E-Commerce Effects To Consumers
With the drastic increase in the use of technology, E-commerce has attracted lots of investors and entrepreneurs all over the world and this has come with great impact on consumers as we shall be seeing here in this article. However before we even get to the effects of E-commerce to consumers we need to know what exactly E-commerce is. E-commerce is defined as the selling and buying of products and services by businesses both small and large through different electronic medium. In E-commerce all business deals are completed through the internet, there is no paper documentation used. In simple terms one can also call E-commerce the buying and selling of products and services via the internet. E-commerce is divided into three categories and these include Business to Consumer, Consumer to Consumer and Business to Business. Now that we have seen what E-commerce is all about we can get into its effects (both positive and negative) to consumers.
- Increased consumer value;
Consumer value can be described as the benefits that the consumer gains from the analysis of what they receive compared to what they are actually given or total costs. Customer value is the number one factor in ensuring customer satisfaction and it has been proven that customers that purchased products and services from the internet were more satisfied compared to those that purchased from a local store. There are two forms of consumer value, the first one being exchange value which attached to the price of a product that is to the say the amount of money exchanged for a product at a particular point in time. And the second is user value which is attached to consumer’s perception about specific qualities of a product in relation to the consumer’s needs. E-commerce has increased both user value and exchange value.
- Reduced expenditure;
With E-commerce consumer’s expenditure has greatly reduced and this through the home deliveries whereby one doesn’t have to face extra costs of transport going to the store to pick up the particular product that they want. Also consumers can now easily access information about the product or service that they need and also pay make faster transactions which is not the case with local businesses. E-commerce has made it extremely convenient for consumers especially those with busy schedules and thus helping consumers to receive better quality and excellent products and services from retailers.
- Time saving
Back in the day one had to spare a whole day or at least some good hours just to go out and shop for the products they need however with the rise of E-commerce this has all come to an end. People can use this time for something more constructive because they know it will only take them a few minutes to go online and look for the products they want. E-commerce has put an end to the hassle of having to look through so many different books and magazines searching for the best product and services because everything now ways is available on the internet. There is no limit whatsoever you can shop from wherever you are without complaining about the store being too far from your residence and at any moment when you feel like you have the time to do so. E-commerce is
- Increased consumer esteem about products;
Because of E-commerce consumers of late are always confident and certain of where to get the best services and products. This spares one the time they would spend looking around for where to find a product or service that will satisfy their needs. Some people look at this as an advantage to the person who is selling the product but it is of great advantage to the consumer as well. Some companies have even gone as far as awarding their best customers through their websites and this greatly increases consumer’s confidence in that particular company and its products and services.
- Reduction on price of products;
Consumers receive their products at lower prices because of the positive effects of E-commerce on retailers. People who own E-commerce businesses don’t have to spend on middlemen who advertise and distribute products, they don’t face the expenditure of renting shops and stores at the same time, they will probably only pay for only a store and because they want to beat the competition of local or traditional businesses they offer products at much cheaper price hence giving consumers the advantage of accessing products and services at a lower price.
- Increase in variety;
E-commerce gives consumers very wide variety to choose from so that consumers of all levels can have various choices to pick from. In the present day, consumers have a chance to make very wide comparisons all over the internet about different brands before they can actually go ahead and pay for a product. This therefore increases the chance of choosing the best product without putting in too much effort.
- Provision of more information about products;
Through E-commerce consumers are able to read all the details of a product before paying it, while advertising and marketing products on websites product owners will provide detailed information about a product and you can also go through the reviews of people that have used the product before and the next time a product will be available on the or when it will be delivered. This makes it much more convenient and easier for consumers to know all about a product before they go ahead and spend their money on it.
- Reduced privacy;
E-commerce has greatly reduced security on people’s personal information, while a consumer inputs their credit card information and other personal details to purchase a product it becomes very easy for a hacker to access this information and use it for wrong purposes. Many of these E-commerce businesses especially the small ones and those that are just starting up don’t have secure computer systems to protect consumer’s information and this has caused the consumers a great deal of problems. But this has at the same time awakened E-commerce business owners to provide more security for their consumer’s information.
- Rise in fraud and theft;
E-commerce has brought a great rise in fraud and theft causing consumers to suffer great losses and damages. E-commerce involves consumers making transactions of money via the internet and with the lots of scams on the internet it is very easy to divert this money by unauthorized people. These money transactions are an attraction to the great numbers of criminals all over the internet and unfortunately this kind of fraud and theft is usually faced by the consumers and not the retailers. It is therefore very important for those that own E-commerce businesses to be very careful and mindful of the systems that they use to receive consumer’s money to get rid of these fraud and theft cases that are overly becoming popular.
Just like anything else, E-commerce also has both negative and positive impacts on consumers but the most amazing thing is that the negatives can be overcome if E-commerce business owners could pay more attention to their businesses. With the high costs of living all round the globe resorting to E-commerce would definitely be an incredible solution for consumers of all levels since its advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
E-COMMERCE IMPACT ON THE RETAILERS
After looking at how E-commerce impacts on consumers, the first question one would have in mind will be how E-commerce affects retailers. It is true that retailers benefit so much from selling their products via the internet but also find a some few negatives so let us look at these impacts below……….
- Increase in sale volumes; retailers who sell their product online beat the sales of those with local stores by over 100 times this is because retailers can reach out to a very huge number of consumers without investing too much which is not the case with traditional retailers. A retailer on the internet will be able to advertise thousands of their products to a so many people in the least possible time yet a local retailer will require so many resources to get to reach out to the same number of consumers.
- 24/7 availability all through the year; year after year a retailer who sell via the internet has the ability to make their products available, consumers purchase products at any hour and at any day from E-commerce stores. This is a great advantage to consumers as well especially those who have very tight work schedules because it allows to order the products they need at any moment when they are free. For a local business even when they work for extended hours it is impossible to be open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
- Cheap operation; no matter how many products you sell, as long as you are using the E-commerce technique it is not that expensive as you don’t have to incur the high expenses of renting stores or the high transport costs of making your products known to everyone. Managing large E-commerce businesses is not as costly as operating a large business locally yet it yields more profits considering the number of consumers that are reached.
- Ease of advertisement; while doing E-commerce businesses it is very easy for one to advertise their products through the whole lot of platforms on the internet so it becomes cheap to your products known to the right consumers. Because of the great development in technology and increase in number of people who use the internet it is very easy to raise a consumer base for your products when participating in E-commerce.
- It is easy to overcome competition; considering how easy it is to market products via the internet, a retailer selling product on the internet can easily beat all competitors through supplying huge numbers of products with a shorter period of time and without experiencing high costs of supply. They can easily satisfy their consumers which is quiet difficult for the retailers who do business locally.
- Rapid business growth; online businesses grow at a very rapid speed due to the large consumer base and the convenience of reaching to them in due time. There are so many tools on the internet which can be used to make E-commerce businesses grow at a much faster rate unlike traditional businesses that take years and years without any change since they require a lot of investment to grow.
In conclusion, technology is taking up societies all over the world by storm and this way there is an incredible raise in the number of people that use the internet each and every day because of how easy and convenient it makes shopping. Sellers have greatly increased and so have the buyers who make transaction via the internet and this has thus increased the sales and profits in the E-commerce business. With quick communication and fast transactions that internet comes with it is very obvious there are so many positive impacts on businesses. This however has also left some negative impacts especially on the traditional business owners who are pushed out of competition because most consumers have moved on to E-commerce. E-commerce has greatly influenced the change in demand and supply patterns.