Today’s retail world is changing like never before. The new generation is full of digital shoppers because they have grown up with social media and the internet. From your luxury needs down to your basic needs, both can now be easily delivered to you without any hassle. It is evident that the prevalence of technology will continue to grow and shape how consumers define shopping.
As simple as in-store grocery shopping in the supermarket is, it is becoming less popular these days, as weekly grocery orders can now be easily delivered to the doorstep. No doubt the transition from traditional retail to modern e-commerce as with all evolution has been relatively slow. However, the reality is that now more than ever, the most successful brands must be able to operate in both worlds.
This article explains how to stay relevant as a business in the 21st century.
Effects of the Pandemic on Businesses
Shopping for goods and services online is nothing new, but the pandemic accelerated the rate at which business owners opened e-commerce shops and consumers shopped online.
According to a survey conducted earlier this year by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the NetComm Suisse e-Commerce Association, online sales have “increased by 6 to 10 percentage points across most product categories.”
Moreover, selling online has allowed businesses to access global markets with just a simple click on the internet. For example, CredPal has partnered with entrepreneurs to sell products on their website and enable customers to buy and pay back within a space of 6 months. Here is an example of such.
E-commerce has helped businesses to monitor consumers’ buying habits, as well as understand their needs and wants. This can have a great impact on businesses and is sometimes seen as the better route to survive in a fast-paced developing world.
Similarities between Physical store Vs E-commerce
Both physical and e-commerce aim at providing products and services to the consumer. Also, physical stores competes with similar stores in their fields. Online stores does the same but with major online marketplaces that offer low prices and faster shipping.
Differences between Physical store Vs E-commerce
E-commerce refers to commercial transactions carried out through an electronic network such as the internet. While retail refers to the sale of goods in small quantities from a single point such as a store, supermarket, shop, or mall.
Physical stores usually have specific operation hours and might close during holidays or on certain days of the week. Whereas with online stores, customers can access and purchase things at any time, enabling more sales and greater convenience.
E-commerce offers accessibility as it serves customers within a wide location and is open on a 24/7 basis, physical stores are only accessible to consumers within a specific region and may not be open on a 24/7 basis.
Physical stores often have a higher cost in running the business. Contributing factors include: Rent, Employee wages, Utilities and Maintaining inventory.
In conclusion, while the retail industry remains relevant, it is also evident that the future of business lies in e-commerce.
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