22 Feb 2022
E-Commerce v/s Brick-and-Mortar
Understanding the changing trend from conventional buying pattern to an online model
E-Commerce and Brick-and-Mortar are retail business models for buying and selling products and services. This is an emerging and well-established form of the retail business model that involves buying and selling goods and services online over the internet. It works in 4 market segments: Business-to-Business (B2B), Business-to-Consumer (B2C), Consumer-to-Consumer, and Consumer-to-Business. Some famous examples of companies and brands following this retail business model are Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, Flipkart, Myntra and so on.
While Brick-and-Mortar is a traditional business model for buying and selling of goods and services offline, in physical store(s) and office(s) by offering face-to-face, in-person experience. Some famous examples of brands following this traditional business model are Costco, DMart, IKEA and so on.
With each of the respective business models, there come some benefits and drawbacks. Let us understand the differences between e-commerce vs brick and mortar:
• In a Brick-and-Mortar model of business, people get to feel, touch and try out
and test the products and services before buying or utilizing them.
• In the case of E-Commerce, there is a lack of personalized experience, as you make a tactile-blind decision to purchase a product or service based on what you see over the online platform, the internet. And at times, one receives faulty products, for which a return or exchange is applied, dissatisfying the customer, and delaying or doing away with their happiness, contentment.
• Brick and Mortar model provides instant and immediate customer service, where
customers can speak and enquire about a product and/or a service face-to-face, which builds trust and credibility
Also, there is instant gratification through this model, as the purchase and utilization of products and/or services happen at the same time without any time delay.
Whereas with the E-Commerce solution model, people can get product and/or service-related information and enquire about it through voice calling the service center, or by writing to them through email, the website’s chatbot and other social media platforms. Also, it lacks instant gratification due to the time taken between purchase and delivery, although the time is tried and made as short as possible with express delivery options of the same day, one day and two days alongside the standard delivery option.
Mode of Payment
• Some people are wary of using credit cards or making online payments, and hence prefer transacting in
cash, which is easily and directly done in the Brick-and-Mortar model.
• It is also available as an option of Cash-on-Delivery in E-Commerce model, but during this Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, a lot of people are avoiding transacting and exchanging cash, and the virus, and have hence moved to online mode of payment made available through net banking, credit/debit cards, and mobile payment platforms like Paytm, Phone pe, GPay, and so on.
The One-stop Shop
• Through the E-Commerce models, consumers get a diverse range and choices of products
and services, a wider selection within the same online place and platform.
• This might not be the case with the Brick-and-Mortar approach, which might have a select, specialized range of products according to the business and brand.
Time of Purchase
• On E-Commerce platforms, purchases can be made 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
• Under the model, shops and businesses are open and available only during their operating hours.
• The E-Commerce model has introduced free shipping on their goods and services, leading to reduced cost for people and becoming an easy and popular preference over Brick-and-Mortar.
Here, There, Anywhere
• With an E-Commerce retail business model, goods and services can easily be brought
and purchased across cities, towns, states, and countries and borders, across the globe.
• Brick-and-Mortar’s traditional business model can be pretty limiting, but they have an advantage in the sense that the companies and brands’ goods and services can become specific to locations and promote local sales and purchases.
As an E-commerce company,E-Commerce vs Brick-and-Mortar models of business have their fair share of benefits and drawbacks and hence it all comes down to people’s preference, as at the end of the day, they are the consumers who utilize and enjoy the products and services on board.
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