Short description of the article
- Benefits of e-commerce
- Shortcomings and how to solve them
The demand for buying and selling via the internet is increasing. According to statistics, in the USA more than 60% of customers are purchasing goods online. There are several reasons why people are moving from brick and mortar stores to online shops and marketplaces. If you have a startup idea and are considering an e-Commerce business you need to know why it’s so popular at this time.
Also read our article: eCommerce: Definition, History, Statistics & Growth
Benefits of e-commerce
1. It’s easy and fast
Customers and businesses can buy and sell everything online 24/7 a day. Consumers save time because they don’t have to leave their homes and to go shopping.
2. Detailed product characteristics
Consumers read product descriptions in the online shop and if they want to get detailed characteristics they are provided with much relevant information. Besides, online stores offer vast online catalogs and a possibility to compare goods.
3. Customers come to your store even without ads
Customers can follow a link in the search engine results and come to your website. Even if you are unknown and didn’t advertise your store you may get many visitors.
4. Research of users’ buying habits
With help of eCommerce the sellers can easily find out what the buyers are interested in, what they prefer. One of the pros of e-commerce business is that on the internet it’s easy to follow user’s needs and to offer those things he is interested in. The targeted ads based on the user’s purchase behavior help to offer things he is interested in.
5. Easier and cheaper to start the online retails
Lower costs are one of the most attractive e-commerce benefits. Imagine how much it costs to start running a brick and mortar store or an office. You need to hire people, you have to find the premise, you will pay for light, water etc. The business owners save a lot of money purchasing their goods or offering services on the internet. Most of the costs they need are for a well-designed user-friendly website.
Where exactly are you decreasing costs?
Especially when you begin your business you don’t have to spend money on usual ads types. But take into account that your expenses will maybe include organic search engine traffic, social media traffic, and pay-per-click.
For the store.
As it was mentioned above there are no costs for running a physical premise such as rental cost, light, water, insurance etc. There is no need to pay for store sign, store design, sales equipment or buying inventory.
Actions made by the staff in the physical offices are completed automatically online. Without personnel, there are no expenses for salaries, sick leaves and holidays with pay etc. Physical stores often hire security staff, as well. Of course, some employees may be needed for customer support but it’s possible to hire them virtually from countries where the cost of living is much lower.
Also read our article: E-commerce App Development
6. User reviews serve as ads
When people like goods or services they can leave positive comments, reviews, and ratings, and these are serving as ads and promoting your business. Sellers profit from such testimonials, as well, because they realize which products offer high quality which ones don’t arouse interest and which ones should be removed from the list.
7. Sell goods or offer services worldwide with little effort
How do you think how much it will cost to open brick and mortar stores in every country of the world? How much money, time and efforts will the product owner spend? And now compare all the costs with online service expense. People from some continents can order services/goods from your store and get whatever they want and whenever they want it. All you need is to promote your website and to be found in search engines.
8. Your store works 24/7/365
No physical business in the world can work all the time and online businesses do it! It doesn’t matter if you offer a service or goods they are available all the time. It is beneficial for customers that they can start shopping at midnight, on the weekend etc. Remember that not all the customers are in the same time zone that’s why round-the-clock availability is an additional pro.
9. Scale the business with ease
If the market demand is growing what can scale faster: an online store or a physical one? The online organization is meeting market demands more quickly and can easily reach different market segments. If you dropship you don’t need to accommodate new products, you just add them to your goods’ list.
10. Personalization and notifications.
Website personalization helps to improve the online shopping experience. Notifications or reminders are useful when the user added some products to the shopping cart and forgot about them.
11. Motivating impulse buys
There are people who sometimes buy impulsively. In online stores, there are fewer factors distracting them from such actions and more possibilities to influence their emotions. Create attractive photos, positive human emotions in these photos or other ways to drive impulse buys.
Shortcomings and how to solve them
As everything in the world, eCommerce has got its shortcomings. The business owners should be aware of them and know possible solutions when problems appear.
1. Site crash
If the site can’t be reached none of consumers can sell anything. The purchases stop.
Solution: Actually such crash can happen to every business, but there are some pieces of advice for preventing this problem: decide upon the hosting on the right platform; you should be prepared for site crash and start testing; use CDNs; keep all software up to date with their latest versions; keep recent backups.
2. No possibility to try
If in the physical store you can try something on you can’t do the same buying things online.
Solution: One of the options is returning goods bought online. If the return policy is well thought-out the consumers are more likely to buy at your store.
3. High market competition
This sphere has become highly competitive and finding the right niche is not so easy. And don’t expect the ads for the most competitive niches to be cheap. You need to research the market and to find out as much as possible about the competitors.
Solution: To attract users to your website you can pay for ads (it’s a rather expensive way); use SEO optimization; write articles, blog posts and videos in social networks, and retarget users who have visited them, etc.
4. Quick response needed
When users write a question to the salesperson they expect an immediate response. If nobody has responded within an hour the customers are likely to shop somewhere else.
Solution: Don’t make your consumers wait and hire customer service personnel who respond without delay.
5. Time for shipping
As it has already been mentioned above the goods can be delivered from all over the world. E.g. delivery time on AliExpress can take a couple of weeks and in some cases a couple of months. If one receives goods in a month or more he would rather stop shopping and leave the website.
Solution: Offer different options. AliExpress has offered several delivery models and consumers can choose such delivery model as paid and quick shipping. So, you should always be transparent with your customers.
There are many solutions of mentioned shortcomings you just need to figure out all of them if you start with an Ecommerce business.
Ecommerce business is growing very fast that’s why many business owners are interested in developing it. First of all, they need to research the market and learn about all the pros and cons of e-commerce. According to statistics, retail eCommerce sales are growing very fast because of an increased demand for online services and goods.
Do you think of breaking into eCommerce or expanding your existing business with it? Feel free to contact us.