Christmas is around the corner and while it has been regarded as a period that could cause frictions as families and friends gather under one roof and have too much to gossip, eat and drink, 2020 has shown us that it’s time to let go of such shenanigans that might hamper this festive spirit and celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way.


While the streets in the city and those surrounding shopping centres have been hustling and bustling, replete with buskers, shoppers, commuters, retailers, kids and the Garda, of course, weren’t we all looking forward to December when the restrictions would be relaxed? Can’t complain, you see!

2020 has been quite a lesson in the making, with improvisations being the biggest takeaway. If life gives you lemons, you make lemonade- That’s what happened. While physical businesses were left crippled, the digital realm exploded on some unprecedented level, making it the new normal. Though we’ve been getting accustomed to accepting Zoom gatherings, Skype calls or Meets dinners slowly and steadily, and while we’ve always shopped online in attempts of getting bigger discounts, physical stores brought a smile on our faces, when they were allowed to re-open.


Right, let’s have a quick comparison between brick-and-mortar vs online stores, and how 2020 has left its impact on businesses.


Pro of brick-and-mortar: Customers prefer to buy in-store for THAT experience.


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Perhaps another advantage could be that a physical store is deemed to be less crowded. Have a glance at the statistics, guys! 2020 has been one year of wonders, with social media, digital art, virtual meetings and online classes exploding at some unmatched levels. With stores being offline, there exists certain competition which has been prevalent for a long time now. However, survival-of-the-fittest is supposedly the rule of thumb when it comes to online businesses. 


Con of brick-and-mortar: Selling online is cheaper


Bid adieu to the heavy rent, mortgage, warehousing, licenses and the associated costs when it comes to the online world of wonders. Of course, there are certain costs such as website maintenance and other operating expenses, but hey going online saves you a huge deal, doesn’t it?


Despite everything, we believe you will still need an online store. You can have a look at the findings of various studies, or common sense would tell you that those businesses that have a virtual presence are definitely doing much better/ thriving/ flourishing compared to those that are strictly offline. It may be wrong to say that all ventures have been moved to online as there exist certain enterprises which are keen on retaining their old-school values.


As a part of my dissertation, I had to interview coffee shop owners and one of them said to me that the hospitality industry isn’t meant to function online- that messes with the basic structure on which the sector has been built. Covid-19 got a lot of businesses to a standstill. Did that mean complete closure of the industry? We can’t turn a blind eye to the losses that several artisanal shops have had faced, however, they improvised and thanks to takeaways and vouchers, they have flourished.


This article doesn’t mean to signify one type of business over the other but is an attempt at glorifying both. No matter what, going online seems to be going the right way. Initiatives from the government and various other organisations can help boost this transition. 


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