Brick and Mortar vs. E-commerce In Today’s Retail Market

The effect of e-Commerce can be felt in all market sectors. For example, shipping companies like FedEx and UPS battle to keep up with the crazy number of shoppers who increasingly choose to shop online instead of battling crowds at brick and mortar stores during festive seasons. Over the entire holiday season, UPS expects to deliver shipments upwards of 700 million. That translates to handling more than 30 million packages a day.

At the same time, FedEx noted it’s daily volume on package delivery during Black Friday and Christmas Eve on any given year doubles from 12 Million shipments to 25 million. It is expected that this year during the peak of holiday season, there will be at least a growth of 10%.

— Financial Post (@financialpost) 16 de junio de 2017

Both shipment giants agree that rapid growth in e-Commerce has driven significant shifts in demand over the last several years. The retail industry for one is experiencing new opportunities and challenges simultaneously as a direct result of online and mobile commerce.

Benefits of e-Commerce

a). Attracting new customers

Most business owners are taking advantages of the fact that online presence attracts new customers. Search engines are driving customers their way even though they may have never heard of their company before.

b). Saves on operational cost

An e-Commerce business can save you money. Running an online store has far lower overhead charges in comparison to mortar and brick stores.

c). Drives conversion and sales

With e-Commerce, you can have a global business without geographical boundaries and time constraints allow you to capture audiences that you would otherwise not be able to reach.

A properly designed website and a quality product can drive conversions and sales resulting in business growth. E-Commerce is not a preserve for luxury products and services but a necessity for all types of businesses, especially from a customer’s perspective.

There is a surge and a shift taking place in online shopping both on the regular and the festive seasons. The below numbers clearly help to depict the effect, pros, and cons of e-commerce.


  • 94% of all retail sales still take place in brick and mortar stores, on the other hand, e-Commerce sales are expected to increase annually by 17% reaching 414 billion by 2018.


  • Because of constant face to face customer interactions with customers in brick and mortar stores they experience 40% more conversions in comparison to online stores which have a paltry 5% at best.

So, clearly brick and mortar stores still do very well in business despite the steep competition posed by changing shopping trends. In many cases online stores are now borrowing a leaf from off-line stores on how to boost their conversion rates through finding ways to engage their customers better.

In this day and age of convenience shopping, where a customer can order anything online from pizza, furniture, cars and stationery and having it delivered to their door step in a day or two people are left wondering whether physical stores are relevant anymore.

Physical retail stores are feeling the dent and will need to re-adjust their business strategies in order to keep thriving. Recent bankruptcies and closures of the American apparel, Wet seal and Aeropostale are testimony to the swooping change in customer shopping trends.

For traditional retailers to adapt and thrive to the changing trends, they will have to compete by capitalizing on creating a unique one on one service experience. Think of Apple who have done a tremendous job in providing their customers with an experience that ensures Apple stores are always full in any mall.

It is estimated that holiday sales in America alone will hit nearly $656 billion annually. This estimate is inclusive of $117 billion from non-store activity comprising of e-commerce. Though online sales are on the rise, brick and mortar still has it’s place in the marketplace. Both industries can borrow a leaf from each other in order to provide a great shopping experience for customers both online and off-line.