What Is Traditional Commerce?

Traditional commerce refers to the practice of selling products and services within a single industry and in some cases, within a specific geographical area. Traditional commerce relies on operating business hours during a specific period of time and requires housing inventory or occupying a retail store.

In contrast to e-commerce that relies on online sales, drop shipments and 24 hour access for consumers, traditional commerce relies more on local consumers interacting with sales executives, managers, customer service personnel and accountants personally versus through electronic mediums.

Businesses deemed as traditional commerce handle advertising, inventory shipping and creation of products and services in-house with a staff of employees in close proximity. Traditional commerce does not typically share information with competitors whereas e-commerce prices, specials and inventory are ready available online for consumers and competitors.

Traditional commerce often relies on face to face interaction with consumers and thrives based on word of mouth, networking and customer referrals for new and repeat business. Personal interaction is a key component of businesses experience success with traditional commerce. Many businesses network within the community, establish rapport with city leaders and chambers of commerce and sponsor local events and sports teams to develop a relationship with the community to draw in business.