The Internet has come of age! As it has grown and more people access it not only from their desktop Macs and PCs but from devices such as iPhones and iPads, more people have become comfortable with the thought of buying goods and services online.
It’s a trend that will only continue to grow. However, there are pros and cons in the eyes of consumers to making online purchases that online business people should be aware of if they wish to alleviate fears and maximize potential sales.
Pros of Online Shopping
First, let’s look at the benefits of e-commerce for the consumer. Not only does the consumer have access to a worldwide marketplace, but the exponential growth of competition helps keep prices down.
Convenience is another advantage. There is no need to burn gas, fight traffic and hunt for parking. The consumer is able to browse through several stores and make purchases with the click of a mouse or the tap of a finger. The consumer has a wider choice and a greater breadth of products to choose from.
Then there is the ability to purchase products that simply aren’t available locally. A site such as eBay allows consumers to buy hard-to-find items that they would never chance upon normally. I have used eBay to purchase memorabilia of a favorite (but largely forgotten) TV show of my growing up years. Amazing!
Cons of Online Shopping
However, there are some drawbacks to online shopping as well. With hackers and crackers not only becoming more numerous but more sophisticated in the techniques they employ, there is always the fear that sensitive data such as credit card information can be stolen.
Many e-commerce sites have sophisticated security measures in place, but not everything can be secured. For example, spammers employing phishing schemes will send emails in order to trick people into revealing their passwords or financial information. Often, these emails are quite realistic looking. This can cause consumers to be wary of the whole online buying process.
Diligence is Key for Online Marketers
As an online marketer, it is a good idea to be aware of the concerns of the buying public and to put measures into place to reassure potential shoppers of their safety and security. It is even more important to put every security measure into place to protect the integrity of your site as well as your data.
A security failure can not only destroy your own business but can taint the reputation of online commerce as a whole.