Making the choice of whether to sell online through an ecommerce based store or offline through a traditional physical location is not an easy choice to make. Not only is it difficult, though, but it is one of the most important decisions you will make as the owner of a business. It could have a significant impact on your business for years to come. The decision between shopping online or offline can be the difference between success and failure, profit and loss, so it is very important that it is thought about properly before you take a step.
With an ecommerce store, you can get going very quickly with a lower amount of capital investment and start selling your products immediately.
So, how do you choose? There are many pros and cons when it comes to online v. offline presence for your brand. Ecommerce is continuing to grow at a rate none of us ever thought possible, so taking advantage of an online shopping platform like eBay or Shopping.fm can be extremely beneficial for your sales. On the other hand, most people still prefer to shop in-store, so that is something you should potentially focus on as well. So, traditional stores are not dead, and there are still lots of opportunities for brands to take advantage of having both.
Pros and Cons of Online Stores
Setting up an ecommerce store comes with much lower startup costs than acquiring space to set up your offline store. There is no need to pay for large amounts of real estate or pay for running costs. With an ecommerce store, you can get going very quickly with a lower amount of capital investment and start selling your products immediately.
Additionally, ecommerce stores have a unique convenience which cannot be found anywhere else. Being able to shop from home without leaving your bed is something which many of us take for granted these days, and it is so important to have this option available.
Although the above pros are all great, not having an online store can make it more costly for consumers who really want to shop for your products. Imagine if a customer heard all about your brand from a friend and then found out the nearest place to buy your products was 200 km away. How many of those people would make the trip? Not many, and this can result in lost sales.
Pros and Cons of Offline Stores
Offline shopping remains the most popular channel for consumers and cannot currently be rivalled by online shopping when it comes to the overall customer experience. With a traditional physical store, you can create a unique shopping experience which your customers will remember and make them come back for more.
Additionally, you have an instant access to passing trade if your store is in a good location. This is not something you would have online; you cannot walk past a website’s landing page.
But, there are drawbacks too. There are much higher set up and running costs when it comes to brick and mortar stores. You’ve got to pay for the land your store is on, its bills, internet, and insurance. Plus, there is always the risk that disaster could strike and close your store until it is fixed. With ecommerce, you do not have these risks at all.
Want to learn more about online v offline retail? Check out our infographic below!
Guest blog and Infographic by: Karthik Reddy from Shopping.fm