Electronic Commerce Vs. Traditional Commerce: 12 Key Differences

Electronic Commerce Vs. Traditional Commerce

Electronic commerce (shortly eCommerce) means buying and selling online via the internet whereas traditional commerce means buying and selling face-to-face exchanging products for money at a physical store, offline.

Electronic and traditional commerce differ in many ways, some major differences are mentioned below:


eCommerce is the buying and selling of goods electronically via the internet. Traditional commerce is an exchange of products and services with money or other means.

Processing of Transaction

In traditional commerce process of transaction is manual – both seller’s and buyers’ presence is required. In eCommerce process of transaction is automatic – electronic means are used, buyers’ and sellers’ presence is not required.


In traditional commerce, people (customers) can access shops or stores only for a limited time usually from 06:00 am to probably 10:00 pm. But in eCommerce, online stores are open all time, 24×7.

Physical Inspection

In traditional commerce, while buying goods customers can touch, feel, and taste the goods. In eCommerce, goods can not be inspected physically, customers only can see information about products.

Customer Inspection

In traditional commerce, inspection between customers and sellers can be face-to-face whereas in eCommerce the inspection is between the screen and customers.

Scope of Business

Traditional commerce is limited to specific areas – to expand business reach a huge amount of investment is required. eCommerce has a worldwide reach – a company’s website can be accessible to everyone and anyone can visit the website from anywhere.

Information Exchange

In traditional commerce, there is no uniform platform for information exchange to do so physical presence is necessary. In eCommerce, there are uniform platforms – social media, messengers, Gmail, etc. information exchange means are available.

Resource Focus

In traditional commerce, resource focus is on the supply-side, the more the supply the more demand will be created. In eCommerce, the resource focus is on the demand side, the supply of goods is based on consumers’ demand.


In traditional commerce, there is one-way marketing meaning that the same information about the goods or services is provided to all consumers. But, in eCommerce, there is one-to-one marketing – individualized and personalized marketing is done, and every customer gets personalized marketing.


In traditional commerce, the payment is done in cash, draft, cheque, etc. In eCommerce, payment is done using a credit card, wallets, fund transfer, etc.

Delivery of Products

In traditional commerce, the delivery of products is instant. But, in eCommerce, the delivery of products takes time since there is no physical presence while ordering and making payments.

Likelihood of Fraud

In traditional commerce, the likelihood of fraud is very less compared to electronic commerce as there is the use of the internet as a medium.

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