What is E-commerce?
E-commerce is a term that is unknown to most of the people though they are quite familiar to the process. For example, people often take part in online purchase – may it be books, music, grocery or even plane tickets – all these are considered as the term "E-commerce".  
It is one of the popular business structures that rules their way to the market through two segments. These are:

  1. B to B (Business to business) 
    That includes the flow of products from production house to wholesaler/suppliers and then to retailer.
  2. B to C (Business to consumers) 
    That includes the stage when the product goes from retailer to the consumers.

Advantages of E-commerce
E-commerce is very much contextual nowadays as this the era of time and money saving.

  1. Reduces the expense of maintenance: 
    • It curtails the amount spent behind product maintenance. When it is a retail outlet, the expenditure to showcase the products is obviously higher than that in case of online showroom.
    • It makes the visual merchandising cost nil when it comes under E-commerce system.
  2. Space management:
    When it is a retail store, “space” matters a lot to manage everything systematically. But when it is the question of E-commerce, the “space” is not a problem to maintain your “E-store”.
  3. Convenience:
    If you think of starting your business in a retail outlet, you have to chose a proper location to rise the demand of your store as people from a certain locality will only come to you to fulfil their need. But if you do the same through E-commerce, you can connect to a huge number of people from all over the globe.
  4. Eliminates “middle-men”:
    In case of B2B E-commerce it noticeably eliminates the intermediaries as the suppliers can interact with the buyers directly.
  5. Variation in collection:
    Consumers can explore a big collection through this mode of purchase which is not possible in case if you go physically for buying something. The variation becomes limited at a point.
  6. Different Payment Methods:
    It provides the customer more options of transaction modes. They can select any of “COD (cash on delivery) or Payment through Net banking or Debit card.”

Disadvantages of E-commerce
Although there are numerous advantages, E-commerce has some disadvantages as well.

  1. Limitation of technology:
    The facility of shipment is not available everywhere till date because of lack of network bandwidth or telecommunication bandwidth or any other technical issues.
  2. Complete Technology Dependency:
    If the technology fails sometime, the entire system gets hung up.
  3. Security Issues:
    Security issue is a big concern in E-commerce.Risk is high in this case. Privacy is seen to be compromised sometimes. Though this issue has been looked into recently.
  4. Little bit Customer Dissatisfaction:
    Customer satisfaction is always compromised as E-commerce is unable to provide them with the scope of touching or feeling the product physically.
  5. Preplan is a must:
    One has to plan things earlier as there is no chance of immediate delivery.
    Compared to the huge range of advantages, the mass is ready to accept these flaws in order to cherish its facilities.