-based operation, reservations and/or inquiries can be made any time of day to increase interest in your business.

2) A global market. Web sites transcend all physical boundaries. If your consumer has a computer and an Internet connection, he/she can do business with you.

3) Instant gratification. The Internet affords immediacy. Orders can be made and payments processed almost immediately online. Long gone are the days of catalogs and lost orders. With Ecommerce, your transactions will run more smoothly and efficiently.

4) Increase profits by reducing costs. One of the real advantages of Ecommerce is that you can truly cut costs. Physical store fronts require constant manpower. A good website can take the place of several salespersons. In addition, original manufacturers can often be identified and worked with to cut out the cost of the middle man supplier.

5) Let the customer help himself. A great facet of Ecommerce is that the customer initiates the business interaction by accessing the web site when it is convenient for him/her. Because of this, the consumer provide almost all of the transaction data that would otherwise be entered by a staff member. This kind of customer out-sourcing allows for you to cut costs.

The advantages of Ecommerce are plenty, and I have listed only a few. The clever investor will seriously consider Ecommerce as a new venue for his/her business.

The Financial Advantages of Ecommerce

When you have a local store in the market place your customers are limited. When you have an online store, the world is your market literally. This is one of the advantages of ecommerce. With the use of major search engines, your customers can find you a lot easier as well. One of the best things about ecommerce is lower costs for you to run a business. You can definitely save with advertising and marketing plans.

With visibility on all of the major search engines you can find tons more customers by utilizing ecommerce for your business. These search engines have the ability to hook you up to more visitors and customers than you ever thought possible. It also enables you to hire less employees to do jobs that can be done with software online.

This may sound silly, but an ecommerce store does not need a physical location. Of course you will then save on real estate costs and taxes as well. Customers can also navigate through an ecommerce site rather quickly and find what they are looking for. In a store it takes a lot longer to wheel your way around and find what you need.

Customers no longer have to travel to buy those special items on their list. All they have to do is sign online and find what they need to purchase in a click of a mouse. Ecommerce is also conducive to comparison shopping. Prices can very easily be compared from site to site online. Ecommerce websites can make more information available to their customers than a physical store can. This way you can list more bargains, discounts and coupons. Most of the info is provided by vendors to and is free to maintain.

Ecommerce sites can stay open all of the time. Physical stores can’t do this. This enables the business owner to make more sales around the clock. A customer always thinks an open all the time store is more convenient. Ecommerce also presents a golden opportunity for niche markets that they can’t find in the physical world. The internet has a vast array of niches available and many customers willing to shop at these sites. There are many advantages to ecommerce, but you must thoroughly research it first before setting out on an adventure of opening up your own online business. If you do so you can look forward to great success utilizing the principles of ecommerce.