Is e-commerce what your business needs?

Cecilia C. |

In my last blog entry we talked about the importance of having a website, which can bring enormous advantages to your business. But what about e-commerce? Is it a good thing to implement in your business or are there any other aspects to consider? There are so many advantages that e-commerce can provide you, but maybe not all these apply to your business. First of all you need to have a very clear view of the know-hows of your business, so you can accurately analyze whether this option is for your or not. Here is a list of 5 advantages and 5 disadvantages of e-commerce that may help you decide.

ADVANTAGES

1. Convenience
The same way a website can prove how convenient is online selling, e-commerce can give your clients the opportunity to engage on business without having to get up from their couch. All they need is a computer, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection to make an online purchase. A store that works 24/7.

2. Widen your market
You will expand your market, not only you will reach your local consumers more effectively, but you can actually reach anyone, any time, any where in the world with the proper Search Engine Optimization tools.

3. Money savings
Since e-commerce doesn’t require a lot of personnel, you can save a lot of money that otherwise would have been destined for salaries, benefits, or taxes. You can also save money thanks to online advertising and marketing. Take advantage of social media and targeted advertising to reach the market you want. Another way to save money is that you don’t necessarily require a physical location.

4. Personalized Experience
Clients can compare among similar products and make the decision that they think it’s the best for them. This offers them a more personalized experience since the use of cookies will automatically provide your potential client with all the options available according to their browses. Also, it offers them the possibility to track their order, access to personalized rewards, and customer service.

5. Broaden your brand
e-commerce can offer you the possibility to sell products that you can’t offer in store for whatever reason. This way you can attract new customers and diversify your sales.

DISADVANTAGES

1. Delays
Unless you offer local express delivery, or the goods you offer are digital, your clients will have to wait days or even a week or two to get what they bought according to their location and the shipping service they payed for. Some people still prefer to drive to an actual store and see the product for themselves, buy it and then take it home with them.

2. Distrust
Many users, especially the elders, don’t trust online retail as there are risks of fraud or identity theft if the necessary precautions to ensure a safe web experience are skipped.

3. Lack of human interaction
This is especially a problem if your business offers services that require interaction between the two parts involved, such as legal advice. You may offer a one-on-one chat service but some details and flexibility may be lost without an actual human interaction. This can also lead to point 2.

4. Product inconvenience
Are your products perishable? Do they represent a transportation problem that you can’t handle? Then maybe e-commerce is not the best option for you but it will still be great to have a website and social media profiles to strengthen your costumer service and maintain a good online presence. Some supermarkets offer local online delivery, which can be a great option if your goods are perishable but it would be limited only to your local area.

5. Technical difficulties
This is especially bad when you have a global presence because in some countries or isolated areas internet bandwidth is not good enough to establish a stable connection. You may also need some special types of web servers, software and take good care that your website and your e-commerce platform is compatible with all types of devices, otherwise you may lose a wide market.

It is very important to know your business so you can take accurate decisions to always improve, always bring the best, and of course, always get more from it.