Internet retailing is advantageous in many ways. However there are also certain limitations or disadvantages that one cannot ignore completely. The following are some of the limitations of web retailing.
The major issue facing internet retailers is “unfulfillment” or the in ability of the business to deliver the customer orders accurately. Most deliveries by internet companies contain some errors. Goods ordered for special occasions like Christmas, Diwali etc., are delivered late. Internet companies out source such services to parcel couriers.
Companies that send out small and easily deliverable packages like DVDs, software or books have a fulfillment advantage. But delivery of a bulky assortment of goods within specific time when the customer is not present is a major constraint.
2. Security concerns
A major barrier to the use of the internet for the transaction is security. There is a need for secure electronic transaction which will allow credit card-holder and merchant to authenticate each other during an internet transaction.
3. Network limitations
In electronic retailing, the visual impact of website is very important. But it raises conflicts. Graphic and multimedia attributes assume that the customer end has access to a high specification PC. Customers are frustrated when they experience slow data transfer.
Web applications should demonstrate clear relevance to the customer base. The pages on the website should be targeted at specific online customer groups. These pages should be dynamic enough to cope with the changing interests of customer groups.
Customer should feel comfortable with electronic shopping. However, purchasing over internet is faught with difficulties. Customers are reluctant to supply their credit card details over the internet. They consider it to be too risky and fear breach of security. So, popular web browsers have incorporated secure payment encryption algorithms. Experiments on payment without having to transmit card details over the internet have been unsuccessful.
6. Easy to Hack
It is often easier for hackers to obtain credit card details, passed over a cordless or mobile telephone.
7. Social Acceptance is doubtful
The commercial success of internet technology depends upon the fundamental question of social acceptance. Only when users of technology are motivated to become customers, electronic commerce will flourish.
8. Size of Internet Market
While the home PC market is growing at a rapid speed, the home internet market should also match the trend. It means that people should become very familiar not only with personal computers but should have access to internet and use it quite frequently.