Diploma in Business Administration : [Introduction to ECommerce]

‘E-commerce’ and ‘online shopping’ are often used interchangeably but at its core e-commerce is much broader than this – it embodies a concept for doing business online, incorporating a multitude of different services e.g. making online payments, booking flights etc.

Why Do People Buy ‘Online’?

  1. Lower Prices: Managing an online storefront is far cheaper than an offline, brick and mortar store. Typically less staff are required to manage an online shop as web-based management systems enable owners to automate inventory management and warehousing is not necessarily required (as we discuss later). As such, e-commerce business owners can afford to pass operational cost savings on to consumers (in the form of product or service discounts) whilst protecting their overall margin. Furthermore, with the rise of price comparison websites, consumers have more transparency with regard to prices and are able to shop around, typically purchasing from online outlets instead.
  2. Accessibility and Convenience: Unlike many offline stores, consumers can access e-commerce websites 24 hours a day. Customers can read about services, browse products and place orders whenever they wish. In that sense, online shopping is extremely convenient and gives the consumer more control. Furthermore, those living in more remote areas are able to order from their home at a touch of a button, saving them time travelling to a shopping centre.
  3. Wider Choice: For the past twenty years, the growth of online shopping has to a large extent been based around increased choice. With an almost endless choice of brands and products to choose from, consumers are not limited by the availability of specific products in their local town, city or country. Items can be sourced and shipped globally. Interestingly, one recent study found that consumers are actually starting to become frustrated by e-commerce sites that offer too much choice. Whichever way you look at it though, more choice has likely been a good thing over the long term.

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