Due to the increased popularity and availability of Internet access many traditional small business are considering eCommerce as a valid and profitable sales channel. However, eCommerce and traditional commerce are very different, and it's important to weight carefully the differences between eCommerce and traditional commerce in order to decide if it would be a good fit for your business or just a costly mistake.
Traditional commerce is often based around face to face interaction. The customer has a chance to ask questions and the sales staff can work with them to ensure a satisfactory transaction. Often this gives sales staff an opportunity for upselling, or encourage the client to buy a more expensive item or related items, increasing the shop profits. On the other hand, eCommerce doesn't offer this benefit unless features such as related items or live chats are implemented.
eCommerce is usually much cheaper than maintaining a physical store in an equally popular location. Compared with costs such as commercial space rent, opening an online store can be done at a fraction of the price for less than $50 per month. This can prove invaluable for small business owners who don't have the startup capital to rent prime retail space and staff it to be able to sell their goods.
With an online shop you can do business with anybody living on a country you are able and willing to send mail to, unlike traditional commerce where you are restricted to people who actually come to your shop. This also opens the door to many other forms of marketing that can be done entirely online, which often results in a much larger volume of sales and even foot traffic to the store. An online store has no capability limits, and you can have as many clients as your stock can serve.
In a traditional store, the customer will be purchasing the product in person, which has some benefits for both the him and the store. The customer will be able to touch and check the items, to make sure they are suitable, and even try them on, which reduces the number of returned items or complaints due to an item not being as advertised on a catalogue. or promotional leaflet. Expect a significantly higher rate of returns if you start trading online, as many will just order and try the items at home, and won't hesitate to return them as they can do it by post without having to talk with anybody in person.
Credit Card Fraud
The remote nature of ECommerce makes much more difficult to detect fraud, which means stores can lose money due to fraud. While traditional commerce is not totally secure, it's easier for a sales attendant to verify that the person buying something is actually the owner of the credit card, by asking for photographic ID. However, the fight against card fraud is well underway and banks and responsible eCommerce owners work together to verify that all card use is legitimate.
Selling online means learning new ways of dealing with customers, marketing your products and fulfilling your orders, but the benefits are great. You can keep your costs lower, reach a wider audience and do business 24/7, having time to focus on improving your products and services and your customer experience instead of being on the store floor waiting for clients. Some products sell better online than others: selling jewelry for cash online is much easier than trying to sell houses or cars. However, having an online store can increase the customers on your traditional commerce as well, as people are now able to find you online and see what products you are offering.