Starting a Business: Should You Go Physical or Go Online?
Many people look forward to going shopping, especially during weekends. But then, the pandemic happened and affected a lot of businesses around the world. During the frightening peak of the pandemic, physical stores had to close temporarily, uncertain of the future ahead.
Meanwhile, e-commerce/online stores have been around even before COVID-19 turned the world around. It has given aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to sell their goods and realize their entrepreneurial dreams. E-commerce also helped boost the economy despite the ongoing pandemic. Not to mention it helped make shopping more convenient with a few clicks and touches of a button.
Imagine more sales and economic impact if business owners have physical AND online stores. If you want to start a business, you might want to consider having both a physical and online store. Here’s what you need to know about physical and online stores and ensure your business’ success in the long run.
Physical and online store: What are they?
Both are stores but differ in a retail environment. Also known as brick-and-mortar stores, a physical store needs a physical location to sell and display products. Physical stores are usually located in malls, free-standing buildings, or linked to other structures such as theme parks, museums, and other public attractions. Physical stores also need employees for their overall operations.
Some stores rely on merchandising display tactics to attract buyers to enter and purchase from the store. Physical store owners are either franchisees or own the business. Both require enough capital to start and grow, regardless of whether you choose to have a franchise or start a business from scratch.
Online stores, on the other hand, usually exist online. To buy a product, you have to visit the store’s website or social media page to buy something. Online stores enable business owners to run their store without the need to rent a space or spend on overhead expenses. They can serve all customers around the world as long as they have international shipping options and are also familiar with different countries’ shipment regulations.
Physical or online store: Which is better?
Each of these business structures has its pros and cons. These include the following.
In terms of business benefits, physical stores can offer:
- In-person customer feedback/input through sales associates or customer service personnel in the store
- Actual products that customers can see and touch before they decide to buy or not
- Versatility, because physical stores can sell anything from small and inexpensive items (food items) to large and expensive goods (cars, real estate properties)
- Savings from shipping costs and being able to bring the products with them after purchasing
- Easier and faster item exchange/returns/refunds
- Marketing strategies that aim for wider reach such as TV, radio, loyalty programs, etc.
On the other hand, online stores can offer:
- Higher profit margins due to lower overhead costs
- Potential wider customer reach
- More comprehensive customer information that can help online store owners understand their consumers’ buying habits
- Cheaper and easier business start-up
- More targeted marketing towards a specific demographic, usually through social media and other digital strategies
- 24/7 access
These are some things to consider if you are planning to start a business. Having both physical and online stores is a good idea if you want more profit and wider customer reach. Starting a home décor and gifts store in Franklin TN should be easy by taking note of these.