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Retail vs. eCommerce: Is Expanding Your Business Online Worth It?

Retail vs. eCommerce: Is Expanding Your Business Online Worth It?

Retail and Ecommerce: Are They Even Different Enough?

Ecommerce is the process of electronically buying or selling products using online services over an electronic network like the internet. It is frequently confused with retail because the two overlap. So, what’s the difference between eCommerce vs. retail?

Typically, retail entails buying or selling products in a brick-and-mortar store through direct mail or direct sales between persons. Ecommerce also entails buying and selling goods but is exclusively relegated to online interactions and includes the data and processes required for those interactions.

An increase in internet accessibility, ease of transaction, product availability, personalized offers, and unlimited physical constraints has increasingly popular eCommerce.

What Is eCommerce?

Currently, there are five different eCommerce models; Business to consumer, business to business, direct to consumer, consumer to consumer, and consumer to business. All entail buying and selling goods or services via the internet and transferring money and data to complete the sales.

Rise of Ecommerce Businesses

The evolution of digital technology and its subsequent integration into consumers’ everyday lives, as well as the outbreak of Covid-19, has made eCommerce skyrocket. Ecommerce allows customers to buy goods and services at peak convenience without having to leave the comfort of their homes as long as they have a stable internet connection.

Is eCommerce worth it? Well, if market projections are anything to go by, according to Beeketing, global eCommerce sales are set to hit $4.9 trillion this year alone. Ecommerce businesses can expect to grow by 265%, showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. As internet accessibility improves across the globe, eCommerce will continue to boom.

Advantages of eCommerce

Online shopping is ubiquitous, no longer a luxury but a routine part of life. An eCommerce business can provide scalable opportunities for business owners and customers because its cost-effective, flexible and offers 24/7 customer service.


The initial capital needed for starting an eCommerce business is considerably less than a brick-and-mortar operation. You don’t necessarily need to pay hefty rent or utility bills for an office space. In addition, there are many affordable plug-and-play online platforms with ready-made templates catered for modest and generous budgets, like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay, for example. A single investment in one eCommerce investment can reach multiple international markets while being online offers many cost-effective digital marketing opportunities.

amazon ecommerce digital marketplace


With brick-and-mortar stores, it can be challenging to branch out and expand your physical space. However, eCommerce doesn’t require a storefront. If anything, you need only worry about expanding one location, i.e., your storage space. Furthermore, responsive data gathered from digital marketing allow you to target different segments within your target market and instantly adapt advertising according to their online habits.

Accessibility for Customers

Being online means that consumers can access your products and services at any time, no matter where they are. One of the advantages of having eCommerce services is that you’re not limited to a physical space and can operate worldwide, with unlimited scalability and opportunity for increased business success.

24/7 Customer Service

Ecommerce businesses generally provide excellent customer service due to call center outsourcing or designing custom chatbots that provide constant communication and answers to FAQs. If done well, you don’t even have to hire people and rely on these chatbots to deal with common queries and other customer service-related issues.

Disadvantages of Ecommerce

Even though eCommerce is overtaking traditional retail, it is exceptionally competitive, requires intelligent marketing strategies to stand out in a saturated market, and sometimes your business reputation can suffer from delayed shipments.

Customer Relies on You for the Quality of the Product

Ecommerce can be deceptive. Many customers have excitedly bought something online to be disappointed to receive a poor-quality product that looks nothing like what was advertised. Even though customers can’t check the quality of what they’re ordering, there’s a lot you can do to build trust in encouraging a purchase. This includes posting online reviews and providing measurements of your items, especially in the context of clothing or household items, as well as just selling high-quality goods.

ecommerce clothing size availability

It’s Harder to Apply Traditional Sale Skills

With an eCommerce business, you don’t have the opportunity to make face-to-face sales. Understanding and knowing how to do effective digital marketing might require learning an entirely different skill set. However, there are tonnes of qualified marketing personal and agencies that can take care of your digital marketing needs and provide ROI without you having to worry about reaching the right market. Working with the right marketing team will help you adapt to future changes and ensure you retain a leading position.

Possibility of Long Deliveries

While the possibility of doing international business allows for increased profits, delayed shipping can add to customers’ frustrations, especially if you’re delivering a product to another state or overseas. Having clear T&Cs and tracking order protocols will go a long way in maintaining good customer relations and building a solid business reputation.

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    Catapult Revenue specializes in web design and digital marketing. As a full-service digital marketing agency, we can build and design your eCommerce website, as well as grow your business through our world-class digital marketing strategies. Contact us today to set up your eCommerce business.

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    Retail vs. eCommerce: Is Expanding Your Business Online Worth It?

    Retail and Ecommerce: Are They Even Different Enough? Ecommerce is the process of electronically buying or selling products using online services over an electronic network...

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