Table of Contents
1 Inability to Engage In-Person with Customers
2 Customer Concerns Over Security
3 Fierce Competition with other eCommerce Businesses
4 Possibility of Long Shipping Times
5 Technical Issues
eCommerce business has risen in both importance and popularity as a business practice. Due to the ease of setup, online functionality and the increase in technology it has become a preferred method of business.
Though there are many positives that eCommerce business is able to provide, there are also many disadvantages when it comes to starting and running one.
This blog will discuss several disadvantages that can occur while having an eCommerce business. These are challenges that eCommerce businesses or people considering starting one must know.
Inability to Engage In-Person with Customers
An unfortunate disadvantage that all eCommerce businesses share is that they aren’t able to engage in-store with customers. A big part of customers having trust in the integrity of the products you sell is if they are able to see it in-store. Since this isn’t possible with an eCommerce website, it means that you’ll have to place more effort in ensuring customer service and product display is of high quality. As an eCommerce business, you’ll have to ensure that your product descriptions and use of images is optimal.
There is also a sentimental element that is provided with an in-store shop rather than an eCommerce business. Since the pandemic forced many local businesses and shops to close down, customers have begun to better appreciate the experience of shopping in-store.
Overall, not having an in-store business will put more onus on the eCommerce business to better sell their products as customers won’t be able to interact with them intimately.
Customer Concerns Over Security
Shopping on an eCommerce website means that customers will have to enter their payment information into your systems. Financial fraud and payment security are big concerns for customer shopping online. Because of the prevalence of hacking and the many technical issues that can arise online, many customers feel less secure shopping online than they would in-store. There are many shopping security threats that customers are weary of, with identity theft being a common note of concern.
Because of this, it is vital that your site has encrypted payment software to ensure the safety of customer payment information. This is especially important as just as an eCommerce sector has grown into a full fledged realm, likewise has online fraud within the sector.
Ultimately, you’ll have to use more effort to convince and ensure customers that their payment information is safe if they choose to shop at your eCommerce business.
Fierce Competition with other eCommerce Businesses
Another challenge that eCommerce businesses face is the threat of competition in the market. Due to how relatively easy it is to set up an eCommerce business, the barrier to be a competitor is very low as compared to a brick-and-mortar store. This is as with the latter there are several stages that a business owner must go through in order to set up shop. The cost and time needed to establish an in-store shop is incomparable.
As a result of this, it means that the average eCommerce business faces fierce competition especially if they are a general store and not a niche one. Moreover you are also competing with more well-known eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and eBay.
Because of this, it can be harder to establish brand prestige and to stand out from the sea of other eCommerce businesses.
A big task is finding ways to be unique but also not deviant from what customers want in an online store. Good news is that there are many ideas you can use for your eCommerce business that are effective and can help you compete.
Possibility of Long Shipping Times
Having an eCommerce business means that the only way customers can receive their orders is through shipping. Because of this, it means customers have to experience longer timeframes to receive their purchase orders than they would have to in a brick-and-mortar store. When a customer visits a highstreet store they are able to buy and take home their order the same day.
This is also an important factor in customers being willing to leave positive reviews. It cannot be emphasised enough how crucial customer reviews and testimonials can be for your business, good or bad. Because of this you want to ensure that your shipping times are as fast as reasonably possible.
Also if you aren’t able to offer delivery options such as same-day and 3-day, then it will be very hard to compete with bigger platforms such as Amazon who are able to fulfil orders much sooner.
If there is one sure advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have over that of an eCommerce business is that a site crash won’t prevent them from having sales.
This issue is one of if not the most serious disadvantages of having an eCommerce business. Why is that? Your ability to make sales is bound by the functionality and health of your eCommerce website. Because of this, any serious technical issues that arise will simply prevent customers from being able to make purchases - or worse, the site fails to work at all.
However, there are ways to mitigate this scenario from happening. One of them is to ensure you have chosen a good host platform. This is a core essential to eCommerce business and will allow you to build your business on a strong foundation. There are many eCommerce platforms that can host your online store for a price. Regardless, it is important that you are aware of the functionalities and features that an eCommerce platform provides before you choose them to be your host.
Despite the many advantages eCommerce business is able to provide it isn’t all sunshine and roses. The reality is that as an eCommerce business you will have to be prepared for certain issues that may undermine your ability to make sales. Factors such as intense competition and customer concerns over security are few of many matters you will have to overcome if you want to achieve a successful eCommerce business.