As most would know by now, eCommerce and online retail has become one of the most popular forms consumer purchasing over the past decade. With advances in both technology, infrastructure, and logistics, consumers no longer have much need to go out to physical stores to get everything they need.
Of course, there will always be some form of demand for physical retail. Despite the efficiency and ease of online purchasing, being able to interact and discuss the product before purchase with another person holds a certain appeal that is irreplaceable. Although, to be fair, online retail are beginning to implement their own systems for customer interaction themselves.
However, with the distinct, increasing lack of customers walking into stores, more and more traditional businesses are going online themselves to supplement their diminishing customer base.
In Southeast Asia, wet market stores are still rather popular; especially among the baby boomer generation. Unfortunately, with the advent of eCommerce and online retail, new businesses have begun offering delivery services that will bring your groceries to your doorstep. Even these traditional wet market store owners notice the slow decline in customer numbers.
Some of these businesses have decided that if they can’t beat them, they are going to join them. Jimmy Goh is one such example, taking his family-run wet market seafood store based in Bukit Gombak, Singapore, to the digital world. This new e-commerce arm of the business called Tankfully Fresh, allows customers to order fresh seafood online and get it delivered straight to the consumer, ala grocery delivery services.
Family-run traditional businesses such as these have built a reputation for themselves over years of doing business. As such, they are still able to remain competitive with supermarket eCommerce businesses thanks to their clout.
Tankfully Fresh’s journey serves as a positive example of a traditional business going online and transforming itself. However, it also shows us the harsh reality of the everchanging global business landscape. Small businesses and SMEs throughout the world will likely face similar issues unless they themselves can digitally transform and adapt to this new age of convenience.