Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Business
E-business being a hot business topic provides many advantages as well as disadvantages.
e-business/e-commerce has completely changed the way of buying and selling at present. The advantages of e-business are equally important to the company, customers, and society.
Let’s talk about how companies, customers, and society are benefited from e-business practices and how they are de-benefited.
Advantages To Company
E-business lets companies reach international customers. The company can create a website which means the website is accessible all over the world. Doing so is also easy to set up – there is no need for any physical space – the company can easily build a website just by having a device, and an internet connection and can easily reach global customers with minimum investments.
E-business reduces the time to manage files, store files, retrieve files, and minimizes the time of different physical tasks. With e-business technologies, a company can easily store, manage, and retrieve information whenever needed. It almost reduces the paperwork of the company which is the probably most time-consuming work.
Improves Brand Image
E-business supports companies to provide better services at affordable prices. Customers can visit websites and compare products’ prices, features, quality, and other attributes as there are too many resources available on the internet. Better service means a positive brand image of the company. Through it, the company does not get a local brand image but also an international brand image.
Provide Better Services
e-Commerce helps companies to provide better services. It allows companies to talk with customers in too many ways, customers can make contact – discuss product’s features, decision making is quick, customers’ time is saved if customers do not feel comfortable talking through messaging, phone calls, emailing are available.
Simplifies Business Process
E-business also helps companies to simplify their business process and makes their functioning faster and more efficient. The simple structure, easy-to-understand layout, quick options to choose & unchoose products, the short process of delivery, etc. all add to make a simple structure.
All the above-mentioned advantages of e-business are evidence that it increases the productivity of the company.
Advantages To Customers
One of the advantages of e-business to customers is that customers can get support from companies 24 hours a day. To get the support they do not have to wait to open the shop as happens in offline businesses.
Consumers can enjoy the benefits of more options, they can easily visit websites, that compare similar products, which let them choose better options, especially the better and cheaper ones.
Today the internet market is also full of reviews – customers can easily visit product review websites and better understands the positive and negative aspects of the products before buying.
Customers can also participate in virtual auctions and bid prices for the products they want to have. eBay, auction.com, eBid, etc. are the available websites for virtual auctions.
Customers do not have to wait for relevant information about the products or services. They can get the within the seconds, rather than waiting for days or weeks.
More competition means more discounts for customers. E-commerce increase the competition which forces companies to provide more discounts to get more customers’ attention. In addition, customers also enjoy different, new, and quality products at lower prices.
Most e-commerce companies provide free delivery services to customers. Customers just have to visit websites and order the products. This also is time-saving as customers can order products from their beds.
Advantages To Society
Less Traffic and Air Pollution
Since customers do not have to go outside of their houses to shop for products fewer traffic results on the roads and air pollution is also reduced.
Better For Less Affluent People
In e-Commerce, there are no intermediaries who certainly increase the price of products through different modes of commission. Here, the deals are directly made between buyers and sellers as such the product’s price becomes affordable for even poor people.
Access To Rural Areas
e-Commerce has also given access to rural areas people – with an internet connection and a device they can enjoy the benefits of e-commerce which is difficult in traditional commerce since shops are too far from the reach of rural people.
E-commerce helps the government to deliver public services such as healthcare, education, and social services at a reduced cost and in an improved manner.
Disadvantages of E-Business
Along with too many advantages e-business also has some disadvantages. The disadvantages of e-business can be broadly classified into two major categories – technical disadvantages and non-technical disadvantages.
- There can be a lack of system security, reliability, or standards owing to poor implementation of e-commerce.
- The software development industry is still evolving and keeps changing rapidly.
- In many countries, network bandwidth might cause an issue.
- Sometimes, it becomes difficult to integrate an e-commerce software or website with existing applications or databases.
- There could be software/hardware compatibility issues, as some e-commerce software may be incompatible with some operating system or any other component.
- Internet access is still not cheaper and is inconvenient to use for many potential customers, for example, those living in remote villages.
- Initial cost − The cost of creating/building an e-commerce application in-house may be very high. There could be delays in launching an e-Commerce application due to mistakes, and lack of experience.
- User resistance − Users may not trust the site being an unknown faceless seller. Such mistrust makes it difficult to convince traditional users to switch from physical stores to online/virtual stores.
- Security/ Privacy − It is difficult to ensure security or privacy on online transactions.
- Lack of touch or feel of products during online shopping is a drawback.