Operating an eCommerce Store:

4 Key Differences from Traditional Retail


For merchants, a website serves as a digital storefront that is accessible from anywhere. Covid-19 has forced merchants’ to accelerate their eCommerce initiatives with the unforeseen closures of stores across the world. 

How does operating an online store differ from a physical storefront? They both serve as channels to sell products, but there are a few key differences.

Four ways eCommerce differs from brick-and-mortar

  • The Positives
    • Visibility: Tracking codes and cookies that run on a website can uncover information that merchants could have never tracked in a physical store. We’re not going to lie - there are some creepy side effects to this, but the insights drawn from this data can influence marketing strategies, website layouts, and future product launches. 
    • Accessibility: With a few clicks and access to the internet, customers from all over the world can shop at your online store. The physical constraints of a store that limit your potential customer base are no longer an issue.
    • Availability: With digital storefronts, merchants have access to unlimited shelf space, which allows them to provide access to their full inventory. Shoppers no longer have to worry about checking with multiple stores to see if the item they are looking for is available. 


  • The Negative
    • Human Interaction: In a physical store, sales associates can strike up a conversation with customers to learn about what they are shopping for, why they are shopping, and what will motivate them to purchase. This personal interaction not only creates an elevated customer experience but also increases the likelihood of a sale. However, on a website, merchants only have static ways to help their customers discover and learn about new products through catch-all product descriptions and reviews. Without any human interaction, merchants can only learn about customers from link clicks and landing page views.


The benefits of eCommerce stores like visibility, accessibility, and availability can have huge impacts on overall business metrics but also can introduce new challenges. The major pain points caused by the lack of personal interaction with a sales associate is the dehumanization of the shopping experience and the limited learnings a merchant can make about the customer. At Dearduck, we want to revive the fun of shopping and help merchants create blissful experiences for their customers online. 


Learn more about our approach!