Essay on Growth in online shopping - Essay Prowess

Essay on Growth in online shopping


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Does the growth in ‘online shopping’ mean the extinction of the typical ‘high street’ store?

Though necessary, shopping can sometimes be inconvenient and time-consuming. The digitalization of society has brought in a shift that is significant in every aspect of life to a virtual world. This effect of this shift has greatly affected the world of shopping. The need to get out of the house for shopping has significantly reduced with the logistical and financial efficiency offered by online wholesalers and e-commerce shops. This has led to the decline of high street shops. These shops have been left behind by this swift evolution that is constant and innovative (Jones,2010). The threat to physical shops has generally arisen due to society’s digitalization. The modern population, especially the young, are going fully digital and have significantly decreased their visits to physical stores. An example of physical shops that were significantly affected was the Blockbusters, which was initially a big firm but has now been left few remaining stores. Also, shops that were selling video on their premises were destroyed by video streaming sites, including Netflix and YouTube, due to the migration of customers to convenient and cheaper equivalents online. The spending on brick and mortar has greatly gone down as compared to e-commerce. Online games’ popularity has also posed a serious risk of closing down for bookmakers as people felt easier in placing their odds comfortably in their houses. Digitalization has also affected the gaming industry due to the developments of virtual reality, which has significantly affected the flow of customers in gaming shops, which were greatly popular before.

The necessity for physical shops cannot be completely ignored due to the presence of online shopping. Businesses like coffee shops and book stores will remain to offer needed services to the customers. The existence of impulse shopping cannot be eliminated as people will still need to look at appealing things and kill time inside shops. Therefore, although their demand will reduce significantly, street shops will remain, as online shopping will gain more popularity. However, street shops will compete with online shopping if only they embrace technology and try to offer their customers experiences that are superior and different from what they get on the online platforms(Miller,2012). The traditional shops’ embrace of e-commerce will be able to make businesses with a physical location to remain and still be successful. Examples of such businesses are Walmart, which initially didn’t have a physical store but was operating purely online but have now opened a physical store. Walmart has also gone online and their physical store, which makes it more convenient for their customers.

We are increasingly hearing the term omni-channel retailing what does this mean and how can businesses exploit this new phenomenon?

Omni-channel retail refers to a sales approach that is multichannel and which is focused on providing a customer experience that is seamless whether clients are shopping online using laptops, mobile devices, or from a store. In this approach, customers are provided with a fully integrated shopping experience, which is done by uniting the experiences of the users from the traditional business on physical shops to browsing and all that is in between. Omni-channel strategies have become a norm due to the hitting of multiple touchpoints by shoppers before making purchases (Payne et.,2017). The long-term growth of any business currently can be achieved by ensuring seamless integration and ensuring a presence in many platforms. Businesses need to keep on finding ways and new outlets to be able to connect with more channels. It is critical to ensure that the experience created is not locked in a single or only a few platforms. Business dealing with Omni-channel retail is not required to have locations everywhere but to only ensure that they are where their customers are. This distinction separates enterprises that are top-performing and the rest. The increase in the toggling of consumers between offline and online to research and buy services and products has greatly influenced customer spending in physical stores. The critical aspect of an Omni-channel that is seamless is a modern supply chain (Zhang et al.,2018). This refers to a supply chain that has an extension of its delivery across websites, mobile apps, stores, and social media. For companies to achieve this, they will need to break down their silos between physical and online stores and ensure they manage the product’s responsibilities as one collective market place. The companies will also need to update new technologies, including the management systems they use for their inventory, and find new ways to deliver their products. They will also need to invest in chat-bots, which is an important trend in Omni-channel retail. These are computer programs that are Al-enabled, used for human speech simulation, and can be used to ask customers questions and respond to customer questions. They can even perform straightforward tasks such as password changes and even tasks that are complicated such as determination of customer moods when they call for customer service.

Outline what you think will be the key challenges to ‘online retailing’ in a post covid-19 world.

Covid-19 has forced consumers in all age groups to familiarize themselves with online shopping and exposed them to the benefits they had missed. This has also made physical stores to rethink their strategies and work on developing their online presence. In the post-covid-19 era, online presence will be a critical element for any store aiming to retain its customers because customers will be more inclined to online shopping as they focus on selection, convenience, instant gratification, and the fear of pandemics. One of the challenges that online retailers will face is they will need to establish a solid supply chain, have the right number and types of methods that they will use to deliver, and have enough staff to ensure products are delivered on time. They will also be required to ensure that promises made to their customers are fulfilled and have local and outside sources from which they get their products. The covid-19 pandemic has shown the value that consumers attach to their daily necessities, posing a challenge on online retailers to carry out their business more seriously to keep up with the rising online customers’ expectations. The majority of the consumers now consider the online retail industry as lifelines, especially those who do not wish to be compromised medically. This has brought on a challenge to online retailers to train, hire and offer fair compensation to attract and retain more qualified staff because the view of their staff has changed, and they are being considered more essential. Another challenge that the online retailers will be facing will be the scramble to replenish their inventory, and the tracking and management of that inventory. There have been notable shortages in the product due to the inconvenience caused by this pandemic. In the post-covid-19 world, there will be a new reality that will face the retailers in stocking essential items, including medications, groceries, and other items that are a priority for customers. With unavailable and dislocated stock from limited suppliers, this may turn to an issue that may affect customer retention. The new online competition will force companies that use semi-manual and manual tracking of inventory to change inventory management practices and systems that are robust. Some tough challenges will face retailers that will involve the changes in their business model to that of a retailer who is online to retain existing customers and attract new ones. This will be critical in maintaining their business sustainability. Customer loss may also be experienced by retailers who may fail to offer their products using the platform on e-commerce and those who may fail to keep time on their deliveries.

Compare the advantages and disadvantages of distributing digital products versus physical products.

One of the advantages of distributing products digitally is that the retailer does not need to have the inventory, making retailers risk to be low and significantly lower their storage costs. On the other hand, dealing with physical products increases the overheads significantly because it requires more staff to track and manage, and a significant amount of investment upfront. Also, the scaling of digital products is quicker than the scaling of physical products, and the number of staff required is significantly low. Shipping calculations and stock management that are time-consuming are avoided when dealing with digital products. In contrast, physical products need physical delivery, which is time draining in stock management and shipping calculations.

On the other hand, a great deal of effort and time is required to sell a digital product because a lot of explaining, planning and demonstrating is needed to convince buyers to purchase a product (Enders & Jelassi,2000. Besides, the perceived value of digital products is low as they are not real and are not tangible online. In contrast, demonstrating the value of a product that can be seen physically and touched is easy as customers can see it clearly, and it can be explained to them easily. The time spent in preparing, testing, and planning digital products is a lot as testing has to be thorough to ensure a high-quality product on the outset. The transactions that involve physical products are straightforward, and the follow up required is minimum.

In contrast, digital services and products involve a significant amount of explanations and follow-ups in cases where users have difficulties in getting started. Limits no dot exist on online retailers when doing their business, whereas limits are everywhere for retailers who deal with physical products. The limits exist in the form of shipment capacity, time available for fulfilling orders, and space to store it. Retailers dealing with physical products face many challenges, which are sometimes terrifying, whereas receiving orders need to be exciting to a retailer. There is no waste by retailers who sell digital products, which makes it more environmentally friendly than the waste produced by retailers who deal with physical products. With the significant growth in e-commerce and an increase in the number of potential customers online, competition has also become fierce in online retailing compared to the level of competition that retailers dealing with physical products are facing.


Enders, A., & Jelassi, T. (2000). The converging business models of Internet and bricks-and-mortar retailers. European Management Journal, 18(5), 542-550.

Jones, C. (2010). The rise and fall of the high street shop as an investment class. Journal of property investment & finance.

Miller, J. (2012). Preparing the High Street for online shopping. Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal, 6(2), 122-130.

Payne, E. M., Peltier, J. W., & Barger, V. A. (2017). Omni-channel marketing, integrated marketing communications and consumer engagement. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.

Zhang, M., Ren, C., Wang, G. A., & He, Z. (2018). The impact of channel integration on consumer responses in omni-channel retailing: The mediating effect of consumer empowerment. Electronic commerce research and applications, 28, 181-193.


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