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The Impact of E-Commerce on the Retail Industry

Impact of E-commerce on retail

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The retail industry has been drastically impacted by the rise of e-commerce. With the emergence of online shopping, consumers now have more options than ever before when it comes to purchasing goods and services. This has had a profound effect on the retail industry, as traditional brick-and-mortar stores have had to adapt to the changing landscape or risk being left behind.

In this post, we’ll walk through some of the major ways that e-commerce has shaken up the retail industry. But first, if you are a retailer or an entrepreneur that is looking to get into e-commerce, you can try the world’s leading e-commerce platform, Shopify, for just $1/month – seriously. Learn more below:

Special offer! Just $1/month

Looking to get started with e-commerce?

Boardroom is an official Shopify partner. Shopify is the best e-commerce platform on the market, offering unparalleled tools for online sellers, such as a no-code website builder, easy digitization of products, seamless marketing tools, and 24/7 support. Try Shopify for a 3-day free trial then pay just $1/month for 3 months. 

Increased Competition

One of the most significant impacts of e-commerce on the retail industry is increased competition. Online retailers are able to offer a wider selection of products at lower prices than traditional stores, which has put pressure on brick-and-mortar stores to lower their prices in order to remain competitive. This results in a decrease in profit margins for many retailers, as they compete with online retailers on price. Below, dive deep into the competitive forces involved in e-commerce.

Lowered Entry Barriers

Traditionally, entering the retail market required substantial investment in physical storefronts, inventory, and staff. E-commerce platforms like Shopify have dramatically lowered these barriers, enabling even the smallest businesses to set up shop online with minimal upfront costs. As a result, the market has seen an influx of new entrants, increasing the number of options available to consumers and intensifying the competition for visibility and sales.

Global Reach

E-commerce has erased geographical boundaries, allowing retailers to reach a global audience with just a few clicks. While this opens up vast new markets, it also means competing not just with local businesses but with retailers from around the world. This global competition forces retailers to be more strategic about their marketing, pricing, and customer service practices to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Price Transparency and Comparison

In addition, online shopping has made it incredibly easy for consumers to compare prices and products in real-time. This level of transparency means that retailers are constantly under pressure to offer competitive pricing, deals, and value propositions to attract and retain customers. The ability for consumers to quickly switch between competitors with the click of a button has turned pricing into a critical battleground in the e-commerce era.

Accelerated Innovation and Consumer Expectations

E-commerce has not only increased the speed of retail but also the pace of innovation within the industry. Consumers now expect seamless shopping experiences, rapid delivery, easy returns, and personalized service. Meeting these expectations requires retailers to continually invest in technology, logistics, and customer service enhancements. For example, the Boardroom app for Shopify brands helps merchants to instantly create blog content using AI, drastically increasing organic traffic to the seller’s website.

Those unable to keep pace risk falling behind as consumer loyalty becomes ever more fleeting in the face of better options.

Changing Shopping Habits

E-commerce has also changed the way consumers shop. With the convenience of online shopping, consumers are now able to purchase goods and services from the comfort of their own homes. This has resulted in a decrease in foot traffic for traditional stores, as more and more consumers opt to shop online instead. Here is some additional info on the changing habits of consumers.This will equip you to serve your customers in this new era we find ourselves in.

Convenience Reigns Supreme

The most striking change is the prioritization of convenience. Consumers now enjoy the luxury of shopping from anywhere, at any time, without the constraints of store hours or physical location. This 24/7 accessibility has made online shopping an integral part of daily life, catering to the busy schedules of modern consumers.

Endless Aisles and Global Marketplaces

E-commerce has effectively turned the world into a global marketplace, offering consumers an unprecedented variety of products. The concept of “endless aisles” where consumers can find not just everything they need but also everything they want, has changed expectations. This vast selection has also fostered a more exploratory shopping behavior, where discovery and access to niche products are just a few clicks away.

The Rise of Informed Purchasing

Furthermore, the digital shopping era has empowered consumers with information. Product reviews, comparison sites, and detailed product content have made consumers more informed than ever before. This access to information supports more confident purchasing decisions and has raised expectations for transparency and authenticity from brands and retailers.

Shift Towards Mobile Shopping

Finally, the proliferation of smartphones has shifted shopping habits towards mobile commerce, or “m-commerce.” Consumers now research, compare, and purchase products through their mobile devices with ease, making mobile optimization crucial for e-commerce success.

How to Adapt to the Digital Age as a Retailer

In order to remain competitive, traditional retailers have had to adapt to the digital age. Many retailers have embraced e-commerce and now offer online shopping options in addition to their brick-and-mortar stores. This has allowed them to reach a wider audience and increase their sales. Below, check out this simple guide outlining the steps to take as a retailer looking to adapt to the digital age.

Embrace Omnichannel Retailing

Integrate your physical and online stores to provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers. An omnichannel approach ensures consistency across all platforms, whether customers shop in-store, online, or through social media. This strategy enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty by offering flexibility in how they interact with your brand.

Invest in E-commerce Platforms

Establishing a robust online presence is no longer optional. Select an e-commerce platform that aligns with your business needs, enabling you to manage your online store efficiently. Platforms like Shopify offer user-friendly interfaces and comprehensive tools for product management, payment processing, and analytics.

Special offer! Just $1/month

Looking to get started with e-commerce?

Boardroom is an official Shopify partner. Shopify is the best e-commerce platform on the market, offering unparalleled tools for online sellers, such as a no-code website builder, easy digitization of products, seamless marketing tools, and 24/7 support. Try Shopify for a 3-day free trial then pay just $1/month for 3 months. 

Focus on Mobile Optimization

With the increasing prevalence of mobile shopping, ensuring your website is mobile-friendly is crucial. A responsive design that adjusts to different screen sizes improves the user experience, potentially increasing sales and customer retention.

Leverage Digital Marketing

Digital marketing tools, including SEO, email marketing, and social media advertising, are essential for driving traffic to your online store. Tailored marketing campaigns can help you reach your target audience more effectively, build brand awareness, and foster customer relationships.

Utilize Data Analytics

Data analytics offer invaluable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends. The Boardroom App is a fantastic place to start. By analyzing this data, you can make informed decisions about inventory management, personalized marketing, and product development, ensuring you meet your customers’ needs and stay ahead of market trends.


To wrap things up, the rise of e-commerce has had a profound effect on the retail industry. Traditional retailers must adapt to the changing landscape or risk being left behind. By embracing e-commerce and offering online shopping options, retailers have been able to remain competitive and reach a wider audience.


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