Transitioning of Brick-and-Mortar Organizations to Virtualism
In today’s era of uncertainty, many businesses strive to adapt quickly to a dynamic economy. Facilitation of e-commerce by technological advancements, thus causing a dramatic change in the retail landscape is one such instance. The numerous virtual shopping platforms available today have enabled consumers to purchase required items at their preferred time and from the comfort of their homes (Hansson & Anderson, 2014). With a wide product range and enticing discounts, e-commerce has started to replace the traditional brick-and-mortar retail industry. Some physical stores have, therefore, responded by considering the option of transitioning towards becoming virtual organizations. However, challenges such as security, competition, and return on investment exacerbate the situation by curtailing the merchants’ efforts to enter the online sphere. First, security is a key concern in e-commerce. The increasing risk of data breaches and fraud within online platforms may discourage some entrepreneurs from transitioning to the virtual space (Hansson & Anderson, 2014). Payment data security and customer payment fraud, for example, are prime barriers in this regard. Moreover, physical businesses not only worry about the impact on their clients but also the effect on their brand. Second, there is the problem of managing competition with already established larger players. Very few brick-and-mortar businesses would agree to begin afresh and test new ideas against those of established e-commerce giants, such as Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. Lastly, many merchants remain skeptical about shifting to e-commerce fearing an uncertain rate of return (ROI). The intense competition from veteran online stores requires high running costs in terms of platform development, inventory, customer acquisition, and marketing (Prozzi, 2013). While most firms that venture into the virtual space expect higher returns after removing the retailer, marketing costs nullify the advantage. A poor marketing strategy implies a failure to attract buyers, thus resulting in small profit margins. As the world increasingly continues to embrace technology, people’s shopping behavior is changing. Many shoppers now prefer online platforms, which means that it would not be business as usual at the physical stores. Consequently, brick-and-mortar establishments seek to transition to online organizations amid challenges, such as security, competition, and return on investment. However, a seamless transition from the physical to the virtual environment would require merchants to plot robust attacks that embrace superior technology and alignment to consumer centricity.
Hansson, S., & Anderson, L. (2014). Going for e-commerce and brick-and-mortar? (Bachelor thesis). The University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Prozzi, A. (2013). The effect of Internet distribution on brick-and-mortar sales. The RAND Journal of Economics, 44 (3), 569–583. https://doi.org/10.1111/1756-2171.12031
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- Oliver Tumbo (Author), 2020, Transitioning of Brick-and-Mortar Organizations to Virtualism, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/966968