E-commerce is using the Internet to sell your products or services. Compared to using ‘traditional’ methods to sell products (i.e. setting up a store), e-commerce is always regarded to be more cost-effective than setting up a shop and then selling your products.
Other reasons for regarding e-commerce to be cheaper is that building a reputation for even a new business is quite easy compared to a newly built shop. On the internet, the only link to a website’s reputation is its site, and compared to building state of the art infra-structure for a store, setting up a professional website is much cheaper.
If the website seems good enough usually customers don’t pay much attention than that and are off entering their credit card details to purchase the product if the product serves their purpose. Using traditional shopping though, a customer would consider before buying a product based on the infra-structure, the way the staff in the store present the product, the location of the store and so on.
A 10 year old could setup a professional looking website and sell his used game consoles, but could he sell his console by setting up a store?
Well, the above is the general argument regarding the whole aspect of e-commerce, but we forgot one thing, traffic. Setting up a store though definitely more expensive, once setup brings hundreds or even thousands of passer-bys into your store if you are in a busy street. So, that’s free traffic. You could only dream of getting this kind of traffic once you setup a website right away, getting to this level of traffic with a website will require advertising worth thousands of dollars.
So in my opinion, E-commerce is not really more advantageous compared to traditional businesses because of cost, either way you would probably have to invest the same amount of money. It lies in the type of business and the people involved. If your computer-literate and know your way around bit of HTML and internet marketing e-commerce would be the way, or else it would be better to stick to the traditional way to sell your products and service.