E-commerce forum: advantages and disadvantages
E-commerce can be defined as, “CIT mediated transactions between an organization and its customers, suppliers and employees. It simply means that transactions between a firm and its customers and suppliers are transmitted over computer networks. “(Simon Fraser). Commerce has many advantages as well as disadvantages. I will attempt to elaborate on some of those advantages and disadvantages from both the buyer and seller point of view. I will begin from the sellers’ perspective. There are many advantages of commerce to being a seller. Firstly as a seller or business, you can operate twenty four (24) ours a day, seven (7) days a week.
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There is no limit to when you can open and close as opposed to having a physical store which would typically open eight to ten (8-10) hours a day. This point then extends over to the next, where as it eliminated the need for having an actual physical location. This saves money, lowers operation costs and makes it easier to set up and start. Eliminating an actual physical store and going online not only gives you unlimited opening hours but an unlimited geographical outreach to potential and existing customers. There also exist many disadvantages to sellers.
Sellers will lose that personal touch and close relationships with customers even though they recently started relying on social media networks such as backbone and twitter to get feedback and responses from customers. I believe it’s a step up and helps but isn’t the same as a face to face conversation and interaction. Another disadvantage is that if some mechanical failure or network failure occurs, the entire business process becomes interrupted; therefore businesses need to ensure everything is properly implemented. As a consumer, there also exist many advantages and disadvantages.
To begin I would explain some advantages. Customers have a wide range of choices to select from and they have the ultimate form of convenience. They can shop wherever and whenever they want. They also have the choices of comparing prices faster as opposed to walking around to stores to see. I believe that when companies try hard to be competitive and lower price while improve quality, that the customer benefits more. This means that all consumers out there who shop online have that benefit of owe prices; due to the competitive nature commerce creates.
Several disadvantages also exist and I will explain them. Firstly product quality is one. Consumers may be promised a certain quality but that is all they may get, a promise. Sometimes there is no guarantee that the product they see is what they will get and even exactly what is described. Secondly, consumers are deprived of that personal touch of human interaction so the chances customer loyalty is reduced. As a side note, and as an attempt by me to defend this point, I believe that customers shop online for a reason. Companies try to be innovative and provide a very user friendly, fun interface along with a pleasant shopping experience from start, through payment, all the way to delivery