8 Major Effects of the Internet to the Retail Industry

Written by Gemma Reeves

The rise of the internet has brought a wave of change that has washed over nearly every aspect of life. With the internet’s capabilities come new opportunities and the necessity of change. The force of the internet encourages businesses and markets to adjust.The retail industry is familiar with these changes and has experienced an evolution that expands opportunity and challenges current practices.

(1) The Internet allows sellers to have a vast inventory, which could be limited when you have a physical store.

Take for example your neighborhood bookshop. Books take up a lot of space, and so the number of titles that they could readily offer would be limited by how many they can actually display and hold in their storage. However, if you check out Amazon.com, they have thousands and thousands of titles of books and even magazines that are readily available for the customer to purchase. They could buy different editions and volumes at just a click of the mouse, and customers can even choose between receiving an actual hard copy or downloading a Kindle version. For traditional bookshops, they will be prioritizing stocks of best sellers because they are the most sellable, thus they can easily be cleared off their shelves making room for more items to be sold. Meanwhile, Amazon can offer both best sellers and even not so popular titles without having to deal with any storage problem.

(2) Online stores can offer lower prices than traditional shops.

Running a brick and mortar shop brings high overhead costs like rent. Without these costs online sellers can afford to lower their prices. Aside from saving on paying for a physical shop, online sellers can also save on paying more manpower even if they take in orders 24/7 with the help of software and applications specifically for this use.

(3) The Internet diversifies the quality, quantity and type of items available for consumers.

The world has become smaller because of the Internet. It is now easier to search for, get in touch with, and transact with suppliers from all over the world. This opens up a wide variety of choices for customers.

(4) Anyone can start selling anything.

Let’s say you have a complete set of Harry Potter books that you’ve outgrown. What do you do? You can sell them on eBay! You will easily be able to find someone looking for an affordably priced set of Harry Potter books. Now, let’s say you love beading, and you made several pairs of earrings. You can sell them on Etsy! If you have a surplus of beading materials, you can sell them too!

(5) It is easier to reach your target market.

Traditionally, ads were created and released to the general public. Some people will love your ad and respond to it, while some would hate it. But with the Internet today, you can now advertise directly and specifically to your target market. For example, when you use Facebook ads, you can actually narrow down the audience of your ad to the specific customer demographic that you are trying to attract. This is a more effective way of advertising that will give you better results.

(6) Shopping is more convenient.

You don’t even have to leave home in order to shop. This lessens your expenses as you wouldn’t need to travel. All you need to do is browse the online shops at the comfort of your home. With the use of technology, you can be able to properly choose the product that you want without physically touching it. For example, some clothing brands offer virtual fitting rooms to help customers choose well-fitting clothes without actually wearing them.

(7) Faster and easier payments are now available.

You don’t have to fall in line in order to pay for your purchases. You can easily pay whenever you want without actually having to talk to somebody for the transaction. Contactless payments make customers feel more comfortable and empowered.

(8) Technology has improved customer service.

With the help of online selling applications and software, a customer can now quickly and easily browse through different choices. These applications help sellers to offer better choices based on customer information such as a customer’s purchase history and preferences.

The Internet has definitely reshaped the retail industry. Overall, it has provided both sellers and consumers more ease, comfort and security.

Author Bio: Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace