Benefits of E-commerce
Internet or electronic commerce (synonymized E-commerce, Ecommerce, eCommerce, e commerce or eCommerce) refers to internet-based business transactions, including the selling and buying of products and services. The transaction occurs in supported devices, including laptops and smartphones. The process completes after money and data transfer. Meanwhile, E-Commerce also involves related online activities, such as online ticketing, payment gateways, and internet banking, among others.
Over the last few years, E-commerce has both grown and evolved, leveraging technological advancements in information and communication technologies. Increasing access to the internet in the world’s remote areas, as well as the growing capabilities of the internet, have also inspired and facilitated the unprecedented growth of E-commerce businesses. Consequently, E-commerce confers several benefits, to businesses as well as to consumers.
Fast and convenient buying process
With E-commerce, customers are able to shop much faster and typically take a short time from scrutinizing the product, ordering, paying, and receiving it. E-commerce platforms facilitate easy and quick browsing so that customers are able to check through several items simultaneously. Where customers are unable to find their choice products in physical stores, online stores far away are a reliable option. To facilitate the transaction, E-commerce stores typically synchronize the process of searching for the preferred item, evaluating options through their descriptions, adding the preferred item to the cart, and making payment.
Take the example of a customer who fails to find his choice product in the local store after investing energy to search for it. He or she can quickly log into a popular E-commerce store site, browse through the listings and in seconds, and confirm the status of the product. What’s more, online products usually come with discounts. The merchant also delivers it to the customer’s preferred address. The process is that quick, convenient and reliable for customers. A customer can choose from a vast array of products by simply browsing and swiping his finger, and does not have to invest any physical energy. Indeed, the merchant usually delivers the product to the customer’s doorstep.
Lower start-up and operational costs
Starting and operating an online store involves much lower costs compared to physical stores. With physical stores, the seller has to hire customer clerks and pay for tenuous inventory management. They also spend, usually upfront on utilities, rent, and repairs among other operational costs. Unfortunately, the seller may not even realize any returns after such a vast investment. Conversely, online stores spend much less.
Apart from warehousing and storage space costs, they do not need to spend on some operational costs, such as hiring and paying clerks or sales staff. Thus, online stores require only a modest investment compared to physical stores, both to start, as well as to operate. In this sense, even low-capital businesses with little start-up capital can operate E-commerce stores.
Enables targeted and effective marketing
Marketing of products or services is one of the fundamental requirements of every business, whether it operates physical stores or operates an E-commerce store. Those that dominate their competition are typically the ones that are most aggressive at marketing. Thus, a major benefit of E-commerce stores is the ease and efficiency by which a business can market its products and services.
There is a vast amount of customer data online that a business can leverage to understand the buying behavior of customers. By so doing, the business can use the data to build a custom marketing strategy. It can use the same to segment and target specific customers basing on their demographic tendencies or basing on their geographical trends. In this sense, E-commerce businesses are able to design and implement a data-informed and subsequently cost-effective marketing strategy.