What are the disadvantages of e-commerce?

Expert Answers
gsenviro eNotes educator| Certified Educator

e-Commerce is, in simplest terms, business conducted online (using the Internet). While it has many benefits, it has its own share of disadvantages:

  • Reliability issues: Customers buy products from a faceless vendor on e-commerce websites. The decision to conduct this business is based solely on the faith of customer for the e-commerce site or the vendor itself. There have been numerous cases, where the service level was poor (poor quality, incorrect product, non-delivery, etc.). Most of these issues are not faced when dealing face-to-face with a local vendor.
  • Transition from traditional trading to e-commerce: many people and businesses find it difficult to transform into an internet-based vendor or customer. Report of poor service and products only hinder their transition.
  • Loss to traditional vendors: e-commerce eliminates many of the requirements of the traditional vendors and hence may be able to offer products at significant discount, as compared to traditional vendors. This growth of e-commerce has seriously dented the profits of traditional vendors.
  • Infrastructural issues: The rapid growth of e-commerce may not have achieved the required upscaling of e-infrastructure. Often, the e-commerce sites crash and/or have other issues, resulting in frustrating experience for customers. e-Infrastructure needs to be upgraded in a timely fashion to enhance user experience.

Hope this helps.

lincori | Student

eCommerce for many commercial ventures competes with traditional box stores which generate sales not only through the purchase of one item, but also look to promote multiple buys by the consumer. While serving a buyer, the lost "impulse buy" doubles the loss to the store. Watch the big box stores go under as they try and compete against their own websites.