The disadvantages of e-commerce – Astra Security
As you can see, opening a commercial site offers great development potential, and therefore represents a great career opportunity. However, I would be lying to you by saying loud and clear that everything is rosy and that running an online store involves no inconvenience…
1. The competition is tough!
Even if the potential of the Internet remains immense, competition is particularly fierce in the e-commerce sector.
As proof, according to FEVAD, French commerce on the Internet has more than 182,000 merchant sites (3). Worse still: 87% of the turnover generated on the web is made by only 5% of the biggest merchant sites, which is equivalent to around 9000 online shops.
Of course, the top of the ranking is always distributed between the same giants of the Web, namely Amazon, Fnac or CDiscount.
However, rest assured, despite this competition, 68% of merchant sites still declare to be profitable.
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2. Beware of technical problems making the site unavailable!
Beyond the competition, the other major drawback in terms of e-commerce is from a purely technical point of view. Nothing is more damaging than a broken down or idling website.
Therefore, I advise you to be very careful when choosing your host. Do not be seduced by the overly attractive offers and the discounted accommodation. This necessarily hides something!
Choose quality hosts, which will allow you to integrate a large content on your pages while making your site accessible simultaneously to a large number of visitors. Even if breakdowns are never excluded, technical problems must remain occasional so as not to be harmful to your business.
Interruptions are almost non-existent and the team very reactive in the event of a problem! So this is something you will never have to manage.
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3. E-commerce does not allow fitting before purchase
Another major problem of e-commerce, often raised by the customers themselves: the impossibility of trying the articles.
Certainly, it is quite possible to return a product when it is not suitable or to have several articles sent and pay only for what you keep. However, this implies steps on the part of the consumer. The impossibility of trying is one of the major obstacles to internet consumption.
Again, rest assured, with improved technologies, and in particular thanks to augmented reality, customers now have an increasingly realistic overview of the rendering of their articles.
Some online sales sites rely on more interactive experiences, which even allow their customers to try their new glasses, or even test their makeup on their face!
The fitting problems will soon be a bad memory…
4. The client must be patient to have answers to his questions
Likewise, e-commerce can sometimes frustrate most impatient customers. If the buyer knows exactly what he is looking for, this poses no particular concern.
On the other hand, if he has questions about an article, he can sometimes have trouble finding answers.
In stores, he just needs to contact a competent salesperson to solve his problem.
On a commercial site, on the other hand, he must send a message or contact customer service to get his response.
To avoid misunderstandings and guarantee customer satisfaction, I encourage you to be as responsive as possible! If your online store is growing, do not hesitate to subcontract this task to specialized advisers, working overextended hours.
5. Items sold must be shipped
Besides, since we are impatient of customers, tell yourself that shipping times are one of the biggest disadvantages of e-commerce.
When the customer really wants or needs an item, he can have it much faster at home if he goes to a traditional store to buy it.
When making a purchase on the Internet, you have to wait until the item is prepared and then shipped, to which are added the postal delays.
Internet buyers are so anxious to have their purchases in their possession that more and more people are subscribing to paid subscriptions and fast delivery services.
In any case, always clearly indicate to your customers your delivery times at the time of the order and make sure to respect them. The satisfaction of your online buyers depends on it!
6. Information security is a key issue
In 85% of cases (4), Internet users who buy on the Web use their bank cards as a means of payment. It is the most common method of paying for online purchases.
The Internet addresses of secure sites are easily identifiable since they always start with https and not with Http. A small padlock must also be displayed in the closed position, next to the address of the payment page.
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Finally, the 3D Secure system can also request an additional code from customers, received by SMS, to secure the transaction.
All these means effectively fight against ecommerce fraud and greatly reassure consumers. You absolutely must put them in your online store!
7. Physical stores are still popular with the public
Finally, despite all these elements, and even if e-commerce continues to grow, physical stores are still popular with the public. 90% of purchases in France are always made in traditional shops.
In question? The desire of buyers to be able to try, smell, handle and touch products.
But after all, is there not enough space for all those involved in sales, both for physical businesses and for online sales sites?
Now that you know everything about the main aspects of e-commerce, let me just remind you of a few figures. According to the Federation of E-commerce and Distance Selling (FEVAD), France has nearly 38.8 million d ‘buyers on the net (6), or 1,505 billion online transactions per year, for a turnover of 92.6 billion euros.
In other words, even if the competition is fierce, the colossal potential of e-commerce leaves you plenty to take your share of the cake!