Limitations of e-commerce in Indian Perspective

Undoubtedly, e-commerce has revolutionized the buying process for modern human beings. The process is easy, convenient and saves a crazy amount of effort. Who wouldn’t want to scroll through their mobile or laptop screen, in the comfort of their room with no barriers? From sipping a cup of coffee to lying in bed under a blanket, online shopping offers a lot of options.

For the consumers, as well as the sellers, e-commerce offers a lot of perks and benefits. But there are some limitations too. After all, every game has a winner and a loser.

Limitations of e-commerce in Indian Viewpoint

Although e-commerce may have changed the way we shopped, it comes with a few limitations for both the sellers as well as the customers. Here are a few disadvantages of e-commerce from the Indian point of view.

Disadvantages of e-commerce for Indian Customers

When we talk about the limitations of e-commerce, we would first think about “us” because we are consumers. So, these are the limitations of online shopping imposes for Indian customers.

  • No Bargaining Possible

Admit it. As Indians, we are habitual of bargaining and getting products at the prices we want.

“Bhaiyya kitne ka doge?”

“Rs. 500 madam.”

“Nahi! Rs. 250 ka dena hai to do.”

And after a lot of chitter-bitter, we finally manage to get the product at the price we want. So, one of the biggest limitations of e-commerce in Indian perspective has to be the bargaining aspect. We don’t get to do so while shopping online.

  • Lack of Physical Touch or Personal Feel

We are also habitual of roaming around in the flea market and malls to explore the number of options and shortlist the product on the basis of its feel, quality, and overall touch. This experience cannot be taken in e-shopping due to which something, we end up purchasing something with a different quality than we expected.

  • Hidden Costs and Taxes

e-commerce charges extra GST and other taxes on almost all the products listed. However, one only gets to view the principal amount while adding the product in the cart. So, the added hidden charges at the payment checkout are quite irritating at times.

  • Delay in the Product Delivery

Another biggest limitation of e-commerce in the Indian perspective would be the delay in the delivery process. No matter how quickly the product is delivered, e-commerce still fails to quench the urgent needs of the Indian customers. In the case of urgencies, a person has to rush to the traditional market and pay for the product even when it is available at a cheaper price online.

  • Internet Issues

Sometimes, there are really good deals going online but a slow internet connection may shatter all your dreams. A lack of good internet connection also wastes a lot of time as compared to traditional, quick shopping at the stores.

  • Product Quality & Size

The dimensionality of the screen also disables a customer to know the exact quality of the product. Sometimes, a model may be seen wearing an embroidered top while in reality, it has a printed pattern on it. In some cases, the size may also hinder the e-commerce experience.

For example, sometimes the customer may be shown a close-up of a much smaller product which ends up breaking the expectations upon delivery. Although returns are possible, this leads to wastage of time and unwanted hassles.

Drawbacks of e-commerce for Indian Sellers

If we flip the coin to the seller’s point of view, there are a few limitations in that case too. Here are a few to talk about:

  • Free Shipping

Indian consumers are very likely to purchase a product that offers free shipping. It feels like a huge benefit to them and in some cases, they even remove the product from the cart if the shipping charge is more than 40 bucks. This acts as pressure for Indian sellers as they have to adjust the shipping charges to offer free delivery to their customers.

  • Cash on Delivery

Not everyone is interested in making online payments transactions and opt for cash on delivery. So, the sellers who do not offer the “COD” perk to its customers get lesser orders as compared to the one who does. Although it is very convenient for the customers, it is sometimes, inconvenient for the sellers.

  • Competition for Lower Prices

Indian sellers have to offer low prices at minimal profits for the sake of getting more orders. While shopping online, people look for lower prices than brick-and-mortar shops. This increases the competition amongst the sellers and ends up giving them a marginal profit only.

  • Extra Care for Fragile or Perishable Goods

Another limitation of e-commerce in Indian perspective is that many sellers do not get enough customers and hence, profit because people don’t choose to buy fragile or perishable products from them.

  • Difficulty in Establishing the Business

Even after complying with all the seller details, taxations, terms & conditions, and regulations, many sellers do not show up on the first page of the search results. So, the orders automatically go to the sellers who have been on the selling platform for a longer time.

  • Doubted for Security Issues and Frauds

Despite all the efforts for offering a safe and good consumer experience, the sellers are doubted for fraud. New websites are feared for security issues and data leaking even after having a strong and clean database.

  • Returning Goods & Frauds

There are many customers who merely buy a product for one-time use and return it by taking advantage of the “free-returns policy”. Sometimes, the product’s cost is lesser than the logistics price due to which the seller has to issue a refund without getting the product back. This leads to fraud with the sellers who work honestly.


Over the years, the e-commerce industry has continued to flourish. However, some of its aspects are inappropriate for both the customers and the sellers. Sometimes, the sellers suffer whereas sometimes, it is difficult for the buyers. What matters is an informed decision from both ends and eventually, a good customer relationship.

Leave a Reply