Wednesday, April 24

Physical Store VS Online Shops: Advantages and Disadvantages

Everyone might not be a shopaholic, but everyone shops something or the other. From where do you buy your stuff? Do you prefer online shops or physical store? What would you choose if you were planning to open your shop? Will you select the online mode or the offline one?

Comparing offline and online shopping

If you are confused or worried about which choice would be the right one, read on. We are here to help you make the right choice and clear your confusion. So at first, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of opening an online shop and an offline store. 

The Advantages of Opening an Online Store 

Better Growth

If you want to focus on sales, opening an online shop is the best bet. Certainly, sales in online stores will grow over time. You will also get to earn more profits as you wouldn’t have to invest in maintaining a physical store. What’s more? You also don’t have to work to maintain a physical inventory. Moreover, your cost of operation will be less, and you will reap more profits.

Larger Customer Base

Operating an online store means you will get more customers due to better reach. While operating online, your store and its offerings can be accessed by prospects from across cities and countries. This is something you won’t get with an offline shop. The customer base will be limited to the area or locality (in most cases). This brings the opportunity for a better and faster rate of growth. 

Saving in Advertisement Cost

If you open an online store for internet shopping, then the advertisement cost will be really low. You wouldn’t have to invest in brochures or standees, street ads, exhibitions etc to create visibility. Almost all the advertisements that you will be doing will be online through various social media platforms. This will reduce your costs a lot. 

Lower Establishment & Operating Cost

All you have to do is make a website to showcase your products. Buying the domain name and designing the website costs much lower than operating a physical store. 

Offline store vs online shop benefits

Of course, you need to invest towards SEO and social media marketing. However, the costs involved are not as high as capital expenditure that goes in buying/renting a place, deposits, creating shelves/display, creating awareness and meeting daily expenses like staff, electricity, cleaning etc. 

New Ways to Make Sales

Owning an online shopping store will give you different methods to make sales. Of course, there is the home delivery option, but along with that, there is also the dropshipping option. Dropshipping will let you open up new product lines and diversify the ways you earn your revenue. You will get to do all that without investing too much. 

No Need to Follow Any Schedules

One of the advantages of owning an online store is that you don’t need to follow any fixed schedule. Generally, with a physical shop, you need to adhere to an opening and closing time of the store, in order to follow the rules of the market. But with online stores, there are no such rules to follow.

After all, your customer base will be all over the world or country, so there’s no fixed time that you will have to open the store. Also, technically your store will always be open. After all, your website should keep on taking orders even while you are asleep. So your business will grow and you don’t have to lose sleep or stick to a schedule.

Registration

You don’t need to register your shop like physical stores have to do. Note that you don’t need any permits to open up a website for your products as well. As said above, all you need to do is create a website and market it well to gain visitors. Once that is done, you are free to take orders, and then fulfil them.

The Advantages of Opening an Offline Store 

Visibility

There are plenty of customers who feel more secured and assured when they can see the store. Even till date, many people do not trust online shopping. This is due to the absence of any physical store to hold accountable to, in case something goes wrong. So the actual presence of a physical shop which is registered brings in trust to attract loyal customers. 

See the Products

Offline stores are liked because the customer can see all the products. There have been multiple cases of people getting the wrong sized product from online stores. Such a mistake generally happens because people aren’t able to determine the correct size from the pictures given on the website.

With physical stores, there’s no such issue. Here customers will be able to see the product and buy the one which they see fit. One of the reasons why people still prefer to buy clothes from physical stores is because of this issue. Seeing the product and how it looks right in front of your eyes is something which a lot of customers value. 

Ease of Payment

People prefer physical shops because they get to pay cash and take the product home right away. Also, in online stores there no need to put banking details on the internet for everyone to see. So many people consider buying from physical shops more secure.

Offline stores are liked because there people can hand over the cash to a person. So if something goes wrong, then they will have a physical person to demand answers.

Same Day Buying

If you head into a physical store to buy something, then you will come out of the store with that stuff in your hands. There is no delivery period for which you will have to wait. Of course, there are plenty of online stores which offer same-day shipping. But frequently you will have to pay extra to get your product shipped to you on the same day. 

Tangible Proof

The physical store will act as a solid proof of your income, investment, and effort. It is tangible and something which you will be able to show to others and be proud. Also, not to mention the fact that an offline store won’t get erased away with one virus or defect. 

Loyal Customers

Offline stores have more loyal customers than online ones. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, if a shop offers a range of products and helps customers choose the product they want, then that customer service nets them loyal customers. 

Secondly, the shop location will be known to people. So they will have an easier time finding it. Note that this is not something which can be done with online shops since there are so many of them. Moreover, there’s no such physical address. The only way customers will be able to come back is if they bookmark the website. 

Factors to Consider While Setting Up Your Shop

So, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning both physical and online shops. This creates a dilemma for many. So, should you go for an online store or an offline one? This is a hard question and truth to be told there’s no right or wrong answer. 

You will have to determine which one will be the best for you keeping in mind your need and nature of business. Consider various factors before concluding. 

Here are two of the important aspects worth considering: 

  • Budget: The first factor which will heavily influence whether you opt for an online store or an offline one is the budget. If you don’t have enough funds to construct a brick and mortar shop, prefer an online store due to low cost of business set up. 
  • Nature of Business: The second factor which you should consider is your products or nature of business. Say for example, if you are selling handmade products created by you, opting for an online store is a better choice. Since the product you are offering is unique, you have an advantage of gaining higher visibility online. However, if you are planning to sell branded products and that too in large varieties, prefer a physical shop due to excessive competition present online. 

Overall, both online and offline shops come with their advantages and disadvantages. Your choice will depend on a lot of factors like location, permits, ease of doing business, the demand for the product etc. Consider all the factors before going for either of the options. After all, both of these kinds of shops need a lot of investment of time and effort.

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