ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE BUSINESS
We are in the age of the internet and shopping has become easier than ever. All you have to do is click a few buttons and there are thousands of varieties available to us. We have e-commerce companies that have reached the value of trillion-dollar and are making more money than the whole economy of many developed countries. The e-commerce has attracted all sizes of business be it small or big and from various sectors be it clothing, machinery, or even education. The world knows what future demands and with these technological advancements and ease of internet accessibility, people are considering setting their business online more than ever. During the pandemic, we saw an immense increase in the size of the e-commerce market. There are many benefits of setting up a business online but there are a few repercussions too.
Let’s have a look at the advantages and later at the disadvantages of setting up a business online.
Sitting in your most comfortable couch in an air-conditioned office is a lot better than standing in front of a desk in your shop and convincing the customer to buy from you 24*7. You can manage everything by sitting at your home or office.
Reduced Staff Requirements
When you are directly selling to customers there is a lesser requirement to manage your business. Since you don’t have a shop you do not need helpers. For the small businesses that are set at home and they are selling directly to customers, there is no need for a middle man. It saves the recruiting process and you have to deal with fewer people and their problems.
When you set your business online, you don’t have to think about buying/ renting a place for setting up your business. There is no maintenance cost. All you need to do is to have knowledge of creating and managing the business. You can promote them easily on various social media platforms and is easier to advertise and saves a lot of money.
Whenever we are managing offline there are a few situations where there is a hassle between you and the customer. When you are managing online, there is no direct contact between you and the person who is buying from you and it is unlikely for such thing to happen.
When you set up a business online there is no requirement of a middleman. You are selling your products directly to customers and therefore earning the profit directly. There is no setup cost. You just have to have a good delivery system and that’s it.
When you have an online business you have a global reach. Setting up a website on the world-wide-web ensures that anyone around the world can look at your products and buy them.
Easy and fast expansion
When you have a website set already and you have a global audience watching you, even if you start locally but want to expand your business, all you need to do is invest in marketing and delivery system unlike in offline business where there are hassles of setting the store up and making a mark in the unfamiliar new place.
As said earlier, it is more convenient to manage your business sitting on your couch than to stand behind a counter. We are undergoing a pandemic and it is safer to stay away from public places where people gather. Managing from home, you don’t have to worry about the crowd. During the pandemic, stores suffered the most during the lockdown, whereas those who provided service online made a profit.
To keep your store running online all you need to do is to keep the website running and market it properly. Rest, the quality of your product and delivery will keep the sales going. In an offline store, maintenance demand is so high that it the fear of which many people are unable to pursue a career as an entrepreneur.
Nowadays there are many software that helps you track your growth. Let you know about the insights of the business. Since online business is fully digital, you have an upper hand. You can evaluate it.
The biggest problem with online shopping is its impersonal nature. There is no relationship build between the seller and buyer and it results in irregularity. Whereas in offline stores there is bond and trust because of which the customers fix the shop they buy from every time.
The Internet is a new technology and though it is accessible to many of us but in India only, more than half the population is not connected to the internet. Most people are Luddites and apart from Millennial and Generation Z, people hardly use the internet for shopping purposes. There is a big technological gap that is hard to fill in.
With digitization, an increase in the number of startups, and the convenience that the e-commerce market provides, the competition online is more than ever. You have to do something extraordinary to stand out which is not possible in most of cases.
Customers always doubt the credibility of your business. Until you have really good reviews, a fully functional website, and a strong sale record, they won’t be convinced to buy. It becomes really tough to start the business
When you are working from a comfortable place, it is likely to get distracted easier. There are no fixed hours of operation in online business as it is 24*7 open which extends the deadline as you become lenient towards your goal. This is something one should always be careful about.
Although there is no middle man, but in online business, you need to have extensive customer care service to clear out all the doubts your buyer has and even regarding feedback. The customers sometimes are so angry that they give bad reviews and thus this service has to be quick and you have to take accountability for most of the problems.
There are a little too many companies selling the same product online, for buyers though it may bring options but for your business, it is a big loss. The market gets saturated and you have to spend extra on marketing and advertisement for your business.
Your business is run on internet service, though it has developed a lot but even an error of an hour or so brings down your whole operation and you lose out on profit because of a factor for which you are not responsible.
Any business will have advantages and disadvantages but it depends on the owner how they want to go about it. It depends a lot on your hard work and determination that makes or breaks your business. Give your business time to grow and settle in this huge industry. You will definitely make it big with your talent so don’t get overwhelmed and enjoy the process. All the best