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A comparative analysis of Traditional commerce and ecommerce

Traditional commerce and ecommerce

what are commerce and e-commerce?

Traditional commerce and ecommerce are considered household terms today. However, these two have evolved over the ages. The act of selling and buying goods is typically known as commerce. Since the beginning of human civilization trade of goods and services has been a constant feature throughout the ages, However, with the passage of time, human beings have evolved from being primitive to modern-day creatures who are interconnected through an invisible web known as the internet. Trade has also passed through this transition and the physical places of exchanging goods have become virtual.

Ecommerce is simply defined as the buying and selling of goods using the internet. Electronic commerce is the thing of the 21st Century. Today, the market places are not confined to a particular geographical location, rather these have expanded to cover continents now. Big online stores like Amazon, Shopify, and many others are examples of Ecommerce as buyers and sellers come together on these platforms by electronically.

A glance at the traditional commerce

When the goods and services are exchanged by using currency, it is known as traditional commerce. The most important feature of traditional commerce is the fact that it involves face-to-face transactions. People have to be present in-person in order to sell and purchase goods and services.

There is no involvement of the internet or any other modern electronic means in the transactions. An example of this is a typical shopping center in an urban city, where sellers have their shops and buyers visit them to buy their products and services and the transaction involves money.

The difference between traditional commerce and e-commerce

Traditional commerce and e-commerce difference can be covered in various aspects. Some of the most important differences are highlighted below:

  • Meaning and scope

Traditional e-commerce is a branch of business that focusses primarily on the exchange of goods and services. The transactions are made physically and the people have to be present in-person. Its scope is limited to a particular geographical location.

Ecommerce typically means the exchange of goods and services through the internet. When transactions are made online and do not necessarily involve the physical presence of people it is known as Ecommerce. Its reach is global in scope.

  • E commerce vs traditional methods

The method of transactions in the traditional commerce is manual. As a person will have to be at that particular place when the transaction is made.

Contrarily, the method of transaction in the Ecommerce is automatic. The buying/selling and the payments are all made online.

  • Timings

The business using traditional commerce has to abide by the commercial timings as set by the governments. The hours of transactions can be limited.

Ecommerce is not bound by any timings as it is only dependent on the availability of the internet. If the internet is working then the business can run round the clock.

  • Delivery times

In traditional commerce, the goods purchased can be inspected immediately and the delivery is also prompt.

In Ecommerce, the delivery of the goods can be delayed as the goods arrive from far corners of the world. Moreover, the goods cannot be physically inspected by the buyer. It is one of the drawbacks so of ecommerce.

  • Maintenance cost

The maintenance cost of a business in the traditional commerce is considerably high as a brick and mortar business requires a clean environment in order to attract buyers.

The difference in maintenance cost between traditional and e-commerce business is very high as ecommerce only requires the website to be fully functional.

How to compare Ecommerce with Traditional Commerce?

E-commerce and traditional commerce both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. For example, in traditional commerce, people have to be physically present at the time of transaction. It is a disadvantage because of the time factor, people have to invest their time and energies in order to carry out the business.

On the other hand, in Ecommerce, the person can make the transaction by sitting at home. However, a major disadvantage of this can be the fact that the quality of the goods cannot be physically checked by the customer before making the purchase.


Both, traditional commerce vs ecommerce, have their own characteristics. However, considering the fast pace of development in today’s age and the scope of business Ecommerce business has more chances of success than a traditional commerce one. Even, in today’s age, e-commerce vs traditional methods overlap as traditional commerce-related businesses have to utilize the methods of Ecommerce in order to boost their revenues and to stay relevant in the competition.

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