Is E-commerce Legit?
Most of our daily lives involve some type of interaction with the internet. It’s hard to believe that 40 years ago the internet was just created and it obviously wasn’t as popular as it is today.
A huge part of the internet is online shopping and e-commerce type businesses. You can now pretty much buy any product or appliance you can think of online, and it will arrive at your doorstep within days. It’s no wonder e-commerce businesses are so popular when shopping can be made that easy.
In this article we will cover what ecommerce actually is, the advantages of e-commerce and the potential risks involved with online shopping businesses.
What is E-commerce?
Electronic commerce (E-commerce) is when businesses and individuals sell and buy products and/or services online. There are four types of e-commerce businesses that cater to different types of customers and clients. Here’s a breakdown:
- Business-to-consumer (B2C) is when a business sells their products and services to consumers – these are usually products for personal use.
- Business-to-business (B2B) is when a business sells their products and services to another business.
- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) is when consumers sell products to one another.
- Consumer-to-business (С2B) is when a consumer or individual provides services or products to a business. An example of this is a freelancer working on projects for a business.
Advantages of E-commerce for businesses
Broad target audience
When it comes to e-commerce and selling products online, there are no geographical restrictions. This means your online business won’t have to limit its target audience to local consumers. You can sell products to consumers all over the world.
And, you’ll be able to sell any product you see fit. This means you can focus on a variety of potential buyers and the products they buy most often.
Scalability & Cost
With an online e-commerce business, you don’t have to worry about the expenses that come with running a high-street store. You won’t need a physical location or employees. You can create an e-commerce website fairly easily with the right amount of research. Once your website is up and running, the only thing you’ll need to take care of is getting people to your site. Alternatively, you can use e-commerce platforms such as EBay or Amazon to sell your products and services.
Because there are low costs involved when running an e-commerce business, you will be able to scale your business to the size that fits your needs. You can focus on selling a wider variety of products to an even bigger market.
When consumers buy products online, they have to provide their details. This could be their name, email address or even the device they are using. This can allow you to target your customers in a more efficient way and adapt your strategy to bringing more customers in or bringing existing customers back.
Advantages of E-commerce for consumers
Ease of use
As consumers have gotten better and better experiences online as e-commerce has been growing, there’s a certain expectation of “ease of use”. Shopping from home is getting easier and faster. So making the smoothest online shopping experience will get you some attention.
This means; accessible payment gateways, excellent user experience and responsive customer service. These are things that all consumers look for, even if they don’t know it, they’ll definitely notice if it’s not present.
Wide variety of products
Consumers look online before even attempting to buy something at a physical location. This again, is because of how easy and fast it is to see what’s available. Not only is e-commerce an easier option, but it also provides a wider variety of products.
In examples like Amazon and EBay, these e-commerce platforms are a one stop shop. You can buy products within as many categories as you can think of, and they can all be shipped together and arrive within a few days.
Most people, when online shopping, love to find the best deals and prices. As there’s no need to go to different high-street shops, you can easily compare prices from different vendors with just a few clicks.
Does E-commerce carry risks?
Although e-commerce businesses make everything easier when it comes to buying online, there are still risks involved that you should look out for.
Theft of identity
If you buy a product online from a website that isn’t legitimate, your personal details may be at risk from theft. It’s important to do research on how well-known a business is and if they have an active presence online. This can be an indicator to whether they are a legit e-commerce company.
You may find your dream product online and want to purchase it immediately. But, be wary of online stores that sell products that are extremely hard to come by or have unbelievable prices. These products may be fake or non-existent. Make sure to check the e-commerce business’ reviews online with platforms like Trustpilot.
Theft of financial information
Some fake online businesses may sell you products online but then use your financial information to access your remaining funds. This can be daunting to think about, but there are a few ways you can prevent this from happening.
First, check that the website you’re using is secure. You can find this out by looking at the address bar. If there is a padlock symbol next to the website’s URL, this can indicate that it is a legit e-commerce business.
Stay away from payment gateways that are unknown to you. Payment gateways are the pages of a website that allows you to input your payment details to make a purchase. If the payment gateway is through a trusted third party, like PayPal, you can be assured that it is safe to use.
Is E-commerce a worthy business venture?
E-commerce sales are predicted to reach £4.7 billion in 2023 and over £5 billion in 2024. This alone proves that e-commerce and online shopping is set to continue to grow in popularity.
You may think that you’re too late to the party, but that’s not the case. E-commerce is growing and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon. With growth comes more room for new businesses, and bigger opportunities for e-commerce platforms and websites.
How do you set up an E-commerce business?
If you’re looking to start selling products online and grow a valuable e-commerce business, talk to one of our mentors that can guide you through each stage: