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Is This the Beginning of the End for the Traditional Retail Industry?

The world is constantly changing, with new and innovative technology that we would never have thought possible a century ago, and with a global pandemic that boosts the already huge e-commerce sector, the retail industry, as we know it, is under pressure. There are many reasons why people shop online, the convenience of sitting in your living room and ordering a product that will be delivered to your door is hard to ignore, and with lower prices, taking the time and effort to visit a shopping mall is not an attractive proposition.

Sourcing Products Online

Google is most certainly your best friend when it comes to shopping online, and whether you’re after the best bathroom tiles or a new flat-screen TV, you can be looking at products with a few mouse clicks and when you’ve found what you’re looking for, proceed to checkout and a secure online payment sees the goods despatched and delivered to your door. There is very little that you can’t buy on the Internet, and unlike the early years, the online consumer is fully protected when paying by credit card.

Price War

When you consider the fact that a retail store and all its décor is paid for by the consumer, it is easy to understand how an online store can undercut the recommended retail price by around 15%. Forward-thinking companies like Amazon became established in the e-commerce industry, and such is their purchasing power, no one can beat their prices.

Making the Transition

Much like the celluloid film industry, retailers must see the writing on the wall and begin to enter and develop the world of e-commerce if they are to survive, and with social distancing becoming the norm, that is one more good reason to shop online. As we hurtle down the digital roller-coaster, it is very hard to predict how things will be, but we are already seeing drone deliveries (Amazon use drones) and huge warehouses are emerging, with a massive logistics industry that has spawned from e-commerce. We can’t be sure how many years will pass before we see the last of the retail outlet, but the future points to increased online trade, and many retailers are already engaging the e-commerce sector.

The Social Aspect

There will always be people who prefer to visit shopping malls, as they regard the shopping trip as a social occasion, when they can go see a movie or enjoy a pizza. Once the global lockdown is over, people will flock to shopping malls and entertainment venues, and when things return to normal, the retail industry hopes to recover.

Consumer Protection

When you buy something online, you have the very same consumer protection as if you purchased from a store, which is another plus for online shopping. In the event you ordered products and the seller did not deliver, your credit card company will reimburse you, so you are protected against fraud, and in the event you are not happy with the product for any reason, you can refuse the delivery.

The future of the traditional retail industry is not looking rosy, as e-commerce continues to make strides, attracting more and more consumers, thanks to the many benefits.