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When you are in business, you need to sell. E-commerce is a useful tool to accomplish your company goals. The field of E-commerce is growing by leaps and bounds. However traditional retail stores have a number of advantages. Which one should you choose is a question many businesses ask themselves. Here we will explore the two business approaches you can take.

E-commerce vs. Retail Stores

  • With an E-commerce store, you can reach as far and wide as you desire, across the whole globe if you want. Purchases and sales can be made from the comfort of a home or office.  There are no holidays when it comes to selling online; your business is open 24/7, 365 days a year. For a retail store, your customers may not have the privilege of having your store close to them. Customers will have to travel to a retail store to make purchases.
  • When selling online, you face many risks of viruses, hackings and possible power failure.  Hence, many people may not trust online shopping. In a retail store, you require manpower to ensure the running of the business. An online store relatively needs a few people to function.
  • You can say traditional retail stores have a human touch which is missing from E-commerce. At a retail store, customers will be embraced by the ambience of the store, giving customers a personal experience as opposed to just online shopping.
  • There are some disadvantages to running an e-commerce site such as not knowing who your customers are and what kind of skills they have with using the computer. Some customers may be very paranoid of online shopping because of privacy and giving away their credit card, but that’s why there are retail stores for them.
  • In a retail store, people get to see firsthand the product they wish to purchase. Most people would prefer to buy expensive products from a retail store rather than ordering it online; or at least see the product firsthand before ordering it online. You wouldn’t want to buy furniture unless you have tested it out. The quality of items cannot be gauged simply by examining their pictures from a website.
  • Perishable items such as food are better off sold in a retail store rather than online shopping. Items may rot if not consumed by a particular time frame. The convenience of booking travel arrangements online has helped customers save a vast majority of time, whereas automobiles, electronic goods and furniture are better off sold through a store.
  • Buying goods through e-commerce sites may be faster than going to an actual retailer and looking for your purchase. To run an online business, you must have an e-commerce enabled website. E-commerce offers customers a variety of payment methods such as credit cards, check, PayPal and more.

There are vendors such as Apptivo which allows you to run an e-commerce website from one platform. An online store may not satisfy all customers, since there are some who prefer to shop from stores, but it will gain you more customers and awareness of your brand. Therefore, it is sensible for your business to offer both so that all customers are satisfied. This way you will have the best of both worlds.

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