The advantages of online shopping are clear—whether it’s the convenience, ease, or availability of online coupons and discounts, there are plenty of reasons people buy things online.

As an ecommerce business, offering your buyers the perks of online shopping helps to attract them to your store. But if you’re looking to succeed, the flip side of the coin must also be considered. As easy as online shopping may be, shortcomings remain. Knowing what these are is a first step to overcoming them and, hopefully, removing a barrier to sales.

This begs the question—what are the disadvantages of online shopping?

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Cons of online shopping

According to a recent survey, not being able to physically touch products tops the list of the disadvantages of online shopping. As many as 46% of consumers surveyed say this is a drawback of purchasing items online.

The second biggest disadvantage of online shopping is somewhat related to the first. 45% of consumers say that buying products online poses a problem when they cannot be sure of the quality of the items they’re acquiring. 

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These are followed by logistical concerns. Third and fourth on the list of the top cons of online shopping are complicated return processes and shipping problems. 34% and 32% of consumers find them to be shortcomings of ecommerce, respectively.

Given the increase in ecommerce fraud in recent years, it’s no surprise that digital scams also pose a major worry for online shoppers. As many as 31% of them cite it as a disadvantage of online shopping. 

Many digital buyers also have a preference for purchasing from local retailers. Nearly one in four of them (23%) say not having the option to buy from local businesses online is a disadvantage.

The environmental impact of online shopping is also a barrier to ecommerce sales, with around one out of every six consumers listing it as one of the top problems of online shopping. As many as 13% of shoppers also say disappointing online shopping experiences, such as not having immediate sales assistance around to help them, are a drawback of ecommerce. 

Of the eight biggest disadvantages of online shopping, three are related to the absence of physical contact, two are related to logistics, and the remaining pertain to social, environmental, and fraud issues. 

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