The global eCommerce sales are anticipated to rise to 4 trillion dollars by 2020. In the United States, commercial retailers have generated 322.17 billion dollars in sales profit already.
This increase has made e-commerce business viable for those looking to start an e-commerce store or turnkey online store.
Having an e-commerce business comes with several benefits. This article contains several advantages and disadvantages that will help you decide if an e-commerce business is right for you. The benefits of an online business will keep you motivated and excited all through your business journey.
e-Commerce Stores Advantages
From passive income to minimal financial cost, there are many vital reasons to have an online store. These advantages will assist you in determining if an e-commerce business is perfect for you.
- Low cost with dropshipping
Starting an e-commerce business is very affordable when compared to physical stores. These Physical stores pay a lot of to money to rent a store, which includes a lot of upfront expenses like store design, store signs, buying of inventory, and so much more.
Nonetheless, e-commerce stores pay only pay $3192 yearly on Shopify which includes user-friendly e-commerce platform like turnkey online stores, Shopify themes, hosting, and amazing applications.
You may decide to employ some workers when you get to a particular level; however, it all depends on the kind of e-commerce business you want to establish. If you decide to dropship, buying inventory in bulk won’t be necessary and this will save you a whole lot of cash.
Having a store logo is less expensive compared to creating a store sign. You will get to spend less if you opt for an online store. So if you want to start a business while minimizing cost, a turnkey online store is just perfect. You don’t require any technical skill to start. Once the site is set up, all you have to do is stock your turnkey online store with products and you are all set for business!
- E-commerce Income
One of the many benefits of having online stores is that the rate at which you make sales is not dependent on the time and this is because online stores are always available.
You can use your ads to attract potential clients at any time of the day. However, most physical stores are only available at a stipulated time (8 am to 9 pm or 9 am to 9 pm). With a turnkey online store, you can always attract people who need to buy goods at any time of the day.
- Customers enjoy personalized experience
With e-commerce, there is the very important advantage of making every customer enjoy what they want, how they want it while shopping with you. From a personal welcome message to similar products and retargeting based on their search, location, purchase behavior, products added to cart etc, a customer can be made to feel very special and wanted.
Retargeting is one vital benefit e-commerce provides, it has the potential to increase sales by helping a customer make up their mind or make that purchase in case they forgot. To maximally retarget, create a Facebook pixel or use a Shoelace Shopify app, especially for those who visit your site, but didn’t make a purchase or added some items in their cart, but didn’t pay for them.
- Global market and reach
Unlike a brick and mortar store which puts a restriction on who can purchase from you, e-commerce breaks the barrier of location and reach. Customers anywhere in the world can find you and place orders, as long as they have an internet connection. You can ship products to them anywhere they are and thus increase sales. The beauty of this is that your sales would not be dependent on any country’s economy.
- Ease of processing large number of orders
No matter how large the orders are, e-commerce allows you to process them swiftly with ease. The long queues and delay time faced in physical stores are eliminated, increasing customer satisfaction and sales.
- Affordable salaries
One issue you would not have to worry about is that of managing and paying so many employees, as is the case in a brick and mortar store. An e-commerce or turnkey online store requires few employees, who can be from around the world. You may not even need to employ anyone from the beginning and you get to choose where you employ them from to maximize cash spent on salaries.
- Easy access to customer data
Online, customers have no problems creating an account or filling out their name, email or phone number, but this is a little difficult to achieve in retail stores because they consider it invasive. E-commerce allows you get customer data with ease, providing you with various means to advertise and retarget them. You can take it further by getting feedback from customers through surveys.
- Expansion is easy and quick
Remember how retail stores expand? Renovation or acquisition of a new store, increase in employees, products etc, which means spending more money. For e-commerce, your expansion is only about a click or two away. All you need do is increase your budget on ads if they are doing well with no worries about the increase in demand. If you decide to Dropship, you can add new products to your store quite easily.
- Boosts impulse purchase
A good photograph, with great color and content that taps on human emotion, can easily convert a window shopper to an impulse buyer. E-commerce encourages impulse buying, which is good for business.
Disadvantages of e-commerce
Despite all its advantages, e-commerce has some disadvantages and possible challenges which you should also know
- No sales during a site crash
The biggest challenge of e-commerce is that the moment your site crashes, no customer can buy or place orders. It is therefore paramount that your site is hosted on the right platform. You can consider the free hosting Shopify offers in its monthly fee. With this, you are certain that your site will almost never crash or be down because it has the best servers available in the market.
- No trial before purchase
The inability of customers to try out items before they pay for them used to be a huge disadvantage of e-commerce, but with the new Augmented Reality (AR) technology, customers can try items virtually before they place an order. Many e-commerce stores are maximizing the benefits of these new technologies to ensure their customers get the best experience possible.
- E-commerce Competition
The e-commerce world is a very competitive one. The best niches in the market are taken and very competitive, especially for beginners. To overcome this challenge, consider going after an audience that is different from the ones your competitors are pursuing, this way you can create your own niche. Being the first in a niche has many advantages. You can use Facebook ads, organic ranking with SEO optimization, Instagram marketing, blog posts etc as tools to generate organic traffic.
- Delay in responding to Customer inquiries
The ability to make an inquiry is one privilege customer’s treasure, when they cannot do that or responses to their inquiries are delayed, they can get angry and/or impatient. This reaction can lead them to another more available store. This, therefore, means that you require a 24/7 online presence, which means you will need to employ a Customer Service Representative(s), which you can get at Upwork. They can keep your customers informed and happy.
- Showcase Bestsellers
Showcasing best selling products in an e-commerce store is very easy. Even though you can create a physical store to make people purchase certain goods, it is stress-free for a potential customer to search for best-sellers in an e-commerce store. You can display new products to your customers by including them in your email marketing, turnkey online store, or retargeting ads.
- Dropshipping Shipping time
The choice of running an e-commerce store comes with a commitment to ship products to customers. Research has shown that most customers will pay more to get their products on the same day they made the order. Same day delivery will keep you up on the market, but since this isn’t always possible, be transparent with customers about shipping time. It is frustrating to wait past the given date for a product, in most cases, the customer may never return if this happens.
- E-commerce not so popular
Despite its growth in recent time, e-commerce’s popularity is still second to retail stores. Though there is a gradual decline, a brick and mortar store is still the first choice for most customers. It has been around longer so might still take a little while before it gets overtaken by e-commerce.
In deciding whether or not you will go ahead with your e-commerce or Turnkey online store, you have these advantages and disadvantages to guide you. Remember to make your choice based on what will work best for you, keeping in mind that nothing is without a disadvantage, not even e-commerce.