E-Commerce vs Brick and Mortar is an ongoing debate. While, E-commerce has shown considerable growth in recent years Brick and Mortar still manages to remain a dominant platform. Entrepreneurs’ decision to choose between E-Commerce and Brick and Mortar depends on the size and target audience of their business.
If you want to be successful in your business venture, it is important for you to understand that marketing is a contest for people’s attention, regardless of the business platform used. It is vital to recognize which platform suits your business.
Let us discuss and compare two platforms used by most businesses and help you to figure out a better choice.
To begin with, let us understand what an E-Commerce business is all about.
E-Commerce or Online marketing is no alien terminology in the age of Internet obsession. It is a modern platform and a rage among present generation. Even those who are not exposed to online marketing have a rough idea that it has something to do with internet.
To be more precise, E-Commerce is business done via Internet. Businesses launch their website to display their products and services. Use social media and digital marketing tools to make prospective customers aware of their existence. Allow their customers to shop online and deliver the product or service at the customer’s doorstep. The payment is made either via secure payment gateways and cash on delivery is also facilitated.
Before you choose to go for E-Commerce platform for your business, it is vital for you to know what its advantages are.
Advantages of E-Commerce
There are numerous advantages that are tagged with the utilization of this platform. They can be classified in a broad category of the organization, business, and society. The advantages that come with this platform include:
• E-Commerce is cost efficient and has a global reach. The limitation of a physical store ends with this online endeavor. With a very minimal capital allocation you can trace the best outlets and inlets across the globe.
• The platform is considered cost efficient as it is cheaper compared to brick and mortar. The cost of labor, distribution, and other technicalities involved in running a business is reduced in this method.
• With E-Commerce, you can facilitate your customers with 24*7 services. The limitation to visit the stores on a scheduled time interval gets diminished with online shopping. Your clients will be able to access your services round the clock and from any location.
• E-Commerce will also enable customers to choose your platform to send gifts and articles to their loved ones residing in a different city. It is far more convenient for them to use E-Commerce platforms than visiting a store to buy the product and then sending it via courier service.
• Customers prefer E-Commerce as it gives them the privilege of comparing and choosing a more suitable option. Customers can choose from a wide range of products offered. It is also possible for them to compare similar products on various platforms and go for a cheaper alternative. This saves them from visiting several stores for comparing good and services.
• E-Commerce also let the customers comment and review your products. A good number of people prefer to read online reviews of products before making a purchase.
• The home or door delivery option provided by E-Commerce lures the customers who have a busy schedule. Going for online shopping will help them avoid travelling hence saving their time and resources.
• The E-Commerce methodology improves the image and brand of the business. E-Commerce is efficient and faster and delivers improved service. It also encourages the ‘pull’ system which starts with the customer requesting for their order and the business customizes the order for their client.
Disadvantages of E-commerce
• E-Commerce completely relies on Internet and this is its biggest demerit. It may sound crazy but it limits the E-Commerce businesses to areas and clients who have access to Internet.
• There are several limitations when one goes for E-Commerce. Compatibility of E-Commerce software with operating system, maintenance of site and upgradation of services are a few examples.
• The technology is rapidly changing and a business that cannot keep up with the regular changes can be a risk.
Despite of these limitations, E-Commerce is emerging and showing its heat to Brick and Mortar business in various segment. It has done incredibly good in apparel, lifestyle and technological goods sectors.
Next comes, Brick and Mortar
Brick and Mortar on the other hand is the trusted and proved business method used since ages. Shopping for many of the customers is not just a process where they buy commodities but an experience to rejuvenate themselves. Brick and Mortars platforms enable customers to physically visit the stores and enjoy shopping with an added advantage of feeling the product before making a purchase. It also enables businesses to have face-to-face interaction with their customers. Some of the businesses or organizations can be traced on the internet, but the transactions are done physically.
Bricks and Mortar methodology has its own pros and cons and some of them are as stated below.
Advantages of Brick and Mortar
• The customers get physical access to all the products they intend to buy. This gives them a fast class shopping experience and avoids the cases of getting the wrong item and returning it to the stores.
• Demo of the products become easy both for the businesses and customers as Brick and Mortar allows physical proximity. The customers can also be taught on how to operate various items they are willing to purchase. For instance, a client can be shown how to use a washing machine or projector.
• The customers are able to get immediate feedback for any queries they have when they are at the store or business premises. This also helps the business to understand the needs and aspirations of their customers in a better way.
Disadvantages of Brick and Mortar
• With Bricks and Mortar business your client has to visit the store to make enquiry and purchase the commodity. Keeping in view the busy schedule of the present generation, it becomes difficult for the customers to commute especially if the store is located far and hence they prefer online shopping.
• Time boundation is another demerit when it comes to Brick and Mortar. There is a fixed time for the stores to open and close, and customer is allowed to visit in this given time duration. This is also a problem when the duration allowed for accessibility coincides with a client’s busy schedule.
Comparison between E-Commerce and Brick & Mortar
With the above facts about the two platforms put into consideration, you can draw a clear line on which platform is better than the other for your business. It solely depends on the type of your business to determine its compatibility with either of these methods.
Brick and Mortar is one great asset on its side which is the clients can visit to see and have physical contact with the products. However, E-Commerce has many advantages that give it an upper hand ranging from low operational cost, wide market potential, minimal overhead, efficiency and accessibility, convenient and cheap, and full time operational services and customer care.
There is also a great potential for businesses who prefer to stay with their physical stores, but also opt to bring their business on online platforms. This will help them build their brand and reach a higher number of target audience. Also, it is a common practice among customers to perform online research of the objects before making the actual purchase from the stores. In either way, digital platform will help the businesses.
Verdict: E-commerce takes the day as it is more profitable due to low operational cost and wide market range. The modern society and changing schedules, it gives clients minimal time to shop and e-commerce fills that gap.
Keeping in view the changing trends of the market and customers’ needs and aspirations, if you wish to take your business on Digital Platform, we are HERE to help you.
P.S: The content in this article is not designed to replace any professional advice as they are only the writer’s views.