E-commerce has grown exponentially the world over. The global e-commerce market is expected to be a whopping $5.55 trillion in 2022. If you’re planning to tap into this market, it’s good to know about the pros and cons of e-commerce.
For savvy entrepreneurs, e-commerce promises a lot. But whether it’s selling on Etsy or selling on Shopify, you should know what you’re getting into. That’s where this list of pros and cons of e-commerce will come in handy.
What is e-commerce?
E-commerce refers to the buying, selling and trading of goods and services over the internet. It could be a physical product like a smartphone, or a digital product like an e-book.
E-commerce can be conducted through a smartphone, computer or dedicated mobile app. Along with physical and digital products, other services such as payment gateways and internet banking are also included in e-commerce.
Different types of e-commerce
There are essentially five types of e-commerce:
• B2B: Business-to-business is where businesses trade and transact with each other
• B2C: In business-to-consumer, businesses sell to consumers through merchants or marketplaces
• D2C: In direct-to-consumer, companies directly sell to consumers without using any intermediaries
• C2C: When consumers trade with each other using a third-party platform such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay, it’s called consumer-to-consumer
• C2B: Consumer-to-business is where consumers add value to a business through positive online reviews or suggestions for new products
4 advantages of e-commerce
The whole world is your market with e-commerce. You could be based in Burnley and sell your products to consumers in Bahrain. If you’re selling on Etsy or selling on Shopify, the platform will deliver the audience.
Unlike a physical store, you don’t have to spend on infrastructure, lease, interior design or storefront. For an e-commerce store, you also don’t have to spend on conventional advertising, which will further save you money.
In a physical store, you would be limited by the store’s space. But in e-commerce, you can stock up as much as you want on as many categories as you want. You can also expand into more categories if you see a higher demand there.
More opportunities for conversion
E-commerce stores allow you to upload photos, brochures, videos, customer testimonials, etc. With the help of these marketing collaterals, you will have greater chances of conversion.
4 disadvantages of e-commerce
No personal touch
Some customers value the visit to physical stores and interactions with salespeople. This is especially true for high-end products. E-commerce stores can’t deliver this customer experience.
No tactile experience
The fact that customers cannot hold, touch or smell a product may dampen brand experiences for some consumers. A computer or phone screen can never deliver that real-life experience.
Unless you have a unique product, what you offer can be copied. This leads to extreme pressure on pricing, which will reduce your margins.
Although stores are delivering faster than ever before, customers still have to wait days or at least a few hours to get the product. This is different from physical stores where they can walk out with the product.
Athlete: Making your e-commerce business run more easily
Athlete is the Shopify app for Etsy syncing that helps e-commerce store owners to sell on both platforms and users to sync between the two. This helps them save time while delivering a seamless experience.
You can ship orders from either Shopify or Etsy and the order will be instantly updated. As an e-commerce seller, you’ll be to handle upgraded tax and personalisation notes and shipping with Athlete. The app gives you a comprehensive view of the status of your orders on its dashboard which will help you deliver better customer experiences.