In today's digital world, online business has become a buzzword, with many entrepreneurs taking their ventures to the internet.
With a growing number of consumers shopping online, having an online presence has become crucial for businesses of all sizes. However, starting a venture has its own set of advantages and disadvantages of online business.
In this blog post, we will delve into the world of online businesses, exploring the advantages and disadvantages of online business.
With data and statistics to back up our claims, we aim to give you a comprehensive understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of online business, so you can make an informed decision on whether it's the right choice for you.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Online Business
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of online business:
Advantages Of Ecommerce
1. Wider reach to potential customers
One of the biggest advantages of online businesses is the ability to reach a wider audience. With the internet, businesses can easily target consumers from all over the world.
According to a report by Statista, in 2021, around 2.14 billion people worldwide purchased goods or services online. This represents a significant increase from the 1.66 billion online shoppers in 2016.
2. Lower costs compared to physical businesses
Online businesses typically have lower overhead costs compared to brick and mortar businesses.
This is because they don’t need to pay for rent, utilities, and other expenses associated with maintaining a physical store.
Shopify’s report found that businesses selling online can save up to 60% on operational costs compared to traditional brick and mortar businesses.
3. Convenience of shopping
Online businesses offer customers the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their own homes. This can lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
A recent survey found that 67% of consumers prefer to shop online because it saves time and effort.
4. Increased Customer Engagement
Online businesses can use various digital marketing techniques to engage with their customers.
This includes email marketing, social media marketing, and content marketing. By creating a strong online presence, businesses can build a loyal customer base and increase sales.
A report by Zendesk found that customer engagement leads to higher customer lifetime value, with engaged customers spending up to 14% more compared to disengaged customers.
Similarly, a study by Forbes Insights found that companies with high levels of customer engagement see a 5-85% increase in the order size.
5. Better data insights help understand customers
Online businesses have access to a wealth of data about their customers and their behavior.
This data can be used to make informed decisions about products, marketing strategies, and more.
A study by the Digital Marketing Institute found that businesses that use data-driven marketing strategies can see up to a 20% increase in sales.
Disadvantages Of Ecommerce
Online businesses have become increasingly popular over the past few years, but they're not without their disadvantages of ecommerce.
Here are a few disadvantages of online businesses:
1. Cybersecurity concerns
With more and more sensitive information being shared online, cybersecurity is a major concern for online businesses.
According to a report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime is projected to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021, a significant increase from $3 trillion in 2015.
The report also states that a cybercrime occurs every 39 seconds, and small businesses are the most vulnerable targets.
2. Dependence on technology
Online businesses rely heavily on technology, from website design to payment processing.
A malfunction or failure in any one of these areas can have a significant impact on the business.
According to a report by Statista, in 2019, 58% of small businesses in the United States reported that their operations were significantly impacted by a technology failure.
This highlights the dependence of small businesses on technology, which can also be a disadvantage in the sense that a small technical glitch can lead to major losses for the business.
3. Competition makes it harder!
The internet has made it easier for businesses to reach customers all over the world, but it has also increased competition.
With so many businesses asking for the same customers, it can be difficult to stand out and grow your business.
This growth in the online market has led to increased competition, with a significant number of businesses vying for customers' attention and sales.
Similarly, a significant number of online shoppers would switch to a competitor if they couldn't find what they were looking for on a website.
4. Shipping costs
Shipping products to customers can be a significant cost for online businesses as they can negatively impact the customer experience and discourage purchases.
According to a 2019 survey by MetaPack, a provider of delivery management technology, 63% of customers cited shipping cost as the reason for abandoning their carts.
5. Lack of personal interaction
Online businesses lack the personal interaction that customers can get from shopping in a physical store. This can make it more difficult to build customer loyalty and trust.
According to a 2019 survey by Accenture, 48% of consumers still prefer in-store shopping for the opportunity to touch and try products, receive personalized service and have immediate access to their purchases.
Lack of trust on the seller and brand is a major concern in online shopping in Pakistan. An unresponsive seller compounds this disadvantage.
6. Impact of negative reviews
Negative reviews can have a major impact on the success of an online business.
According to a study by BrightLocal, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 59% of consumers will only consider purchasing from a business if it has at least a 4-star rating.
This means that even just one negative review can significantly harm a business's reputation and cause potential customers to take their business elsewhere.
Additionally, negative reviews can also affect a business's search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine ranking.
With search engines like Google and Bing considering online reviews when ranking websites, a business with negative reviews may find it harder to rank higher in search results, leading to decreased visibility and fewer customers.
To lessen the damage caused by negative reviews, it is important to provide exceptional customer service and dedicatedly respond to online reviews.
In conclusion, advantages and disadvantages of e commerce are plenty and varied. Entrepreneurs must weigh these factors carefully when making the decision to start a business online.
By understanding the opportunities and challenges of online business, entrepreneurs can develop a solid plan to achieve success.
With the right strategy, online businesses can reach new customers, increase sales, and grow their business.
Go Beyond The Online Shopping Disadvantages
The future of online business in Pakistan still looks promising despite the challenges. With increasing internet and smartphone penetration, the number of online consumers is growing rapidly.
This presents a huge opportunity for businesses to reach out to their target audience and sell their products and services online - all this despite the online shopping disadvantages in Pakistan.
According to a recent study, the e-commerce industry in Pakistan is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 25% between 2020 and 2025.
This rapid growth is largely due to the increasing trust of consumers in online shopping and the convenience it offers.
The future of online business in Pakistan is definitely bright and many new businesses are expected to emerge and succeed in this space.
However, it is important for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and continuously adapt to the changing technological and consumer trends to stay relevant and succeed in the long run.
Worried About The Disadvantages Of Ecommerce In Pakistan?
An entrepreneur in Pakistan can overcome the disadvantages of ecommerce by implementing the following strategies:
1. Providing excellent customer service
Responding promptly to customer inquiries and addressing any concerns can help build trust and loyalty. A responsive reseller creates happy customers!
2. Offering multiple payment options
Giving customers the ability to pay with their preferred method can increase their likelihood of making a purchase.
Cash-on-delivery may still be the preferred method in Pakistan, but local ecommerce trends are changing rapidly. Stay updated!
3. Ensuring security of customer data
Implementing strong security measures such as SSL encryption can help prevent cybercrime and protect customer information.
Understand the genuine concerns of the customers about secure transactions through banks in Pakistan.
4. Offering flexible shipping options
Providing multiple shipping options, including flat shipping, free shipping and fast shipping, can help attract customers and increase sales.
5. Improving the app or website
A user-friendly app with clear navigation, high-quality images, and fast loading times can increase customer engagement and reduce shopping cart abandonment.
Want to cut your time spent on developing a website and app? Try Markaz.
6. Building a strong brand reputation
Building a strong brand reputation through consistent messaging and high-quality products can help differentiate the business from competitors.
7. Utilizing social media to connect with customers
Utilizing social commerce to engage with customers and build a loyal following can help overcome the lack of personal interaction that is often a disadvantage of e-commerce.
1. What makes online businesses more convenient than traditional brick-and-mortar stores?
Online businesses allow customers to shop from the comfort of their own homes, 24/7, without having to physically visit a store. This convenience can save customers time and effort, as well as providing access to a wider range of products and services.
2. How does starting an online business save money compared to starting a traditional brick-and-mortar store?
Starting an online business typically requires a lower initial investment, as there is no need to rent or build a physical store. Online businesses also have lower operating costs, such as lower marketing costs, lower utilities and maintenance costs, and lower inventory costs.
3. What data can online businesses access about their customers?
Online businesses can access data about their customers through tracking tools, such as web analytics, and customer feedback. This data can include information about customer demographics, purchasing behavior, and more.