E-commerce or E-tailing has been around for more than four decades now. However, it has exploded into the mainstream over the past two. While there is no doubt that e-commerce is the future, it still has its drawbacks. It can never quite give the same experience as a traditional purchase from a brick and mortar store. Let’s take a look at some of these issues in question keeping in mind the point of view of both the seller and the buyer.
The first one that comes to mind is an inconvenience for both parties. A site crash. We’ve all had this happen to us one time or another, no one benefits in this situation. High site traffic and overloaded servers are often the main culprits which is why hosting the site on a reliable platform is a must for any e-tailer.
Speaking from a customer’s perspective, a very obvious problem is that they can’t physically feel or try the product before they buy. This is a bigger turn off for more people than one would expect it to be. While actually holding the desired item isn’t possible, augmented reality and interactive online marketing is slowly bridging the gap between the consumer and the site. Moving on to the seller’s PoV, there are quite a few hurdles. Firstly, while it is possible to have instant customer support at hand, it gets much tougher as traffic rises and volumes increase.
Compare this to a physical store. Here the salesperson can answer the query in real time, this may not seem like a major problem but it can lead to the buyer going elsewhere. This is also a perfect segue into the next shortcoming of e-commerce platforms, which is the amount of competition involved. Take any sector, there are more than many alternatives you can choose from. It isn’t easy to attract more and more eyeballs to your site. However, that’s what everyone’s working toward, which makes it even harder.
Another issue that arises is the actual delivery of products. While for most products take 1-2 days on average, some products take up to a week. This not only isn’t ideal for customers, but shipping logistics aren’t at all easy to organise for the e-tailer.
Those, in my opinion, are some of the issues that e-commerce platforms face. Understandably, even though online shopping is becoming the norm day by day, in terms of sales physical retail absolutely blows the online boat out of the water. However, the position of an online retailing can and will only get better over time.
By Abhishek Aggarwal