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Retail vs Ecommerce: What’s The Difference?

Written by Hemant Panchratan

January 11, 2022

ecommerce vs retail

The eCommerce industry is growing, and it’s continuing to grow. With e-retailers earning $1 trillion in sales last year, the eCommerce industry is expected to continue this growth over the next five years.
However, you might not know that retail has been around for centuries longer than eCommerce has existed.
Here are some of the differences between these two industries—and what each can offer your business.

1. A Retail business operates a brick-and-mortar store or outlet and sells its products to consumers directly at the point of sale (POS).

This is in contrast with online retailing—which

2. E-commerce: A business model where you can sell products through websites using the internet.

However, there are businesses like target, pantaloons, and shopper stop that have physical stores to sell products and have online stores for the customers preferring online shopping.

The Shopping Experience: Retail vs eCommerce

We know that retail is different from eCommerce regarding the shopping experience. eCommerce offers the shopper a choice to buy from anywhere in the world, at any time of the day. Whereas a brick-and-mortar retail store, shoppers have to visit the store in person.

Product interaction

With a physical store, you can only touch and feel the products if it is a clothing or jewelry store. Also, shoppers can try out products, whether it is clothes, jewelry, shoes, or electronics, and understand if they fit their requirements or not.

eCommerce offers more product interaction than retail. But with eCommerce, you get to see the product from all angles and read reviews and compare prices before making your purchase decision. You can also watch videos of how the product works. eCommerce adapts to the buyer’s requirements and offers relevant options that suit them best, while retailers only provide their own selection of goods.

Obtaining products

At a retail store, you buy products immediately and have a quick buying experience. In addition, it provides an instant emotional experience of buying a product.

eCommerce store takes time to deliver the products to buyers. Ideally, it takes 2 to 7 days for the shopper to have the product’s exact experience and feel.

Ability to shop

Retail Stores have timing limitations. These stores open for a period of time during the day and then close at night.

eCommerce Store gives shoppers a 24/7 shopping experience. They can access your online store from anywhere and anytime. During the COVID, this has given many shoppers all-time availability of eCommerce stores to buy essential products and deliver to their doorsteps.

Customer Service

You can directly interact with customer executives at retail stores and clear your doubts about the products.

At eCommerce stores, you can interact with their executive over a call during working hours and chat with bots after their customer executives are unavailable.

However, both type of stores has great customer service.

Finding Products

Since the retail store is an inventory-based model, keeping and managing every product is bit difficult. Generally, thee store have products on-demand basis. Therefore, if you are looking for products that often sell, you won’t find them in these retail stores.

This gives eCommerce an edge over retail as it can provide customers with a wider range of products that they might not be able to find in their local area. eCommerce stores can also offer products not available in the retail store.

Time & travel

Retail: To buy, you have to travel to the store, including time to travel and a vehicle that takes you there. You have to take additional time to travel and shop to do this.

Whereas in eCommerce, customers can purchase products without leaving their house. This is a big advantage over retail as it eliminates the need for customers to go out and search for a product they want.

eCommerce also offers free shipping on most items, which saves you time and money from traveling to different stores in your area.

Cost to run business

Retail: retail stores are costly to run because of the need for physical space, having employees around, other relevant recurring & variable costs, etc.

eCommerce does not require physical space for operations, while retail stores do need one which is expensive. eCommerce also does not require a big team, and eCommerce store owners can work from anywhere. They have no fixed costs, which makes them more efficient when compared with Retail Stores.

So Should You Expand Your Business Online?

Retail and eCommerce Stores both have their own benefits. However, eCommerce is the future of retail stores because it’s easier to manage an eCommerce store than a physical one.

eCommerce also helps expand your business globally without any geographical boundaries, making them more efficient in today’s digitized world where time & money is crucial for businesses to survive. Given below facts will give you growth prospects in the eCommerce industry:

1. In 2021, an estimated 2.14 billion consumers are expected to purchase products and services online (source) – https://www.statista.com/statistics/251666/number-of-digital-buyers-worldwide/

2. The Indian e-commerce market is expected to grow by more than double in five years, from 2020’s US$46.2 billion esteem all the way up at around 110$ trillion within 2025. (source) https://www.ibef.org/industry/ecommerce.aspx

3. The growing Indian online grocery market is projected to reach $18.2 billion by 2024, an increase from current levels of around $1.9B and expanding at a CAGR 57%.

4. As of 2020, India is the eighth largest market for e-commerce. This surpasses France and ranks ahead Canada!. In 2020 alone their market size grew by $50 billion to take up position as one of Canada’s top markets for online shopping.  

 

As you can see, eCommerce is on the rise, and it is the right to expand your business. eCommerce offers a great advantage over retail stores as it can provide customers with ease of access and availability and lower costs compared to Retail Stores.

eCommerce is the future, so whether you’re an eCommerce store owner or starting one up – now’s the time!

Build Your eCommerce Store today

eCommerce is the future, so if you’re looking to start an online store (or expand your current one), it’s time to get started!

eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento, or Shopify make it easy to set up and manage your eCommerce store, so you can focus on what’s important – selling products and growing your business.

Get started today and see your eCommerce business grow!

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