E-commerce is a commercial sector where transactions are possible with the help of internet connection. More and more industries are moving their operations via online mode as it is the choice of the consumer. Its prevalence continues to grow and prosper without any signs of slowing down.
The ability to operate online has made many entities profitable. There cannot be ups without downs and pros without cons and this is the case with e-commerce.
Its functioning is fully dependent on internet connection and the world is still at a stage where several places do not have this facility. The software industry is at an evolving stage and keeps on changing the rules of the game.
One of the most important disadvantages of e-commerce can be a lack of reliability and security because of poor implementation. The other factor is user resistance as most people are not comfortable in making a purchase without trying or physically touching the product.
This is especially true in the case of apparel where finding the right size is always a permanent problem.
Online portals have been in the news a lot because of hacks by cybercriminals and hackers. It is a very serious issue as your account might be hacked because of negligence and wiped out clean of the existing cash.
This is a harsh reality of e-commerce sites and a website cannot give this assurance that the financial information cannot be compromised on its portal. The website owner needs to take important steps to change its password so as to stop any data breaches.
It is important to remain vigilant and proactive to protect the website and ultimately the customer related information. Security has been a concern since its inception and is considered a major disadvantage of e-commerce.
2) Site crash
E-commerce is fully dependent on internet connection. A major disadvantage of e-commerce is putting a stop to buying capabilities because of a site crash. Such a small word site crash but has the ability to put a whole business down within a few seconds.
This can happen if you do not have a good bandwidth connection as you will face serious issues while loading pages and placing orders. It is impossible to make a purchase if the site you are looking at crashes down.
Ensure that your website is on the right platform where there are already precautions in place for this eventuality.
3) No possibility of tried and tested product
One of the major disadvantages of e-commerce portal is that a customer is unable to try and test the product for his own satisfaction. We are habituated to buy at physical stores after trying a product several times and suddenly it takes a lot of guts to change this lifetime habit where you cannot touch, try and test beforehand.
People miss the tangible feeling and there is always the fear that the product will not meet the standard you are expecting. This makes the consumer a bit hesitant before making a purchase.
4) Late delivery
Late delivery is one of the common disadvantages of e-commerce platforms. While ordering a product the customer is assured that it will reach him in maximum seven days or a particular time period. In most cases that does not happen and you are kept waiting for it.
Ultimately when the information reaches you that the product will be delivered on this day the portal is not specific about the timings. There are several instances when a person who is going to collect the parcel had to wait for hours for the delivery.
His whole day is wasted and he could not go outside as per his original schedule. Such a situation makes the customer angry as he feels unnecessarily harassed.
5) Some products are difficult to buy online
If you think that you can buy everything online then it is your misconception. There are products for instance eatables like ice cream, spectacles, and metals like gold and silver that you do not want to buy online even if you have the option of doing so.
You cannot trust yourself to make a purchase without visibly touching, trying, testing them and this can prove a disadvantage for an e-commerce site. All the images and assurances cannot tempt you to buy some items, for example, you need to buy a gold and diamond bracelet.
Do you trust the online store to meet your expectations or will you make the effort and travel to a physical store to verify and then make a purchase.
6) Lack of privacy
Lack of privacy is a serious disadvantage of e-commerce. A customer has to provide his personal details before making a purchase like address, name, and phone number and so on.
Some sites do not have advanced encrypted technology that can protect your personal details from hackers and it is a cause of grave concern. This sensitive information if is leaked can create lots of problems for a consumer.
Some sites collect the sensitive details illegally and this is why people are afraid to use e-commerce portals as they have to give personal details which can be misused.
7) Tax issues
E-commerce portals are accessible in most part of the world as it is not limited to a particular geographical location. When a customer makes a purchase he has to pay the tax on it and it becomes difficult to calculate the actual sales tax levied in that place.
The consumers thus face issues during the computation of tax and this is also an added disadvantage of e-commerce.
8) Legal issues
Several cyber laws have been implemented to protect the rights of both seller and buyer. If you are looking to create a website it is important that you go through the local laws as well as cyber laws so that you do not have to face any problems later on.
A serious disadvantage of e-commerce portals is that people either take care of local laws or cyber laws and fail to realize that you need to pay attention to both of them if you want to make a success of your business.
9) Huge technological cost
E-commerce requires advanced platforms to better their performance. If it faces disturbances in the form of software, network or domain issue it will not be able to offer seamless transactions.
The apt technical infrastructure is costly and needs huge investment. It also needs to be upgraded periodically to stay with changing times. Huge technological cost for a successful venture is a disadvantage of the e-commerce portal.
10) Shipping problems
E-commerce stores run successfully because it can ship its products from anywhere to everywhere with ease. It has a strong network that helps it in its endeavor. In a physical store, a buyer chooses a product, purchases it and leaves the store with the item.
This is not so on an online store where the customer has to choose and buy and then wait for the product to arrive at his doorstep within the stipulated time frame. Shipping is an integral part of commerce and if you do not have appropriate infrastructure then it can cause serious issues and become a disadvantage of e-commerce.
People fear the unknown. E-commerce transactions are mostly faceless and paperless without any due proof. Most of the organizations do not have a physical existence and customers are hesitant to make card payments beforehand.
They fear that if the desired product does not arrive then they will lose their money. If this happens then how are they going to trace the online outlet and recover their hard-earned money? One of the disadvantages of e-commerce is the absence of the physical existence of the store.
12) High labour cost
High labour cost is a serious disadvantage of the e-commerce platform. You need to hire technically sound, trained and qualified workforce for your website who are talented and capable of handling them in an efficient manner.
You need to shed a large chunk of money to hire and retain a talented pool of workers that will prove an immense help in handling all transactions.
13) Lack of personal touch
When you enter a retail outlet you are welcomed at the gate and as you enter inside there are several employees to help you in case of any difficulties. When you are online and making a choice there is no one to help you during your visit.
The personal touch at the physical store serves as an encouragement and feels good. The interaction with sales associates helps us in making choices. This is why soft personal touches are encouraged in physical outlets.
This experience is valuable but is not available at online outlets and seems like a disadvantage of e-commerce.
14) Credit card fraud
Online transactions are mostly made by debit card, credit card, and internet banking and in very few cases with cash on delivery option. Yes, the website owners try to take every available precaution to protect the card details but what if the site is hacked by cybercriminals.
It is a growing concern as we hear news of data hacks regularly. The websites need to place proper blockers in place because the customers will lose faith and will stop making online payments. Stop it before it starts proving a serious disadvantage for e-commerce sites.
15) Dependency on the website
An e-commerce site is heavily dependent on its website. If it is not properly projected or the software is not implemented the site can face technology hiccups. It then comes under the serious radar.
Customers tend to lose faith very easily and shift their loyalties to other portals that they find convenient. The portal will suffer substantial loss because of this action.
Do not keep all the eggs in one basket as the dependency on the website can prove a disadvantage of e-commerce in times of crises.
16) Severe competition
Healthy competition is considered a plus in the business sector but what happens when there are unimaginable portals for a single product. It is surely a disadvantage of e-commerce when that happens because the competition turns inwards and the companies try harder to attract a large chunk of the consumer base.
This forces them to drop their prices by allowing discounts, incentives and other allowances on their products. How are they going to recover their money? Obviously, the quality of the products suffers and at the end of the day, it is the customers who are made a fool of.
Although the popularity has forced several business houses to shift base on online medium but running an e-commerce operation is not a bed of roses as it also includes several challenges and disadvantages like a rose with thorns.
Software or web servers are necessary along with network bandwidth for a successful e-commerce transaction. Sometimes a site crashes down and you are in serious need of a product.
What will you do at that time as the only available option is a physical store? Security has become a serious issue as hackers are on the look-out for any loopholes to make mischief. Although purchasing products is easy but how can you check the quality of the product and what about its availability.
It takes a few days for the product to arrive and what will happen when you need to use the item as soon as possible. Navigating the choppy waters is not an easy feat as individuals have to face several challenges.