Aug 22, 2022
Is Ecommerce Legit
Ecommerce is a great choice to earn money but is it legit? Does it work? What are the dangers of shopping online? In this article, we’ll talk about e-commerce, its benefits, and threats.
Life without the internet is like eating bread without butter or walking in the pitch-black darkness. It is a nightmare scenario. We simply cannot imagine our lives without it. Though there was a time before its advent, those days now seem ancient. The global network has changed how we live, both within and outside our homes. Today, more people are making online purchases. This shift is driven by the fast pace of modern life, where time is money. Ecommerce has touched everyone, with convenience being its biggest advantage. Now, you can shop from the comfort of your home while clad in a bathrobe and sipping coffee. You can shop anywhere, anytime.
Some people may question the legitimacy and safety of ecommerce and online shopping. These concerns are valid as there are certain risks associated with running an online business.
In this article, we’ll focus on the following:
- What is Ecommerce? Definition and Importance
- The History of Ecommerce and Its Evolution
- Top Benefits of Ecommerce for Businesses and Consumers
- Online Shopping: Key Risks and How to Avoid Them?
- How to Check If an Ecommerce Website is Legitimate or Trying to Scam You?
- The value of Electronic Commerce: Is it Worth it?
What is Ecommerce? Definition and Importance
You must have heard of e-commerce before, but for those who may have forgotten, let's refresh our memory.
So, what is ecommerce?
E-commerce, also known as electronic commerce, is the process of buying and selling goods by businesses and consumers over the Internet. In other words, it is an online business in which all the transactions are conducted over an electronic network where the seller and buyer are in different places. These transactions are:
- Business-to-business (B2B). It is when small businesses and big companies sell their goods and services to one another. For example, a software company sells enterprise resource planning systems to a manufacturing firm.
- Business-to-consumer (B2C). It is when businesses sell their goods and services directly to individual consumers for personal use. For example, a customer purchases a smartphone from an electronics store.
- Consumer-to-consumer (C2C). It is when individual consumers exchange goods and services or they use third parties to do so. For example, a person sells his used laptop to another individual through an online marketplace.
- Consumer-to-business (С2B). It is when individuals like freelancers sell their goods and services to a business. For example, a freelance graphic designer offering logo design services to a startup company.
E-commerce is not just about buying and selling goods over the Internet; it also includes online auctions, internet banking, payment gateways, and online ticketing. Today, you can buy almost anything through e-commerce without having to leave your apartment or home.
Just imagine this situation: It’s raining heavily outside. It's cold and windy. You need to buy food because your fridge is empty. You would have to get off the couch and get dressed. And on top of that, you aren't feeling well and don't feel like cooking. What can you do? You can choose and order your favorite food online using your phone or laptop. Isn’t it convenient? A cooked meal will be delivered right to your door at any time. That's the magic of e-commerce!
What's more, e-commerce knows no geographical boundaries, allowing ecommerce businesses to reach a global audience at any time of day. As technology continues to evolve, e-commerce is not just a buzzword and more than a trend; it is the future of trade. It is already changing how we perceive both buying and selling. Not only does it save businesses big bucks on overheads, but it also crafts personalized shopping journeys just for you. Plus, with easy price comparisons and eco-friendly footprint, it is clear why online shopping is the future. In today's ever-evolving digital world, electronic commerce offers limitless opportunities, whether you're a customer looking for convenience or an e-commerce merchant looking to expand your brand's global reach.
Now that you understand what eCommerce means, we can delve deeper into its origins and journey.
This journey is not just about technology and business, but also about how eCommerce has reshaped consumer habits and market dynamics. Let's turn back the pages of history to trace the remarkable evolution of eCommerce.
The History of Ecommerce and Its Evolution
E-commerce has always been a force to be reckoned with, and now, with the abundance of technologies, it’s more popular than ever. In 1979, online shopping made its first debut, the invention of which is frequently attributed to Michael Aldrich, marking the beginning of a transformative era in retail. Michael Aldrich hooked up television to a computer using a telephone line and created what he called “teleshopping”. That was the first kind of online shopping.
However, with the development of the internet in the 1990s, it truly took off. Many believe that ecommerce started when the internet started to grow in the 1990s. During this time, technological advancements and increased internet accessibility led to the creation of online marketplaces, paving the way for the growth of e-commerce as we know it today. That's when websites like Amazon and eBay popped up, making online shopping super popular and way more accessible to everyone. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon, and eBay was launched by Pierre Omidyar.
In 1998, PayPal launched the first ecommerce payment system, intended to be a tool to help with money transfers.
So, if you think about it, online shopping has been around for quite a while now!
Today, e-commerce relies on a vast ecosystem of technologies and digital platforms, encompassing everything from website builders and SSL certificates to payment gateways and social media channels. This is why ecommerce platforms like Shopify have emerged, providing all-inclusive solutions for aspiring merchants. Consumers’ buying behaviors have evolved dramatically. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only influenced purchase decisions but has also accelerated the shift to online shopping as more customers become aware of its benefits. Ecommerce customers engage in online retail through mobile apps, websites, and tools like voice assistants, chats, chatbots, etc.
Global e-commerce sales are expected to reach $6.3 trillion in 2023, accounting for 21.2% of total retail sales. It means 21% of the world purchases goods and services online.
E-commerce is an ever-changing industry and will continue to evolve and grow. As the Internet becomes increasingly popular and accessible, the world becomes more interconnected and digital. Online shopping is now a common part of people’s everyday routines. As we look ahead, the future of e-commerce seems positive as it continues to grow and evolve.
Top Benefits of Ecommerce for Consumers
Ecommerce has revolutionized the way modern customers shop and interact with businesses. Offering unmatched convenience, it allows shoppers to browse and buy products from the comfort of their homes. With a vast array of choices and easy price comparisons, customers can make informed decisions effortlessly.
1. Time-saving advantages of online shopping. It saves traveling time. You won’t get stuck in a traffic jam to get to the store. Once you get there, you don’t have to spend your precious time waiting in a queue.
2. The convenience of home-based purchasing. You will need a working computer or mobile phone with a stable internet connection. Pick the items you need. Fill in the payment details field, and voila, it’s on your way.
3. Vast selection of products and services online. It’s one of the biggest advantages. There’s no shortage of products or services to choose from. It gives you many options when shopping online. To prevent it we recommend a secure VPN connection, this will completely hide the identity and encrypt data to save your business from any attack. With so many options online, even the most affordable VPN will guarantee good internet security.
4. In-depth product descriptions and customer Insights. You can get full information about the desired products. You can read product reviews before making a purchasing decision.
5. Easy price and brand comparisons at your fingertips. It is easier to compare models/brands and prices.
6. Trustworthy customer reviews for informed decisions. Before buying a product, you can read reviews and feedback from other buyers. This helps in making informed decisions.
7. Pressure-free shopping experience online. When shopping online, dealing with salespeople is no longer a stress. Customers can take their time to research and decide without being rushed.
Top benefits of Ecommerce for Businesses
In today's digital era, e-commerce has emerged as a transformative solution for businesses worldwide. It has changed business operations and customer interactions by providing unparalleled scalability and convenience. While the specific advantages of ecommerce are numerous and diverse, they all lead to one main idea: to optimize business operations to meet the evolving demands of a modern customer. From reaching a global audience to offering 24/7 accessibility, ecommerce enables businesses to transcend conventional borders and experience unprecedented growth.
1. Global reach. As opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar stores, ecommerce companies can reach customers from all over the world.
2. Low costs and easier to scale up. You don’t need a lot of capital to start your online business. It saves your money since there is no need for a physical store. You don’t need to hire staff for your e-commerce store as you can do it all by yourself but as your business grows you might need an extra pair of hands. Expanding a physical store needs more floor space and it comes with a cost. When it comes to growing an e-commerce store, it’s much simpler. What you need are more inventory and some digital adjustments.
3. Customer data. When your customers register on your website, you can get some valuable information about your customers as they provide their names, email, addresses, and phone numbers. You can find out about their buying habits and what devices they are using.
4. A broad range of customers. Online selling can help you expand your reach and increase sales without leaving your country. When you go online, you can sell your products and services to people from all over the world. Geographical boundaries are no longer a barrier. You are no longer restricted to customers who live in your area. You get a perfect opportunity to scale your e-commerce business globally.
5. Availability. Being online means your store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your potential customers can make purchases all day, every day from across the globe. The weather conditions and heavy traffic won’t affect your sales process.
6. Personalized shopping experience. With data analytics, e-commerce companies can provide tailored product recommendations, enhancing the shopping experience and increasing sales.
7. Flexible business model. Ecommerce gives companies flexibility in how they run their businesses by enabling a variety of business models like B2B, B2C, C2C, and dropshipping.
8. Scalability. Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, etc. can handle a huge volume of transactions and can be scaled to accommodate growth.
9. Inventory Management. Advanced inventory management systems can automate stock control, cut storage needs, and minimize overstock or stockout situations.
10. Real-time Analytics. E-commerce platforms often come with analytic tools that give users immediate access to information on sales, customer preferences, and inventory levels.
11. Direct Communication. A popular ecommerce platform like Shopify can integrate with email marketing tools like Klaviyo or tinyEmal, allowing businesses to communicate directly with their customers about promotions, new products, and other updates.
Growave and Klaviyo have a seamless integration.
12. Eco-Friendly. With no physical store operations, there may be a reduction in the carbon footprint, particularly if the company uses eco-friendly shipping and packing methods.
13. Instant Feedback. Customer reviews and ratings provide immediate feedback, helping ecommerce merchants improve their products and services.
Online Shopping: Key Risks and How to Avoid Them?
When exploring the enormous world of online shopping it might be difficult to find a way through a digital jungle. Even if the convenience is unparalleled, there are hidden dangers that could catch even the most savviest of shoppers off guard. From deceptive deals to identity theft, the risks are real. But fear not! With the right knowledge, you can shop safely and confidently. Dive in to uncover the key risks and learn how to sidestep them:
1. Fake Websites
They sell fake products by using low prices to trick shoppers into buying nonexistent products. The shopping site itself can vanish.
- Always shop from reputable and well-known ecommerce merchants
- Check for secure payment methods
- Avoid deals that seem too good to be true
Your computer could quickly become infected with malware and viruses through a bad link, website, or advertisement.
- Ensure that the antivirus software on your computer is up to date
- Avoid clicking on suspicious links or pop-up ads
3. Hacked Account
There’s always a chance someone may try to hack your email account and password associated with your purchase. If you use the same login information elsewhere, hackers can also gain access to those accounts.
- Use unique and strong passwords for each online account
- Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible
4. Stolen Financial Information
Hackers may have complete access to your finances if they have access to your bank and credit card information.
- Monitor your Bank and Credit Card Statements Regularly for Any Authorized Transactions
- Never Save your Financial Details on Websites Unless It's a Trusted Merchant
5. Identity Theft
You can become a victim of identity theft if personal information is compromised.
- Be cautious when sharing your personal information online
- Regularly check your credit report for any unusual activities
6. Hidden Costs
On some websites, there can be hidden fees or shipping costs that are not immediately obvious.
- Before making a purchase, always read the small print and look for hidden costs
- Use price comparison tools to ensure you're getting the best deal
7. Quality Issues
It's possible that the product you receive will not be as good as what is described or shown in the pictures online.
- Make sure you read product descriptions carefully and check for return policies
- Buy from online merchants who have received positive feedback and high ratings
8. Frauds and Scams
There's always a risk of running into fraudulent websites or ecommerce sellers who either won't deliver the advertised products or deliver fake or inferior products.
- Be aware of unsolicited emails or messages promoting deals
- Buy from online sellers who have received positive feedback and high ratings
9. Over-Reliance on Reviews
While reviews are helpful, they can also be manipulated. Fake reviews can mislead online shoppers into buying products that might not be as good as they seem.
- Look for verified purchase reviews and consider the overall sentiment
- Cross-check product reviews on multiple platforms for consistency
10. Lack of Physical Examination
Online shopping makes it impossible to touch, feel, or try out products before buying which might leave you disappointed when the item arrives.
- Check the return and exchange policy to ensure that you can return products that aren't satisfactory
- Consider purchasing from ecommerce brands that you're familiar with
The ease of online shopping can sometimes result in impulsive purchases and overspending.
- Set a budget and stick to it before shopping
- Avoid saving your credit card information on shopping sites to avoid making impulsive purchases
Even though the future of online payments seems to be bright, there are security vulnerabilities. The possibility of scams like hacking, identity theft, and credit card scams still exists. So one must be careful when shopping online.
How to Check If an Ecommerce Website is Legitimate or Trying to Scam You?
With the convenience of online shopping comes the risk of falling prey to scams and fraudulent websites. It's essential for consumers to be attentive especially when making online purchases. We are going to provide you with practical steps and tips to determine the legitimacy of an e-commerce website, ensuring that your online shopping experience is safe and secure.
“Contact Us” and “About Us” pages
You need to check if a website has a “Contact Us” page otherwise it is a fraudulent site. But if it does have a “Contact Us” page then the information must be full and complete. It must include the name of the company, address, phone number, or email address. Moreover, it must include a good “About Us” page.
As we’ve told before any shopping website where discounts are too good to be true is a fake website. Even though we love a nice bargain, you don’t want to buy a nonexistent product. An unbelievably low price is a serious red flag that you should never ignore.
Poor Grammar and Spelling
Mistakes happen. We all make them but if there are too many mistakes, it means you need to navigate away from this website. Spelling and grammar mistakes are common in fraudulent websites.
URL Should Start with HTTPS
A secure URL always begins with HTTPS at the beginning and when you see the small black padlock icon next to the site name, you know that this shopping site is legit and has the SSL certificate.
Return and Privacy Policies
Company’s Social Media Pages and Reviews
You need to check out if the company has a presence on the major social media platforms. Pay attention to online reviews because they can also be fake. Some of them may even sound the same.
Is Ecommerce Worth It?
With digitalization and increased demand for online shopping, starting an e-commerce business seems like a good idea. Plus, the Covid-19 has dramatically affected online retail sales since early 2020.
As more businesses are online, the competition is high among e-commerce firms. It might be a bit hard for small businesses to get started, but this type of investment provides a relatively low risk. Unfortunately, things won’t get easier in the next few years because of the impending recession. And even then, there are many resources available for you to help you start your online store with less capital or for free. If you are considering a dropshipping business, it is possible to start dropshipping without money. It might be a bit too oversaturated but it all depends on the niche you choose to invest your time and money. Ecommerce is completely possible as long as you are ready to put in the work. One of the best platforms to build a website is Shopify and a great alternative is Appy Pie Website.
Statistics show that global e-commerce sales aren't slowing down. E-commerce has experienced significant growth over the past few decades, becoming an integral part of the global economy. The convenience it offers to consumers is undeniable. The fact that they can shop anytime and anywhere has made online shopping a preferred method of shopping for many. For businesses, e-commerce offers an opportunity to connect with customers around the world without the overhead costs of physical storefronts. Additionally, the e-commerce landscape is more accessible than ever because of the development of mobile technologies and digital payment methods. The e-commerce future looks bright. However, businesses need to invest in a secure and user-friendly platform to ensure customer trust. While competition is fierce, with the right strategies, your ecommerce businesses can achieve substantial profitability. Even though some online scams make you ask yourself: “Is ecommerce legit?” Yes is the answer. It is legit and worth it. But it is not only worth it but is becoming increasingly vital for businesses to remain competitive in the modern constantly evolving digital market.
In the digital age, the legitimacy of ecommerce has been a topic of discussion. After examining various facets of ecommerce, from its rapid growth and widespread adoption to the security measures employed by reputable ecommerce platforms like Shopify, it is evident that e-commerce, as a concept, is legit. Offering products and services online has helped millions of companies succeed around the world, and countless customers enjoy the convenience and variety it provides. However, like any sector of the economy, electronic commerce is not without its challenges. Scams and fake websites do exist, emphasizing the need for consumers to exercise caution and conduct due diligence when shopping online. While e-commerce is undeniably legitimate and has revolutionized the way we shop, it is essential for both businesses and consumers to prioritize security and trustworthiness in their online interactions.
Starting an eCommerce business seems like a great idea. It is totally worthwhile and is legit. But if you want to succeed you need to be dedicated and have a strong work ethic. You need to understand all the benefits and drawbacks of it. Start taking action and keep on working!
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