Ever since technology began to develop, eCommerce has also grown over the years. Some now prefer to have online shopping than traditional retailing. There are assumptions that traditional retails will be taken over by eCommerce. Is this likely to happen? First, let us define what traditional retail and eCommerce are.

What is traditional retail?

Traditional retail is the face-to-face business being conducted between citizens in a country. It happens in the markets, stores, and other shopping platforms. In traditional retailing, there is social interaction and their way of attracting customers is by handing out brochures, pamphlets, leaflets, etc. They advertise their product through various mediums such as television, radio, print, and the internet. They pay for the product by going to the store themselves.

What is eCommerce?

Online businesses that take place between businessmen, consumers, and the government are called E-commerce or Electronic Commerce. These online transactions have made business easy by purchasing and trading goods and products with the use of mobile phones, computers, tablets, and other potential gadgets. Purchases are done through online transactions with electronic paying platforms such as Paypal, Stripe, Amazon Pay, and many more.

E-commerce was discovered in the 1990s which was the time of Amazon and eBay’s great success. With e-commerce, there is no need for actual interactions as you can discuss it online.

There are 4 kinds of electronic commerce. It can be conducted from business to business, consumers to consumers, business to government, and consumer to government.

Effect of eCommerce Over the Years

The use of electronic commerce over the years have shown significant changes in our lives. Online business transactions have made commercializing, trading, and purchasing easier. Since 1995 and up to the present, eBay and Amazon have been the most successful online retailers and have the highest ratings among all online retailers. These platforms are also used for online auctions.

E-commerce continued to flourish even more when the pandemic, COVID-19, spread all over the world. This crisis had caused electronic commerce to expand exponentially as people maintained a distance from each other. The practice of online transactions is still highly in demand. It had to expand, otherwise, all business would fall and eventually lead to bankruptcy.

The use of electronic commerce surely provided safety and convenience for people while purchasing online. According to statistics conducted by Statista, a database company, the sales of eCommerce worldwide from the year 2014 to 2024 have been significantly rising. eCommerce had made the following sales according to its corresponding year in the table below.

 

YearSale (billion us dollars)
2014 $1,336
2015$1,548
2016$1,845
2017$2,382
2018$2,982
2019$3,354
2020$4,280
2021$4,891
2022$5,424

Moreover, Statista has predicted the eCommerce sales to hit $5,908 billion us dollarsin the year 2023, and $6,388 billion us dollars in 2024. From these statistics, one can infer that the sales will keep on growing, given that there will be no drastic changing factors.

With all this data and the inference, eCommerce is likely to be used in the long run. The pandemic has sparked growth in the electronic commerce industry. The long-term effectiveness and the convenience it has shown are promising for the future trading and business industry.

Traditional Retail vs. eCommerce

If there is a factor that differs the most between traditional retail and eCommerce, it would be the level of accessibility. In traditional retailing, the accessibility is within a limited time only unlike in eCommerce, it is available 24/7. This is in terms of accessibility of time. In terms of accessibility of location, electronic commerce is much more versatile as it can cater from city to city, region to region, and even country to country.

From all those comparisons, one can say that eCommerce is definitely better than traditional retail. However, one advantage of traditional retail is that one is able to touch, see, and assess the products themselves. There will be actual communication between the buyer and the seller which makes purchasing also easy and convenient.

They won’t have to worry about whether it is fake or authentic because the consumer can assess it unlike in online transactions and shopping. Purchase is outright as well contrary to online shopping which takes days to deliver.

Here is a summary of the details, as well as the pros and cons of traditional retails and eCommerce.

FactorsTraditional RetaileCommerce
AccessibilityLimited time; limited areaAvailable anytime and anywhere
Communication and TransactionFace-to-Face communicationOnline transactions
Duration of PurchaseOutrightTakes a couple of days or weeks
InspectionCustomers can inspect and assess the product physicallyCustomers cannot verify the authenticity and condition of a product unless it is from a verified and trusted source

Conclusion

Both traditional retailing and electronic commerce have a significant impact in the business industry. However, with the rising technology, eCommerce has developed a lot more than traditional retailing. The demand is increasing as well. This is true, especially during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, traditional retail is still unlikely to disappear, even in the year 2050. Even though eCommerce is exponentially growing and developing, people will still be looking for actual or face-to-face purchasing.

Furthermore, online purchasing can be more costly than traditional retail because of shipping fees, value-added taxes, etc. which will not be accessible to less fortunate people. It all comes down to people’s preferences.

If ever it would happen, technology should have been extremely developed by then. Developed enough to match or exceed the level of convenience in traditional retails. If the shipping duration lasted only minutes to hours instead of days or weeks, imagine how convenient it would be! If there were holograms accessible for every eCommerce business for customers to virtually see it in three-dimensional visualization, it would also be more preferable for untrusting buyers!

The future is yet to be known. What kind of technology might be present by the time of the year 2050? Will it have a high-end technology enough to match the pros of traditional retailing? What factors will affect the business industry? Is eCommerce going to grow endlessly? Will it fall? What will actually happen to traditional retailing and electronic commerce? All these questions are yet to be answered.

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