Electronic commerce or e-commerce, are business transactions that involves purchasing and selling of products or services that is carried through Internet and other computer networks. When did e-commerce actually started? E-commerce was instituted in the year 1970; where for the electronic data interchange or EDI, and electronic fund transfer were introduced for the very first time. Since then, there was a rapid growth of e-commerce that passes through in every other aspects of business.
Similar to the traditional business, e-commerce is as well characterized by some advantages and inherent drawbacks. Let us take a look of some of the advantages and disadvantages of e-commerce. The furthermost advantage of e-commerce is that permits the businesses to reach the global market. It accommodates the needs of different markets locally or internationally, as business activities are no hindered by geographical boundaries. E-commerce helps a lot of businesses including small enterprise. They can easily access the global market for purchasing and selling products or services. Moreover, the time restriction basically does not exist anymore since you can access the business transactions using e-commerce anytime you want 24 hours a day.
E-commerce opens opportunity for the customers to take a look at cheaper and quality products. Through e-commerce, consumers can easily find and search for new products that may not be offered from shopping malls and stores. There are times that consumers can find products from the original manufacturers that are way cheaper than those charged by wholesalers. Thus, shopping online is more convenient and time saving than the traditional shopping of products. Moreover, it also can help the consumers to decide on what to buy because of the reviews posted by other customers.
E-commerce significantly cuts down costs associated with marketing and sales, customer care, and inventory management especially for business concerns. It also reduces the time involved for modifying products to meet the demands of the customers. Electronic commerce also minimizes the burden of building infrastructures to conduct business. Moreover, it enables to have a strong relationship with customers for having an efficient customer care services.
Electronic commerce is also characterized by some technological and inherent limitations, which may hamper a number of people from using the system. One of the considered limitations of e-commerce is that there are still a lot of people who were not touched by Internet, either due to lack of knowledge and lack of trust. There are people who prefer not to use Internet for any kind of financial transactions. At times, the legality and authenticity of some e-commerce sites have been questioned.
An additional limitation of e-commerce is that there are items, which are not suitable like perishable items. Most people prefer to shop in a very conventional way especially for purchasing food products. Furthermore, the time that will be spent for delivering a perishable item can be quite significant for e-commerce.
As we go through the evaluation of the pros and cons of e-commerce, we can see that the pros can overweigh the drawbacks of e-commerce. The scenario can be change through a proper strategy for addressing some issues and to build the trust of customers to help the world easily adapt to the changing needs of the world.