As the craziness for mobile usage is increasing globally, the potential of e-commerce growth for the future is also growing. Today, our needs, liking and desires are met globally by the numbers of e-commerce stores; therefore, we have more options to buy the latest that we want which may not be possible at the local market store. The online shopping has added an additional wing to mobile usage.

The first ever online shopping system was created in 1979 by Michael Aldrich. The retail e-commerce sales growth from 2014 to 2020 was predicted to be around 200%, but it may be better than the prediction. The war between physical versus digital has become years old; it is expected to continue forever. A choice, not the location is e-commerce’s most excellent opportunity. Innovative practices are being applied to navigate from an offline world to the online world. The future e-commerce highly depends upon the direct-to-consumer (DTC) models; some which have been structured and many new ones are expected yet to come in future. November and December have been the busiest months for e-stores. February is treated as the slowest month as most of the shoppers feel financially exhausted because of just concluded the festive season.

Forecasts about E-commerce Business:

Retail e-commerce sale is expected to increase to be about $4.058 trillion by the arrival of 2020. Total retail spending will be up 14.6%. Online sales volume has shown steady growth accounting for 17.4% for all the retail sales in the UK; it was 15.9% in 2017. Clothing, textile & footwear stores rank at the top for total online sales followed by the department stores. Average e-commerce sale per week was more than £1.25 million in January; it is expected to be around £1.30 million in March 2019. The UK comes second only after Norway in average numbers of online sales made by a single person. Why are the people turning towards online shopping supporting the e-commerce business model in almost each business sector- healthcare, education, daily need items, food items, travel needs, insurances, and numbers of other things even for commercial use? Here, it becomes essential to go through the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce.

Advantages of E-commerce for Buyers:

  1. Convenience & easiness: The buyers can buy the products and services from the comfort zone of home or office any time of day and night. Quick, convenient and user-friendly opinions make the whole process a fun activity. Buyers save lots of time and money both.
  2. Product datasheets: All the leading e-commerce stores often have an extensive showcase to display the products or services being offered. The served specifications, details of performance, usage guidance, pictures from different angles with zoom facility help to decide quickly with confidence.
  3. Broader options: Almost all the e-commerce stores offer a more full range of products allowing the buyers to chose the best suitable and desirable. A more full variety of options encourages the buyers to revise the buying parameters according to the latest arrivals available about which they are unknown.
  4. Cost saving: The most of online traders source the products directly from the manufacturers; therefore, the middleman’s profit is cut to making the products cheaper than to the prices being offered in the local market. The price cut benefits come to buyers’ pocket.
  5. No cash requirement: You do not need to carrying cash for online shopping. E-commerce stores offer vivid payment gateways to make payment through digital modes. Many times, you get the advantage of promotional schemes of digital payment also.
  6. Security: As you don’t carry cash and most of the products you buy online come with the return policy, you are less prone to risk. Online shopping is more secure than local shopping.

Advantages of E-commerce for Retailers:

  1. Less expensive inventory management: E-commerce businesses have to pay less for inventory management. All the e-commerce stores are designed with in-built automatic inventory management feature that keeps the store owner updated with each sale irrespective to presence or absence at store management place.
  2. Knowledge of buyers’ buying habit: Knowing your customer is the basic rule of any business. E-Commerce retailers can track the buying behaviour of buyers. The knowledge of interests and searching patterns help to update the offerings better matched to target buyers’ likings.
  3. Customer base building: Whosoever makes the purchases, you get the contact details automatically into your systems. Follow-ups and regular interaction for feedback help you build a healthy relationship for long that delivers the advantage of referral and repeated business.
  4. Competence: Price of products/service being offered is the most significant factor that comes up while planning to compete. The e-commerce because a model is more efficient to keep the offered prices the lowest possible because of low operational cost.
  5. Search engines empower your business: The physical retail units are run and promoted through branding, advertising, banners, events and relationships. But, the success of online retail depends upon the performance in search results at delivered by leading search engines. Promoting a business online is more comfortable and less costly than promoting an offline business through traditional practices.
  6. Fewer growth barriers: Because of fewer requirements for expansion, e-commerce businesses have unlimited growth opportunities. E-commerce owners don’t need to stock the products neither they need rental space to showcase their products.

E-commerce Disadvantages:

  • The customers can’t try before buying the products. To solve this highlighted problem, e-commerce businesses are emphasising to make the interactive experience better.
  • E-commerce business faces global competition: Digital marketing space is free from geographical boundaries; therefore, e-commerce stores face more robust competition from the local and other rivals including the new ones.
  • Online shoppers are always in a hurry: Online shoppers are impatient because they have numbers of options to buy the same products just at their fingertips. Therefore, e-commerce businesses hardly get enough time to convince the customer for making purchases. The success depends upon the way of serving the products’ picture and information.
  • Shipping is extra responsibility: As an e-commerce store owner, you get additional responsibility for shipping the products and to ensure the on the time delivery in the right shape. Breakage on the way costs to store owner.

Related: Why Social Media Marketing Is Critical For Small Businesses

Concluding Note:

E-commerce is going to trend more in future with the advent of new technologies. As the setting of an e-commerce store is less expensive and easy to manage also, more and more e-commerce stores are expected to emerge in all the business sectors. Your success depends upon how you handle the challenges and problems strategically.