Electronic Commerce popularly known as E-Commerce is the concept of using the internet as a sales portal to sell products or services online. These products could be B2B (Business-to-Business), B2C (Business-to-Consumer), or even both depending on the consumer needs.
Ever since its inception, the concept of E-Commerce has been majorly successful. In this modern era, where the customers prefer convenience over almost everything, e-commerce is accepted with open arms as a saviour.
E-Commerce is also beneficial in terms of price. Customers can see a clear price difference on merchandise online compared to a retail store. The e-commerce platform owners can afford to slash down prices as they don’t have to spend on store operations, which is a major setback for the brick and mortar stores today.
Availability of products increases as e-commerce platforms serve a wide market. A customer can purchase products from a different locality, city or even country via an e-commerce platform and gets the products delivered at his doorstep in a stipulated time period.
Since e-commerce is all over the internet, it is easily reachable and accessible for customers and potential customers. This feature makes communications effortless and instant. It also gives the customers the control, as they can rate the brand, products, services, convenience and write valuable reviews. An e-commerce platform would ideally want to see positive reviews for their products or services as their reputation and sales depends on them. So, a review will immediately catch their attention towards the customer’s delight or discomfort.
However, e-commerce has a dark side to it as well. Purchasing goods or service over the internet doesn’t make the experience much interactive and the customers never know who might be running operations from the other end. Potential customers should always share their information and make purchases from a platform they trust. If someone is trying to purchase for the first time, he/she should validate reviews from current or previous customers of the ecommerce platform. Do ample research before handing over your funds and your personal information to an e-commerce platform.
Being intangible, a potential customer never gets to see or feel the product while making a purchase. This may also lead to used products being delivered, mishap during logistics or handling, or miscommunication with the shipment, which lands a wrong product on your doorstep. Having said that, a lot of platforms have a great customer service response, they tender apology and rectify the mistake and take corrective actions. Many ecommerce platforms are making use of intelligent algorithms like machine learning to remove such human errors.
Listing the advantages and the disadvantages of e-commerce clearly proves that there are two sides to a coin. However, the pros outweigh the cons. At the end of the day everyone wants the best quality products at affordable and competitive prices, be it online or offline.