E-commerce: e-tail versus retail

Essay by tjnorthrupUniversity, Bachelor's February 2005

download word file, 2 pages 4.0


With the amazing growth of the Internet, many companies are finding new and exciting ways to expand their business opportunities. There are very few companies that do not use computers in their everyday business activities, which also means there are few companies that do not use e-commerce. In this paper will discuss differences that I have found in purchasing products online (e-tail) verse purchasing products in a retail store.

E-tail verses Retail

When purchasing products online (e-tail) I have found from experience that unless I am familiar with the merchant already that I have trouble validating the online merchant identity. For one I can't see the merchant, only the merchant's website; I can't touch the merchandise, I can only see a representation; I can't wander a store and speak with employees, I can only browse HTML pages. As with the local retail store I can validate the identity of a merchant simply by walking into the store.

In the retail store I can touch and feel and hold the merchandise. By being able to touch the product this often helps me to make that decision to buy.

I have found that being able to communicate with the merchant face-to-face is usually relaxed and more rewarding, as where communication with the online merchant is in the technology, sending emails to nameless customer service mailboxes and them having to wait for a reply. This can often take days and maybe even weeks. I have also found that when purchasing a product from the retail merchant I can often can a better deal. Retail merchant often have better sales then those merchant who sell online.

Last but not least, I have found that privacy plays an important role for me when purchasing products online. Again this comes from dealing with online...