The Age Of E-commerce and its Effect on Retail Stores
The digital age as well as the Internet of Things are changing the way we do just about everything in everyday life, from education to shopping. E-commerce is the next big thing to bring about many shifts in dynamics in the way we engage with suppliers of products and services and this is bound to have far-reaching effects on the current physical model of doing retail business.
Broad-based impact studies as to how e-commerce will affect conventional physical commerce are already underway and a hot topic of discussion. All things considered and whatever your take on the modern-day digital evolution, the reality shift is going to be a considerable one, as everything from buying food to playing Blackjack
is now enjoyed online.
Upping The Game
Competition, in all areas of business, is a very healthy thing. In essence the cause and effect of competition is better service delivery, lower prices and overall improvement in the quality of the service or product rendered and delivered. However, competition must remain balanced if it’s going to form part of a healthy and functioning economy. A good example of competition being exploited into a negative swing of the pendulum would be price-fixing, something that is forbidden by most progressive economies.
An important consideration to make is the one of when healthy competition becomes too much competition. With the dawn of the age of digital and the shift from physical shopping at physical stores to shopping online at e-commerce sites come many challenges for traditional retailers and suppliers. It’s no longer a case of having to compete only with similar brands selling similar product alternatives, but also with the added dynamic of online stores.
How, for instance, will physical stores compete with the fact that no online shopper ever has to stand around waiting in a queue? Or even just with the variety and instant availability factor? Most e-commerce sites are able to source 10 alternatives to any given product or service within a matter of seconds. Gone are the days of having to phone around and find another store that will in all likelihood be miles away in order to find something that the customer is looking for. Everything is instantly available at the click of a mouse.
Full Speed Ahead
All things considered, the e-commerce market is already a force to be reckoned with. Consider for instance Apple Pay and PayPal, digital e-wallets and payment systems that makes shopping and paying for just about anything simple and safe. At this stage of the game, it’s no longer a consideration as to what may happen in the future when it’s a case of all systems go, but rather a time to observe what the effects of online retail are at the moment, and how the dynamic may evolve going forward.
What isn’t up for debate, is the fact that e-commerce will have long-lasting and profound effects on the way we do business
. It’s therefore not a question of if, but rather of to what extent.
Adapt Or Die
Physical retailers have woken up and smelled the coffee, so to speak. In order to retain their customer base, many physical stores now have an online alternative in the way of an e-store too. Customers are able to browse for the products that they would like to purchase online, in most cases pay for those products online too, and the physical store will then arrange for delivery of the purchased products to the customer.
Will the dawn of the age of e-commerce have an effect of our shopping experience as a whole? Indeed it will.
Only time will tell what the eventual outcome of a life mostly lived online will be, but for now, it is easy to see why those stores without a digital presence are struggling, and why so many land based outlets are closing their doors and opting for a digital world where staff costs and overheads are lower.