Looking forward to starting your online business? Perfect! It is the ideal time to enter the field and to stay competitive. According to a report, online sales have been expected to grow around $4.8 trillion. And, it is growing so rapidly that it will be serving around 2.14 billion people approximately. As we all know, e-commerce is delivering products and services online, and when you are working online, you can increase your business manifold. There are more benefits to using e-commerce platforms which we will discuss in this blog further.
Here, our team of e-commerce web developers in Bangalore has discussed the advantages and disadvantages of an online business store to help you decide the right business type for you. These pros and cons of having an e-commerce platform to work will keep you motivated and excited through your business growth path.
What are the different types of e-commerce businesses?
Before starting with anything else, let us discuss the different types of e-commerce businesses in the online business world. The advantages and disadvantages are somewhat different depending on the customers you are selling your products and services to.
1. Business to Business (B2B)
This type of e-commerce business model includes businesses selling their products and services to other business organizations.
2. Business to Consumer (B2C)
This type of e-commerce business model involves business retailers selling products and services directly to the users for their use.
3. Consumer to Business (C2B)
The Consumer to Business model lets the customers sell their products and services to business organizations. For instance- a painter can sell his paintings to multiple corporate clients.
4. Consumer to Consumer (C2C)
This type of model includes two customers who buy and sell products from each other. Some of the e-commerce platforms that let customers trade with one another are Etsy and eBay.
Now that we know the different types of e-commerce businesses, let us hop on to the pros and cons of e-commerce assuming that you are debating on launching a business platform to cater to the needs of online shoppers.
The Pros of Starting an Online Business
What do business owners like about having an online business store? How different is it from the brick-and-mortar system? Here, you will get answers to all the questions from why to start a business online to running it successfully.
Advantage #1: 24/7 Availability
Online business stores are always available for business owners to conduct business activities. You can use ads on social media platforms to attract customers at any time of the day from any part of the world. Being available at all hours for the customers, you can attract them easily to pick up products from your store.
An online business store attracts those customers who have odd work schedules or do not have time for physical shopping. Also, there is no need to accommodate employees on night shifts. All you have to do is automate your online ordering system and let customers get confirmation emails after their order is placed.
Advantage #2: Lowers the Financial Cost
One of the biggest benefits of having an online business store is that it lowers the financial cost as compared to physical stores. To set up a physical store, you have to pay a lot of money to rent the location. There are also upfront costs such as store design, sales equipment, inventory setup, store signs, and many more. Also, hiring the right staff is the most hectic situation.
But, for an e-commerce business store, startup costs have been identified at $418. Like, at Shopify, you have to only pay $3192 a year as virtual rent. They also offer free themes and templates, hosting services, and lots of different perks. Branding also becomes cheap with an online business as the store logo is much more affordable than the sign of the store.
Advantage #3: Scale the Business Easily
One more benefit of an e-commerce business is that it can scale up your business easily. It is easy to increase the ad budget when customers click and buy products without worrying about keeping up with the demand. If you use traditional methods to deliver products to the customer, it is hard to grow product lines and add more cashiers. You have to look for a bigger space to renovate the existing one to scale up the business.
But, if you have an online e-commerce store, then it is easy to add new products to your store without any worry of shipping products or inventory management allowing the business to grow rapidly.
Advantage #4: Sell Products Globally
The next advantage is setting up an online store that lets you sell the business products to customers globally. It is easy to discover your audience whether they are in the USA, the UK, or any neighboring country. If you select to dropship the products from AliExpress, then you get free shipping or ePacket shipping offers. This helps you to ship products competitively to the global audience.
Selling your products globally is a great feeling as it builds your brand and broadens the marketplace and brings more profits against the local competitors. Therefore, to know how to ship your products worldwide, connect with our e-commerce web developers in Bangalore to discuss international shipping tips to help you avoid hurdles to shipping items across borders.
Advantage #5: Display Best Sellers Easily
E-commerce business stores let you display best-selling products to make it easier to show off to the customers. You can design a brick-and-mortar physical store to let people buy popular products, rather than going to different shelves, but it is easy to find the best-sellers through an online store.
It is necessary to sell your bestsellers to the customers as they have been proven. Many customers have bought it before and are happy with their purchase. Also, if you want to let the users know about the new products, then add them in the e-mail marketing, upsell, and targeting ads. An e-commerce business store also lets you include good product photos and descriptions to influence the choice of the users.
The Cons of Starting a Business Online
With advantages, there are always disadvantages. So, when you start an online store, be realistic. Here are some disadvantages of setting up an e-commerce online business store that a business proprietor experiences that does not apply to a physical business store.
Disadvantage #1: Highly Competitive Business
Getting customers is one of the biggest disadvantages of e-commerce online stores. It is a reality that the best niches are the most competitive, which is why most business owners are drawn toward them. Also, if the niche is more competitive, then the ads will be more expensive. There are multiple ways for this. Some of them are-
- You can use a marketing strategy different from your competitors. For instance- If your customers are targeted by Facebook ads by competitors, then you can use SEO optimization strategies.
- If the ads are expensive, then you can try blog posts to generate traffic and target the customers.
- You can also work on CRO campaigns to make you more successful than your competitors.
Disadvantage #2: Lengthy Shipping Time
Lengthy shipping time is one more disadvantage of having an online business store. When a customer shops from a physical store, they take the product home on time. But, through online shopping, you get products within a week.
There are times when you get same-day shipping; it is only profitable if you have the premium version of the online shopping platforms. So, it is recommended to be transparent with your customers and let them know when they will get the package after placing the order.
Disadvantage #3: Cannot Shop During the Site Crash
This is one of the worst cons of e-commerce business as your site can get crashed anytime and no one can buy from your store. Therefore, it is essential to host your website on the right platform. For instance- if you are paying a minimum hosting amount and get a gush in traffic from a converting ad, your website will crash.
Many e-commerce platforms such as Shopify offer free hosting services in their monthly fee that allows you to use the best servers in the online market. There are rare chances of a site crashing on Shopify that does not cause problems in the business.
Disadvantage #4: Impatient Customers
If you are running an offline store, then it is easy to solve the customer’s queries in-store. But, with an e-commerce store, businesses can experience delays in responding to the inquiries of customers. And, if you know the truth, then customers require a response within a day from the business. If there is a delay in responding, then they might get angry and shop anywhere else.
So, it is necessary to be available 24/7 to run an online store effectively. Hire customer service providers who are well-trained to respond to queries and make customers happy. You can even use the Chatbot feature to help people find the answers at any time of the day.
Disadvantage #5: Physical Retail Store is More Popular
Even though the e-commerce business is growing rapidly, physical stores still own their place in the market. Despite the pandemic hitting hard, online stores can only make $709.78 billion globally. So, starting an online business helps you to become a leader in your niche rather than acquiring the overall market.
But, with a physical store, you can even create an online business presence or vice versa. For example, Amazon, one of the biggest online shopping stores, is now building in-person stores to get more customers. And, stores like Gap are going online.
There you have all the advantages and disadvantages of an e-commerce business that reveals all the positive and negative impacts of building an online store. There are so many upsides to starting an online e-commerce business with overcoming the challenges by implementing the ways discussed above.
E-commerce is a huge booming industry, and we expect it to grow more in the coming years. So, if you are also fascinated by e-commerce and want to start your online store, connect with the leading e-commerce web development company in India. Yes, Indglobal helps you to know the process of setting up an e-commerce business to run your organization effectively.
To learn more about e-commerce and get solutions, let our web developers in Bangalore and their team help you in all possible ways.
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