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36 Advantages and Disadvantages of Ecommerce

Look Beyond the Hype: Analyze the Advantages and Disadvantages of Ecommerce


I have already written articles about the advantages of ecommerce and its disadvantages. But those were focused on the primary pros and cons of ecommerce. There is a need for a more exhaustive list.

Given below is a large list of advantages and disadvantages of ecommerce. This list will help you look beyond the hype and develop your own perspective of the true value of ecommerce: to businesses and to consumers. Interestingly there are many advantages for consumers that might actually be a disadvantage for ecommerce businesses.

1. Pro: No Standing in Queues or Being Placed on Hold Forever

Young woman holding credit card, using laptop
Bambu Productions/Taxi/Getty Images
For customers, this is one of the most popular conveniences of ecommerce.

2. Con: Lack of Personal Touch

I miss the personal touch and relationship that develops with a retail store. In comparison, ecommerce is far more sterile.

3. Pro and Con: Easier to Compare Prices

There are several shopping search engines and comparison shopping websites that help consumers locate the best prices. While buyers love this, sellers find it too restrictive as many of them get filtered out of the consumer's consideration set.

4. Pro: Access to Stores Located Remotely

Especially for people who are not situated in major urban centers, this can be a big advantage. Likewise ecommerce opens new markets for ecommerce businesses.

5. Con: Inability to Experience the Product Before Purchase

There are many products that consumers want to touch, feel, hear, taste and smell before they buy. Ecommerce takes away that luxury.

6. Pro: No Need for a Physical Store

Since there is no need for a physical store, ecommerce businesses save on one of the biggest cost overheads that retailers have to bear.

7. Con: Need for an Internet Access Device

Ecommerce can only be transacted with the help of an Internet access device such as a computer or a smartphone.

8. Con: Need for an Internet Connection

Not just does one need an access device, one also needs Internet connectivity to participate in ecommerce.

9. Pro and Con: Common Availability of Coupons and Deals

Though there is nothing about ecommerce that makes it intrinsically oriented to discounts, the way online business has evolved has led to lowered prices online. This is an advantage for the buyer, but a disadvantage for the seller.

10. Pro: Lots of Choices

Since there are no shelf size or store size limitations, ecommerce businesses are able to list many different items.

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