E-commerce can be a great way for a small businesses to increase their sales and widen their reach. It’s also convenient for consumers, who can buy at their convenience, without having to leave their homes or spend the day fighting queues at the shopping mall to pick up the best deals. However, e-commerce also has negative effects on both consumers and retailers that must be kept in mind before launching an online shop.
It is easy to collect a lot of personal information from a consumer using an e-commerce website, sometimes too easy. Since all online transactions are recorded, it’s relatively easy to create an online profile of the buyer, and use that to send targeted advertisements. However, many will agree that this is an intrusion on a consumer’s right to privacy, and it’s something that is heavily regulated on many countries. This means small businesses aiming to establish an online presence using e-commerce need to be aware of the legislation that applies, as mistakes can be costly both in terms of fines and customer trust.