As with all things, there cannot be a good side without a bad side. That being
said, there are definitely some disadvantages to Internet Marketing. As you
read, bear in mind that much of what Internet Marketing involves consists of
ever-changing practices an approaches, and therefore much of what is now
considered a disadvantage may disappear, and sometimes new disadvantages
may arise. So this cannot be considered a concrete declaration, but rather a
“what it is right now” statement.
One of the things most consumers value when shopping is human interaction.
When a customer goes to the store, he or she can receive direction, advice,
information, and service from a live person. The Internet has no such
advantage, and many consumers shy away from the impersonal nature of
Internet shopping. While live chat and telephone service are often available,
Internet Marketing still has a long way to go to overcome this hurdle. So, while
a consumer may go to the Internet for product information, they may
ultimately choose to buy the product in person anyway.
Another important thing to remember is that Internet Marketing is not a free
activity. The costs of Internet Marketing include such things as web-site design,
the online distribution costs of advertising, hardware and software,
maintenance, and others. However, some may argue that the brick and mortar
business carries costs that Internet Marketing does not. Costs are mentioned
here because, depending on who is reading, the costs still may be deemed a
While your site is open for business 24/7, there are some problems, both on
your end and on the consumer’s. If the consumer is having trouble accessing
the Internet for some reason, he or she may very well decide to make their
purchase in the store instead. And if your site goes down, you cannot make
sales. Furthermore, if this happens often, customers will quickly lose faith in
the reliability of your site.
Security has led many consumers to avoid the Internet for shopping. Many
people have a fear of identity theft and other forms of fraud that keep them
from conducting their business online. While you may have gone to great
lengths to ensure your site is, some consumers will not be convinced, and
won’t even provide basic information for the purpose of your e-mail marketing.
Finally, not everyone is logged on. This is a disadvantage that is shrinking in
importance, but it is not gone by any means. A significant percentage of the
population still does not have access to the Internet, and therefore can never
get to your site. What’s more, if all of your marketing is conducted online, you
and the unconnected consumer are in two different worlds and may never
meet. Much like a snowboarding shop in Miami, you may find yourself with a
great product and no exposure to the right customers.
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