We have come a long way from the days when a shopping spree entailed getting ready to go to a store and spending hours trying out different clothes and coming back home to sore legs. Today, the concept of shopping has taken on a whole new definition for us. For most of us, it simply involves turning on our computers and scrolling through the plethora of options we see before us.
Relation Between Ecommerce And Retail Business: The Benefits & Drawbacks of Both
All of this has become a reality solely due to the emergence of eCommerce, and the sad result of it has been the retail apocalypse. Physical stores are becoming lesser and lesser prevalent since most of the consumers have become acclimated to the digital space. So, what does this signal for the retail space? And is there a relation between retail businesses and e-commerce?
Difference between the two
In its most traditional sense, retail basically refers to the sale of goods in small quantities, usually from a single vantage point such as a supermarket or a departmental store. Here, you can get a better visual advantage of the products and can peruse the products at your own leisure. Ecommerce on the other hand refers to a purely digitized version of such transactions. It consists of economic activities taking place through a digital platform. Both of these concepts have their own advantages and disadvantages, but the endpoint of either of them is the same, that is, satisfying the consumer by fulfilling some want or need of theirs.
Digitization of retail through e-commerce
As mentioned before, the physical nature of retail business is a purely traditional definition. Today, with the advent of better technology, the essence of retail is being modified to offer us a more convenient and seamless shopping experience. How do you ask? Well, the answer is e-commerce. Ecommerce is the reason that retail has been able to take on newer definitions. Just because physical stores are becoming less popular does not mean that there is any hindrance in the activity of retail businesses being carried on. Goods are still being dispatched in small quantities to consumers, but it is all happening through an online portal. For example, the act of a consumer purchasing groceries from a big e-commerce giant such as Amazon or Walmart is simply a manifestation of the retail process in a digital space. This means that retail businesses are very much alive and flourishing, just in a different medium.
However, this rise in e-commerce has led to an increase in the disparity between retailers who choose to sell their produce online, when compared to physical stores. Increasing digitization has been leading to a monumental increase in their sales, whereas the physical retail space continues to witness an ‘apocalypse’. With the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, this rift only continued to grow wider, since even the shoppers who preferred to physically pick out their products were now obligated to purchase things online.
Ecommerce as a handy tool for retail business owners
The basic relationship between e-commerce and retail can now be narrowed down to the fact that e-commerce is a stepping stone for retail operators. The whole paradigm of physical retail stores is currently unraveling, which means that retail business owners are faced with a crucial conundrum of having to strike a balance between their offline and online sales. Operators who make the right use of the tool that e-commerce is will quite naturally be able to take their retail business to newer heights, whereas those who fail to do so, face the imminent threat of being marginalized.
Ecommerce is a space for retail businesses to coexist in and thrive. Ecommerce proves to be a powerful instrument in this digital space, and retailers who understand its importance can expect fruitful returns.