Would you like to open a shop? Are you hesitating between a physical or online store? Find out the pros and cons.
Nowadays, it’s much easier to get into business. Whether online or at the point of sale, selling products no longer requires extensive logistics.
In this post, zoom on the different advantages and disadvantages of a physical shop compared to an online shop (e-commerce).
The physical shop
It’s therefore a place where a merchant displays and sells his merchandise. The physical shop is the oldest way to sell products and services.
And it’s also one of the most common, until the last few years!
When you think of buying something, you immediately think of a physical store. For example, when we need food, we go to a butchery.
Physical stores can be found everywhere today. Of course the density of these depends on the city, but when we talk about shops, we can also put in this box the bakery or the grocery store.
Whether you are a franchisee or a freelancer, there are many advantages to selling your products in a physical store.
When you open a shop in a city location for example, you get immediate results in terms of visibility. Indeed, if you are also positioned in a strategic location (a large square for example), the impact will be significant since people passing in the street will see the store front right away.
That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to look after the front, displaying promotions and flagship products.
Moreover, we can talk about visibility in terms of product. Customers, despite the progress of the Internet, love and want to see and touch the product they are interested in.
In a physical store, you can carefully look at a garment and see what material it’s made of. Some people also appreciate the proximity of a salesperson who will be able to advise and guide them correctly on the right purchases to make.
This last point goes hand in hand with the one being discussed now. Customers who like to be advised are also people who do not have complete confidence in online transactions.
They prefer to buy from a natural person, who will have less opportunity to scam or abuse a trust quickly created on the Internet.
Difficult types of products to sell on the Internet
For some product categories, the physical shop is a must in order to buy them. For example, we can note the case of cars. Because of its price or nature, a product can be very widely consumed in a physical shop, although the example of cars tends to evolve.
The main advantages of a shop on a shopping street are that it’s likely to build customer loyalty. The disadvantages of a physical shop finally correspond to the advantages found in an e-commerce model.
The online shop
An online shop or e-commerce site is a platform where it’s possible to buy products through the Internet. These online shops were thus established and developed with the arrival of the web in the early 2000s.
It’s possible to find several e-commerce solutions:
- The shop in his name: the sale of products and services is done directly on the shop’s website, created especially for this purpose.
- Membership: this solution offers, in exchange for a periodic subscription, the sale of articles and services on a regular basis.
- Dropshipping: a new expression, it corresponds to a sale as on a classic online shop. However, you do not have to take care of the logistics, which are carried out entirely by a third party.
- The marketplace: while visiting the Amazon site, you may have noticed that some items are sold and shipped by outside businesses. They are present on the marketplace, where they pay a commission for their presence.
Today it is very simple to create an online store and there are several very interesting advantages.
Openness to the world
This is one of the main assets of the e-commerce store. By being on the Internet, you multiply your chances of reaching other customers. Indeed, you no longer depend on the number of people who pass in front of your store to sell.
New customers can come from everywhere thanks to the Internet!
New put options
The Internet means new payment methods. The web has indeed allowed the advent and development of payment methods such as Paypal or prepaid cards like Paysafecard. Some customers appreciate the fact that they don’t have to pull out their credit card every time they pay.
The new put options don’t stop here. As mentioned before, dropshipping is a recent sales method that reduces costs.
By researching and working with a good dropshipping supplier, you reduce your investment by being able to sell quality products.
Selling in a physical shop involves significant costs. For example, there are bills for the proper functioning of the store such as electricity. In addition, with employees in your charge, costs increase. On the Internet, there are no loads like these to manage.
A presence at all times
Owning an online store means being able to take orders at any time of the day and week. Indeed, with a high-performance Internet connection, the site will be visible at all times, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
Customers are therefore not hindered by constraints such as opening hours or public holidays.
Visibility is very effective… but it takes a long time to build up
The last point concerning visibility is to be qualified since it’s an advantage, but to be worked on in the long term. A physical store will have an immediate impact when it opens.
A physical store vs. an online store is able to count on a very effective visibility with current media such as social networks. However, this emphasis is long and difficult to build in the face of the numerous competitors on the Internet.
As you will have understood, each store has its own advantages. We can see that one recovers the defect of the other to make it a strong point of its own.
Finally, opening an online store requires a strong marketing strategy whereas opening a physical store requires large investments.