When people think about starting an e-commerce business, they get really excited about the possibilities. Well, who can blame them as this type of venture seems to be the answer to the dreams of a lot of small business owners? Now, while it is true that online shops bring about some benefits, they also present some challenges that are difficult to ignore. So, before you engage in e-commerce, it is important to be aware of its pros and cons.
List of Pros of E-Commerce
1. It allows you to operate business 24/7.
In this modern world, people would want to receive what they want anytime. Now, having to wait for hours for a certain store to open is not always convenient or desirable. On the other hand, when customers cruising the World Wide Web in the wee hours of the morning are interested in what you are offering on your e-commerce store, they can click the button and buy your items, even while you are sleeping on the job.
2. It gives you access to a larger market.
This benefit is especially true for those selling niche products, where the audience is limited. When you are running an e-commerce site, it would be easier for you to reach people who will like your products, without having to worry that your immediate target market will be able to keep your business running.
3. It does not require a physical store.
One of the limitations you will encounter when starting a business is location, which is definitely true if your shop is on the wrong side of the city or in an inconvenient place, cutting down on potential customers. But with an e-commerce website, you will not have this kind of problem.
List of Cons of E-Commerce
1. It poses some difficulties in finding a good website.
While setting up a website is easy, setting up a good one is not. As you can see, making sure that your customers will find your store needs optimizing your site for search engines. Your e-commerce site will be a huge investment, and if you want your customers to buy your products, you should organize it and make it fast and easy to navigate. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, your site is definitely not something that you can build yourself.
2. It would be difficult to establish trust and awareness.
By owning a brick-and-mortar store, you can interact with your target market personally, allowing you to build trust and relationships, which is not possible with e-commerce sites. Nevertheless, you can still build trust using e-commerce stores, though it requires a lot of effort. If you are not ready to give such, then your business would suffer.
3. It comes with fierce competition.
Unlike physical stores where you will be only competing with local businesses, e-commerce will place you in a position where you have to compete with the whole world. It would be more difficult to stand out and establish a reputation when your market has limitless choices.
With the pros and cons listed above, you will be able to build confidence whether e-commerce is best for you, or not.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.