We are currently if not completely transitioning into a digital world where automation has become the norm. where artificial intelligence is already seen incorporated in various parts of the world. E-commerce is no stranger. Although we still see several brick. And mortar businesses in action what is their future? And how effective is e-commerce?
As the title suggests, we are here to discuss the differences between an online store and a traditional store. But first, let us get the E-commerce definition out of the way so we can get to it.
An industry involving buying and selling of goods, services, and products online. All it needs is an internet connection, and the business is up and running. This is the basic essence of E-commerce.
Traditional stores don’t just need a space for them to run their businesses; they also need to make sure the location is competitor-free and customer full. If this isn’t a struggle itself, there are several other investments that come along with a physical store including rent, utility bills, employee salaries, maintenance charges and marketing expenses.
An e-store, however, has it easier and cheaper, a developer takes in money, sets up the website, and there are some additional, however minor setups that require an online business to take a complete shape involving web hosting rent, delivery and server services and voila! There you have it.
You must have an idea by now, so who do you think gets to have a wider customer reach? Yes, internet wins here as well. Physical stores need to have a great location that is bustling with people for them to attract some into their store, also supported by marketing efforts that too are limited and costly.
E-store has the upper hand they can with the right strategies and online tools reach out to a global community of customers. Social media is the Ultimate way to business promotion, and they have that well versed.
Online promotions also give way to the considerable amount of creative ideas to flourish and materialize, whereas a physical store can only do so much – New shelving, decor replacement, and outside banners.
E-commerce also helps small businesses to be operated from home. You can be a one-man show handling orders, online marketing, promotions and customer service without having to employ anyone. Cost reduction at its best. A traditional store does not offer this luxury.
You can display countless products on your website, but you can display only so much in your physical store. Expansion and opening chains are not e-commerce’s concern.
You can introduce several new categories and products on your site without having to worry about the cost and using social media you can do the relevant promotion.
The emergence of e-commerce has given the liberty to various kinds of small to big businesses; with countless stores going online the options for customers are ever increasing. And that leads to a tough competition where brick and mortar businesses can run independently of any competitor with regards to their location.
Driving traffic and maintaining customer loyalty is a challenge one needs to master to stay at the top of the chain. Marketing strategies to customer services to product delivery, everything, and anything needs to be at its best.
One on one interaction with the customers gives physical stores the edge. They can provide a better service to them showcasing their products; customers can feel the desired items, and they walk out with a purchase.
E-stores lack the ability to provide hands-on experience before buying, and their customer service too is online. This does create the product-customer gap that leads to them being cynical about the authenticity.
The Last Important Rant:
However, the drawbacks that e-commerce have can be solved with effective strategy and plan. Customer interaction may be online, but you can virtually give customers the product experience by high-quality photos, videos, and updates.
Any problem in the e-commerce world can be solved since it is the age of technology without having to invest too many resources, but traditional stores can take up a considerable amount of time and money.
E-commerce and Pakistan
Here, Pakistan is definitely on the bandwagon and is rolling fast with the trend. Devin Wenig, CEO of eBay a giant online shopping portal, stated Pakistan to be the next big place for online shopping and for it to go big and not go home.
“It’s the fastest growing markets we have around the world. Anywhere where wealth is growing, and technology is being adopted, e-commerce is being adopted like crazy,” – Devin Wenig, CEO eBay
Devin Wenig showed us the brighter future of Pakistan in the E-commerce industry, but the migration of businesses to online portals is still going slow, the reason being the lack of awareness about e-commerce.
With this being said, next, follows is the stigma attached to it that since the majority of the Pakistani community is not tech savvy, hence not fully capable of taking advantage of online shopping.
Some Trending Online Shopping Stores
So the businesses do not take the risk of the physical to online transition. But worry not since Pakistan is not home to several large brands and goods, people are very much inclined towards online shopping portals for access.
So, on the flip side of the coin, Pakistan harbors some of the greatest online shopping stores including:
Daraz.pk– The online shopping giant in Pakistan, claiming their experience to be unparalleled.
Homeshopping– Claiming there are several services that only they offer.
Kaymu– Connecting buyers and sellers without having any inventory of their own.
Buhatala– In Pakistan online shopping stores are turning out to be a source of consumer convenience. From electronics, to apparel you can get your hands on the almost anything you want.
Shophive– laid down the foundations in 25th January 2006 claiming to believe in customer satisfaction and providing excellent services and after sales services.
Symbios– claiming to be the first e-commerce portal and bringing convenience to the audience when there was no other.
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