Traditionally, all businesses were conducted in shops and malls, and only by visiting the premises physically could you be able to buy the products or services and also gauge the quality and quantity of the commodity; this changed gradually as the internet became more and more popular as a mode of contact and connection with other people. Soon, the internet transformed from a fun tool to a useful invention that changed the entire method of conducting a business. As businesses started understanding E-commerce’s concept, they still needed to know how to communicate online and the advantages.
What is E-Commerce?
E-commerce is the buying and selling of goods and services through online modes like websites, social media, etc. It also involves payments and invoices for the transactions to be made online; this has resulted in a whole new industry that revolves around all the requirements of a business to set up online. Online payment platforms, agents, and website manufacturers are just a few participants in this online buying and selling activity.
What are the Advantages of E-commerce to Businesses?
E-commerce is beneficial to all businesses, but most importantly, it has given a giant platform to small businesses. Small businesses conventionally only catered to their immediate surrounding areas and rarely beyond that. Even if the quality of their product is extraordinary, they cannot reach out to people living far away, and it is not feasible for most people to travel for very long distances just for a commodity, despite how good it is. E-commerce came as a boon to these small businesses because it links the consumer and the seller directly, regardless of where either party is located. The seller can provide all the information about his business like the location, the products available, any discounts or sales existing or coming in the future, and any other thing that he would like to communicate with the interested buyers. Everything from clothes and utensils to food is now sold online by hundreds of thousands of companies. Many online shopping and delivery partners deliver products from and to all corners of the world. Advertising costs online are also more reasonable compared to physical advertisements. They are also better because they reach a larger audience; anyone searching for that product can get the seller’s listing based on how much advertising they have done. It is also better from the environment’s perspective since the advertisements and hoardings are prepared from paper, plastic, or wood, all of which are not good for the surroundings.
What are the Advantages of E-commerce to Consumers?
While it has many advantages for businesses in many ways, e-commerce also has benefited the consumers. People can sit at home at their convenience and browse through the catalogs that the sellers post online and choose what to buy and whatnot. It has also started a cashless system of transactions, where the buyer does not need to provide cash or even their credit or debit cards every time they shop for something online. The algorithm on some sites can save your card details, and you are only required to enter the OTP or the CVV for the payment procedure; this has also moved another step ahead with sellers using Unified Payment Interface (UPI). UPI is an online payment platform that saves card or bank details and requires you to create a password to authorize online payments in the future. By using the UPI applications, the user only needs to enter the password to make the payment. It is also very common for businesses to specify a return policy if the goods reach the consumer damaged or unsatisfactory. By doing that, they assure the consumer that their money is safe and that the quality of the goods delivered to them will match the standards promised by them.
E-commerce has always benefited both sellers, middlemen, and consumers alike. However, many sides had been skeptical about using it to the fullest due to safety, quality, or other concerns. But the COVID-19 pandemic brought the online market into the mainstream mode of trade and was the savior in the times of lock downs and social distancing. Products delivered right at the gates ensure social distancing and convenience over physically going to the stores, which was not allowed and risky. All inventions and ideas have that in common. They can be beneficial and convenient if only used appropriately and efficiently.