The internet has changed our lives in many ways for the better. However, there are some other sectors where things are a little different.
The rise of eCommerce has been brilliant, and it has made many things far more accessible. However, there are concerns that this will have a knock-on effect to other parts of retail, such as high street stores. Will this be the case?
Let’s take a look.
One of the biggest advantages of eCommerce is the speed with which you can go to other sites. You could be shopping for an outfit to wear to a wedding, only to discover that there is nothing on this site that you actually like. In a matter of seconds, you could be browsing somewhere else.
The time that can be saved here is incredible, and it simply isn’t comparable to shopping in person in a store. In this scenario, you can’t just instantly appear in another store if there is something you don’t like.
The options themselves are also greatly expanded. If you have to choose from what is available to you locally, you might either have to plan a trip to a nearby city or make do with what you can find.
This is not the case when you are able to shop online, making it perfect for those who are a little more discerning in their choices.
eCommerce is considered to be a very accessible form of shopping as it is available at all times.
It does not matter whether you are shopping in the middle of the afternoon or at 3 AM – you will be able to place an order and know that it will begin to be processed and collected for you.
Obviously, this is not the case with traditional retail. Most shops are not open 24/7 and those that are few and far between. If you want to get a certain item, you need to plan a trip to get it.
However, it is also important to recognise that shopping online is also not the most accessible choice out there. Not everyone has access to online shopping.
Whether they don’t have the device they need, or they don’t have access to the internet without going to a public place, there are many reasons why someone might choose to still shop in person. There are also plenty of people who still struggle to use technology like smartphones.
They cannot manage some of the basic functions of these devices, so it is unlikely that they will be able to learn how to order something through an eCommerce site.
For those who wish to set up their own business in some capacity, the easy choice is usually eCommerce. There are many sites like Etsy that can help smaller creators, and even setting up larger sites is becoming easier than ever.
Anyone who wants to start their own eCommerce site will find a wealth of resources to help them out – such as these eCommerce email examples or website templates – and it can often be a great option for those who want to get on the first rung of the entrepreneurial ladder.
Choosing to open your own retail location can be a little riskier. In addition to all the costs of setting up a shot and acquiring stock, a retail unit needs to be acquired through either renting or buying.
Commercial property always comes at a premium – especially if it is located in a busy area of a major town. You might find that you need to quickly build up some traffic instead of allowing a period of natural growth that you might otherwise see from an online business.
It is also encouraged that many brick-and-mortar retail businesses should embrace some aspect of eCommerce.
Though they might still get most of their trade from face-to-face sales from visiting customers, they can still pick up some extra business by having a site that people can visit.
It is also an easy way to expand. Rather than open a second location somewhere, they are able to reach many more people and adapt their sales all from their primary location. They may even be able to gain interest from customers all over the world.
A massive advantage of in-house shopping is that you get to see the product for yourself. Many of us still like to try on clothes for ourselves, or sit on sofas or mattresses before they buy them.
There is always something new that can be explored and discovered. As humans are very tactile and visual creatures, we like to be able to see things for ourselves before we make a decision. However, the world of eCommerce is slowly catching up.
Thanks to developments in augmented reality, it might soon be possible to try many of the things we usually go to the shops for.
One major reason why people like to go furniture shopping in person is to gain an idea about the size of the piece. Certain online furniture stores have adopted this practice.
You can now download an app that uses your phone’s camera to pace the piece in your real room, so you can see through the phone how it could look your space if you bought it.
This is also taking off in the beauty industry, allowing people to try on makeup without using potentially unhygienic testers.
Though it is unlikely that brick-and-mortar shops will die out soon, eCommerce ones are doing everything in their power to catch up with them.
The convenience of stores like this cannot be denied, and they can really help people discover new things they otherwise might have not had access to.
For the next while, it seems that people will be shopping between both traditional retail units and eCommerce sites.
It is better to consider the latter as not a replacement but a different style of store, in the same way that a department store offers a different experience compared to shopping in a specialist store.
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