Traditional Retail vs. eCommerce Retail
As we are in the thick of the holiday shopping season, we thought it would be an interesting time to discuss the difference between Traditional Retail and eCommerce Retail. While you may not be able to change your plan for this year’s busy season, we challenge you to review what worked for you this year, what didn’t work, continue to research your options, and start strategizing for next year. (Yes, you read that right! Start planning NOW – you’ll thank yourself later!).
Each option comes with its own set of positives and negatives. With traditional retail, you will experience holding physical inventory, making informed bets on what will sell, and will most likely experience a slow pivot to what is actually selling.
On a positive note, a traditional retail experience provides a tangible experience and instant gratification for your customer that, at this point in the digital world, is not possible…yet.
The customer can see and feel the product in person & try it on immediately. They can chat with employees face-to-face and can have their questions answered in real-time. In addition, the customer gets the product as soon as the purchase is made.
On the flip side, with eCommerce retail, you have the ability to adjust product offering very quickly, you can easily change your marketing strategy based on inventory or customer demands.
ECommerce means that your products are accessible to customers, and a dynamic model allows you to pivot the inventory you have towards graphics that are top sellers. This means you are able to sell that same product on a variety of platforms. That all being said, you cannot provide that instant satisfaction of immediately going home with the purchase.
Which is Right for You?
As we continue to develop the digital space, eCommerce usage is always increasing. If you are just getting started, we recommend starting in the eCommerce space. It allows for minimal overhead while still allowing you to perform trial and error on who your customers are and what they want.
As you continue to grow and expand, there may come a time for a physical location, but starting with eCommerce allows you to put your initial investment into high-quality products, customer research, and trendsetting as opposed to paying for rent, decorations, etc. for a physical store. For the vehicle, we recommend looking into Shopify. We recently wrote an article sharing helpful tips on how to get started!
If you are already a traditional retailer, we challenge you to ask and listen to your customers to find out if a digital shopping experience is something they are interested in from you. To start your research, you can ask customers that visit your physical store, or by polling your social media followers. There may be a way for you to increase your sales to your current customers or even broaden your reach to other similar customers that are not in physical proximity to your store.
In many instances, you will find that a hybrid approach to your inventory may be the best way to go. That being said, each niche industry, business model, and customer pool will be a little different, so we recommend knowing your business and who your customer is before you make any big decisions!
Your First Step: Connect with a Reliable Merchandise Supplier
Do you have questions about your merchandise or how to get started? Contact Air Waves today!