Disadvantages of E-Commerce
E-commerce is simply the act of electronically selling or buying of products over the Internet or through electronic services. It is fast becoming the latest trend in the field of business where you can do business round the clock. The Internet has become a global mode for conducting business and has many advantages like lower overheads, more efficient and reliable communication, flexibility and convenience. Many people now use the Internet for their day-to-day work as well as for purchasing products they need. This increased use of the Internet has seen an exponential growth in its usage over the years.
There are numerous benefits to e-commerce. With e-commerce, you can cater to a larger market by getting your products sold faster than through traditional retailing. There is no physical store, thus there is no need to rent any space and hire any employee. With electronic commerce, it is possible for a seller to sell his products instantly, which saves a lot of time and money. It also allows customers to make payments instantly through electronic methods, such as credit cards or PayPal, and gives the seller peace of mind knowing that his product is being shipped directly from the buyer. With the advent of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores have been reduced to a fraction of their usual costs because of the ease with which customers can buy online.
However, there are some downsides associated with e-commerce. Most buyers these days prefer to make purchases online rather than going to the actual store where the goods are available. Although this would mean more income for the seller, it also means less sales and business for him. Most of the time, the consumer interactions happen between the buyer and the seller, and not between the buyer and the brick-and-mortar stores. With electronic commerce, it becomes necessary for the seller to have a website or online store to conduct his business.
Another disadvantage of b2c business transactions is that there is no physical connection between the consumer and the seller. This results in the possibility of goods being stolen by the buyer, especially if he fails to deliver the goods in the right condition. Electronic Commerce presents a lot of risks to the buyers and sellers. It could be compared to a person who travels to other countries and does not keep an eye on his valuables. He assumes that all countries are safe, until something wrong happens.
There are also issues regarding safety. E-commerce businesses handle large amounts of personal information, most of which is sensitive. In cases of fraud, the victims may be blackmailed, spied upon or even forced to hand over money or other goods for free. This is why consumers need to take care when participating in online transactions. Moreover, when physical stores are involved, consumers are at a great disadvantage with the owners.
The lack of physical locations makes the e-commerce industry vulnerable to fraud, which is a great threat to both consumers and businesses. This has prompted several new players to enter the market, hoping to increase their market share. However, as the number of participants increases, this also means that competition will become stiffer, affecting the prices of goods and services. The disadvantages of these new business transactions can be illustrated in the following way.
There are many more cases of cyber criminals impersonating legitimate sellers and fraudulent transactions take place on the Internet, but the most significant risk posed by m-commerce lies in the security level of the Web site. Many sites are not properly encrypted, making it easy for hackers to access customer information and use it for their own benefit. Worse, some sites are only loosely secured, allowing a hacker to obtain vital information such as passwords and user names.
As an alternative, physical stores can provide a good service to both customers and businesses. Physical stores have the advantage of providing the customer with valuable information regarding products and services. Moreover, customers often trust physical stores because they can visit them anytime and can make purchases anytime. The introduction of online shopping carts on e-commerce sites allows these businesses to easily offer a high level of customer service, which is important for the long-term success of these types of businesses.