The Big Business Battle: E-commerce vs. Retail



It’s almost like the battle of young vs. old. Which is better, e-commerce  or retail? Online shopping,  or any e-commerce website that is a Transaction Heroes product has boomed over the last few years with more and more people choosing to shop for big occasions in the comfort of their own home, rather than venturing out to a store. This has a major impact on people who are working to develop a sales business, they don’t need to open a storefront, let alone set up a physical location. But the one caveat in this is to think that a lot of people would like the personal touch. So does your product, target market, or your business goes lend itself well to a storefront or an online shopping experience?


The first thing to bear in mind with regards to setting up an e-commerce business is the funds. While it may appear cheaper on the surface as there are no bills to pay and you don’t need to pay rent, there are additional costs you may not have factored in, such as paying for your domain name as well as the shipping costs for your product. The cost will relate more to the funding of the website than anything else, which means you can keep your staff amount down as long as you have skilled workers adept at resolving the more complex technical issues. You can also focus your costs on better marketing, but the downside is a lack of communication. A lot of people would prefer to speak to someone either over the phone or have an email answered quickly i.e. within 24-hours, which may not be feasible if you are a skeleton staff.


While the downside in renting a physical location means additional costs like the utility bills, as well as setting up equipment, the speedy development of technology has made the shopping experience a more pleasurable one for staff and customer. The advent of a more efficient point of sale system has made for a more streamlined buying process as opposed to the old fashioned cash register setup. It’s also important to reiterate the personal effects that you can have on a customer in a retail setting. You can improve the experience by solving a problem there and then, or you could better represent your brand by delivering exceptional customer service. The big issue to discuss when it comes to appealing to certain demographics is to look at the age range you are catering for. If your business sells products for younger people, it appears that a lot of people prefer to research their options online before going to the store. And while we live in a 24/7 culture this does mean a big impact on staffing, so it appears that the solution is to strike a balance between the two.

Ultimately we are unable to please everybody in this respect. But look at your products and your demographics for guidance. It appears that the younger age range veers more towards buying items online, while those that are considered older prefer to purchase in person. But whether this is because of an ingrained habit it is hard to tell, but one thing’s for sure, the battle will continue!

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