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Growth opportunities for neighborhood stores in the e-commerce era

By 5 October 2023No Comments
Opportunità di crescita per i negozi di vicinato - Due donne guardano una vetrina

One of the clichés linked to the world of e-commerce and the web in general concerns the presumed causal relationship between the growth of online shops and the loss of jobs for traditional activities. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact the opposite is true. 

This is stated by the De Gasperi Foundation, which recently presented a study carried out with the support of Amazon in Rome. According to the research results, in fact, e-commerce would create many growth opportunities for neighborhood shops. 

Let's find out more.


The study “The evolution of e-commerce: between false myths and evidence”, carried out by the De Gasperi Foundation with the support of Amazon, claims that, for the 71% of consumers, neighborhood shops that have managed to evolve through an e-commerce site they have improved the quality and quantity of their services. While 60% consumers are satisfied with being able to use their trusted store as a delivery point for online purchases.

In the words of Emilio Colombo of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, who coordinated the study, “e-commerce still concerns a niche of the market that is growing strongly, because the trading pattern of individuals is changing: they are not more individuals go towards the goods to buy, but it is the goods that go towards the individual. 

The research highlights several aspects. On the one hand, neighborhood shops have to reinvent themselves a bit to take up the challenge of e-commerce, on the other we note that at a macro level, there is no direct and clear correlation between the growth of e-commerce and the loss of jobs that exist in traditional shops, because it is a general change that occurs within the sector. 

It is true that there is a contraction of neighborhood shops, but at the same time, in addition to the spread of e-commerce, there is all the increase in employment linked to everything that e-commerce brings with it, for example logistics".1

Growth opportunities for neighborhood shops

In an increasingly digitalized world, e-commerce therefore represents a new frontier that continues to show exponential growth. Faced with this change, even neighborhood shops, pillars of our local communities, are finding new development opportunities thanks to the introduction of e-commerce into their activities.

In a world where it is the goods that must reach the buyer and not vice versa, e-commerce allows neighborhood shops to overcome geographical boundaries of your neighborhood or city. Through an online platform, these businesses can reach customers from across the country and, in some cases, even internationally. This means an increase in potential sales volume and the ability to reach a larger and more diverse customer base.

A well-structured online presence allows stores to improve theirs visibility. Thanks to search engines and digital marketing strategies, even a small shop can gain notoriety that was previously unthinkable. Brand identity can be strengthened and disseminated to a wider audience.

With e-commerce, neighborhood stores have the opportunity to offer a 24/7 customer service, with minimal effort. Users can make purchases at any time, view order status, read reviews and get answers to their questions in real time. This not only improves the customer experience but also helps build a relationship of trust between the seller and the buyer.

As the pandemic has taught us, in times of crisis or during unexpected events, having an online sales channel can represent an alternative or additional source of income. This offers a greater financial stability and reduces risk linked to dependence on a single sales channel.

E-commerce allows retailers to collect data on customer purchasing behaviour. This information can be used to create personalized offers, targeted discounts or more effective marketing campaigns. Personalization can mean giving the customer exactly what they want, when they want it, thus increasing satisfaction and loyalty.


While introducing e-commerce may seem like a challenge, especially for small retailers accustomed to a traditional business model, the benefits can be significant. Adopting this new mode not only offers the opportunity to expand the business, but can also be a safeguard against future uncertainties.

The De Gasperi Foundation's survey clearly highlights that, with the right support and appropriate strategies, neighborhood shops can thrive in a digital environment. With the help of large companies like Amazon, which offer platforms and tools to facilitate the online transition, even the smallest of shops can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the world of e-commerce.

Ultimately, e-commerce is not just a passing fad or a must-have choice, but represents a new era for neighborhood commerce. Embracing digital can lead to resurgence and renewed prosperity, ensuring that neighborhood shops remain an essential and vibrant part of our communities.

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