How e-commerce is changing retail

The exponential growth of online selling makes us predict that brick and mortar retail days are almost over. However, recent studies have shown that this deduction is not quite true at the moment. In fact, E-commerce has helped traditional retailing grow in many ways, as we will expose at the following statements, and pushed it to update its practices to hold on profitable market share.

Even though the prices online are more attractive, customers still prefer visiting physical shops for many reasons. The most relevant one is basically the social experience behind. Touching the product, asking for the retailer’s advice or recommendations, all these scenarios remain almost impossible using an online selling platform.

Besides, e-commerce has introduced a major change in brick and mortal organizational model by introducing new careers in the industry. In actual fact, 645 000 jobs were added between 2002 and 2016 in retailing, mostly in marketing in order to compete and effectively respond to customer needs. Sales departments are also growing in the traditional retail business by hiring specialized sales clerks who are able to attract customers and inform them effectively. For example, the clothing stores that hire qualified consultants develop an image of specialists that no website can compete with no matter how its staff was responsive online. This close relationship remains the major competitive advantage of retailers.

Moreover, even if more and more individuals are becoming online shoppers, their e-purchasing frequency is still lower than theirs in usual shops. Likewise, the existence of traditional shops will still be a necessity especially in grocery, decoration and clothing industries.

Broadly speaking, we can say that actual consumers no longer make the distinction between online and offline, both are considered as an extension of the other that makes the shopping experience easier, faster and more satisfying. The most accurate in that case in pick up orders. More and more customers nowadays prefer to choose and pay an item before going to the retailer in order to pick it up.

In sum, both online and offline shopping share the same ultimate goal: create a memorable customer experience by responding actively to his needs. The specialization in one in spite of the other is no longer an available choice recently. In order to remain competitive, retailers must take into consideration a number of new business development options like digital marketing, web design and social media management.

A propos de Wissal MORHLIA

Etudiante en M2 commerce électronique à l'université de strasbourg. Passionnée par le marketing et le monde digital.

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