E-Commerce Online Store or Physical Business?
The choice of whether to get into a conventional physical business, an online business, or some blend of the two, is a standout amongst the most imperative choices you can make. Each has advantages and disadvantages that ought to be considered.
Whatever sort of business you start, in any case, there are three elements which are crucial:
- You must love what you are doing.
- You must earn from it.
- It must be legal.
If you don't have all the factors, you are probably not making the right decision, and this mean you won't do good in the business you are going to start.
These are general business rules. But, what are the differences between an online store and brick & mortar store?
* Not all businesses will do good online.
Don't get me wrong. Every business should be present online and promote them self via the various social media networks, advertising networks or just be present with a website - but not every business that has a set location can be profitable if it only works alone.
The same thing counts for online businesses, some stuff that you offer online can't be sold or done via physical located business.
* Some businesses achieve more online.
Selling event tickets, or booking airplanes, boat tours, and other similar products, for example, can only scale up in sales if you'd sell them online. You can't really expect the number of people in your local area to grow as fast. Yet, promoting your products online is getting you near the market faster.
* Physical businesses are limited with working hours.
Of course, some businesses do work 24/7, but most of them have set fixed hours. What about those customers that want to get something from what you are offering after business hours? They must wait for you to open again or to go online and buy the same product. You know what you'd do!
* Being online means no fixed hours.
The advantage of the online businesses is that everything is online 24/7 year round. This means you can grab every potential opportunity to sell online, yet the bad side is that your costumers want you to always be present and solve their problems. This can be really time-consuming so you must hire a customer support team to cover these things up for you.
* Offline businesses are more trustworthy.
Buying from your local shop mostly means secured transactions and getting the real product. You can feel the product in your hand before buying it, while online products are abstract until you get them to the mail.
* Trust issues are being solved for online stores.
As I mentioned above, when buying online you are like in a dark room until the delivery man brings the merchandise to your door. There were lot of scam back in the days, that people feel scared to buy online - especially customers that are trying a business for the first time.
However, Internet technology is advancing as time goes and slowly is establishing the trust with potential online customers for purchasing trough the web. For example, there are a lot of security certificates that protect your data, you can set up a 3D view of each product on your store, get guarantees and much more ways to ensure you that your transaction and product you purchase are safe and yours.
Cost wise, offline businesses cost way more than running an online store, due the fact that online stores don't depend on one location and need no expenses for premises, utilities, and rent. There are great platforms out there such as Shopify that allow you to create an ecommerce website and get started with your business.
Physical businesses are profitable but have limited reach, yet the online stores are vice versa - mass reach, but too much competition. What do you think is the better option when starting a business?
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