RETAIL VS. ETAIL: Outlasting the Battle

As technology continues to develop every single day, the range of never-ending possibilities began to widen more.
Yes, sending the man to space would likely be the greatest leap of mankind, but that was eons ago – today man no longer needs to take the leap off of his couch or bother to find the car keys to go to the grocery store or retail shops. With a few swipes of your phone screen, you began to teleport yourself to the retail shop, ready to purchase the goods you eyed for. 

The rise of e-commerce may deliver the death of retail but it’s a bit exaggerated. Nevertheless, eCommerce has brought a number of categories, especially within consumer electronics and apparel, and it has been hit hard by and more categories will soon follow.

 ETail might have been in the higher stakes of overruling the old-fashioned retail shops.

Numbers of retail owners have found themselves in a ruthless battle with eTail industries who, with advanced knowledge and expertise, address into battle using advanced technology. 

However, even if  ETail have the advantage, retail owners certainly would not go down that easy. Old-fashioned retail businesses may learn how to adapt and joust with their “more-advanced” competitor. 

With the fact that no two retail businesses are completely alike, no solution will fit all. With a strong foundation in the retail strategy, the tools and metrics of the eTailer can actually be used in an offline world. However, they must be adapted in a way that adds value and fits the strategy in each specific case.

Why Etail has the upper hand?

Going shopping today has been easier. Grab your phone or turn on your desktop, have a few clicks and whatnot, and wait for the chosen item to arrive at your doorstep.

ETails utilize a lot of metrics, and all of them are cut into short abbreviations like CPM, CPC, CPA, COGS, and LTV. The metrics help the eTail companies, in a very cultivated manner of fine-tuning their online store. If it goes according to plan, this fine-tuning will have an enormous and productive effect on both the top and bottom line, and provide great customer insight.

Imagine yourself as a retail owner with the ability to – in real-time – track the conversion rate, the “abandoned baskets” or see with your own eyes how an “empty search” is killing conversions. You would begin to understand the true mechanism that lies within each store and in each customer segment and turn this knowledge into a superior customer experience.

When we talk about online shoppers, in addition to the evident advantage of convenience and practicality (being able to order from any location with lesser, and or minimal cost), their needs are more technical, like having the flexibility to choose delivery times. Shoppers are given the option to reroute packages or to choose eco-friendly shipping. The recent data from Walker Sands revealed that eight out of 10 consumers will shop more online if offered free shipping. Also, about 44% of shoppers are more likely to shop online if they are able to pick-up in-store and 62% are more likely to do so if they can return the item in-store with refund assurances.

Retail Owners Will Never Abandon the Battle

Well, eTail companies may have the advantage of utilizing advanced weaponry, causing them to deliver convenient service to their shopper; but retail businesses have one thing the eTails failed to have and it’s still the main reason why customers stick to retail shops. The “physical store” most retailers owned a physical store in which customers could visit and inspect the items before purchasing them. Most customers prefer to visit physical stores because they cautiously want to see what they want to buy, further, an examination is done, customers see with their own eyes the item they will purchase. Additionally, many shoppers do “webrooming”. Webrooming is when shoppers examine products online before going to the physical shops to purchase items, increasingly while on their mobile devices, in or near retail stores. 

Lazy Years?

Laziness is not the reason why shoppers stick to eTails. Mainly, it is because of the convenience and engaging offers eTails have. Etail companies took the opportune moment of utilizing technology and the Internet to grow their business because no matter what form or process they use, at the end of the day it’s just all business and bringing appeasing service.