Thursday, 25 April 2013


Advantages and Disadvantages of Ecommerce
Look Beyond the Hype: Analyze the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ecommerce
I have already written articles about the advantages of ecommerce and its disadvantages. But those were focused on the primary pros and cons of ecommerce. There is a need for a more exhaustive list.

Given below is a large list of advantages and disadvantages of ecommerce. This list will help you look beyond the hype and develop your own perspective of the true value of ecommerce: to businesses and to consumers. Interestingly there are many advantages for consumers that might actually be a disadvantage for ecommerce businesses.
1. Pro: No Standing in Queues or Being Placed on Hold Forever
For customers, this is one of the most popular conveniences of ecommerce.
2. Con: Lack of Personal Touch
I miss the personal touch and relationship that develops with a retail store. In comparison, ecommerce is far more sterile.
3. Pro and Con: Easier to Compare Prices
There are several shopping search engines and comparison shopping websites that help consumers locate the best prices. While buyers love this, sellers find it too restrictive as many of them get filtered out of the consumer's consideration set.
4. Pro: Access to Stores Located Remotely
Especially for people who are not situated in major urban centers, this can be a big advantage. Likewise ecommerce opens new markets for ecommerce businesses.
5. Con: Inability to Experience the Product Before Purchase
There are many products that consumers want to touch, feel, hear, taste and smell before they buy. Ecommerce takes away that luxury.
6. Pro: No Need for a Physical Store
Since there is no need for a physical store, ecommerce businesses save on one of the biggest cost overheads that retailers have to bear.
7. Con: Need for an Internet Access Device
Ecommerce can only be transacted with the help of an Internet access device such as a computer or a smartphone.
8. Con: Need for an Internet Connection
Not just does one need an access device, one also needs Internet connectivity to participate in ecommerce.
9. Pro and Con: Common Availability of Coupons and Deals
Though there is nothing about ecommerce that makes it intrinsically oriented to discounts, the way online business has evolved has led to lowered prices online. This is an advantage for the buyer, but a disadvantage for the seller.
10. Pro: Lots of Choices
Since there are no shelf size or store size limitations, ecommerce businesses are able to list many different items.
12. Con: Credit Card Fraud
Consumers and businesses alike suffer from credit card fraud. Some doomsayers go so far as to predict that fraud will lead to the demise of online business.
13. Con: Security Issues
Consumers run the risk of identity fraud and other hazards as their personal details are captured by ecommerce businesses. Businesses run the risk of phishing attacks and other forms of security fraud.
14. Pro: Ability to Buy and Sell to Other Consumers
Auction sites and listing sites allow individuals to buy and sell from each other. This opens a whole new paradigm of ecommerce. The most famous enabler of consumer to consumer (C2C) ecommerce is
15. Pro: Instantaneous Purchase of Digital Goods
No longer does one need to go and buy a CD of one's favorite music. Within a few minutes, one can download digital products, such as music, and start using them immediately.
16. Pro: Ability to Have Vendors Bid for Your Business
Online business has opened new vistas for consumers. It is now possible to list your requirements online, and have suppliers bid for your business.
17. Con: Delay in Receiving Goods
If shopping is about instant gratification, then consumers are left empty-handed for some time after making a purchase on an ecommerce website.
18. Con: Inability to Identify Scams
Consumers are often taken in by fly-by-night ecommerce websites that look good, but are up to no good. Scam artists often accept orders and then disappear.

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