What is E-commerce - Advantages and Drawbacks
by William King
Electronic Commerce or e-commerce is the trade of products and services by means of the Internet or other computer networks. E-commerce follows the same basic principles as traditional commerce that is, buyers and sellers come together to swap commodities for money. But rather than conducting business in the traditional way in shopping stores or through mail order catalogs and telephone operators — in e-commerce buyers and sellers transact business over networked computers.
E-commerce offers buyers maximum convenience. They can visit the web sites of multiple vendors round the clock a day to compare prices and make purchases, without having to leave their homes or offices from around the globe. In some cases, consumers can immediately obtain a product or service, such as an electronic book, a music file, or computer software, by downloading it over the Internet.
For sellers, e-commerce offers a way to cut costs and expand their markets. They do not need to build, staff, or maintain a physical store or print and distribute mail order catalogs. Automated order tracking and billing systems cut additional labor costs, and if the product or service can be downloaded then e-commerce firms have no distribution costs involved. Because the products can be sold sell over the global Internet, sellers have the potential to market their products or services globally and are not limited by the physical location of a store. Internet technologies also permit sellers to track the interests and preferences of their customers with the customer’s permission and then use this information to build an ongoing relationship with the customer by customizing products and services to meet the customer’s needs.
E-commerce however has some drawbacks. Consumers are hesitant to buy some products online. Online furniture businesses, for example, have failed for the most part because customers want to test the comfort of an expensive item such as a sofa before they purchase it. Many people also consider shopping a social experience. For instance, they may enjoy going to a store or a shopping mall with friends or family, an experience that they cannot duplicate online. Consumers also need to be reassured that credit card transactions are secure and that their privacy is respected.
In the existence of these few disadvantages e-commerce has opened new horizons to versatile the modern age. It puts away time, energies, labor and money.
William King is the director of All Wholesale UK, Wholesale Pages, Wholesale-Canada and Dropshipping Directory. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.