Physical stores vs. online stores: what is the best place for our business?
by Gaurav Gupta
It is not news that more and more sellers are only operating on the Internet. Many businesses sell their products through their own website or platforms such as free market and deliver them to the buyer at places to be agreed or through an email company. The high costs and requirements required to maintain a local street, coupled with the convenience and flexibility of work over the Internet, lead many entrepreneurs to dispense with a physical store. But is this option convenient? Let us know its advantages and disadvantages.
Economic cost. Maintaining a physical store requires high expenses: rent, services, furniture, decoration, etc. To this is added the cost of the human resources needed to serve customers, set up the stained glass windows and clean the premises, among other activities. These costs often shift to the price of products, leaving physical stores at a disadvantage. In comparison, the cost of maintaining an online store is minimal. There are free e-commerce platforms, and if we choose to have a website of our own, we only have to pay for the hosting plan, domain, development and maintenance.
Practicality. Physical stores are losing one of their biggest points in favor: the presence of specialized vendors capable of properly advising customers. Currently, many consumers are advised on their own account about each product before buying it, through the reviews, opinions and technical data found on the Internet. Thus, they will have one less reason to finish making the purchase in a physical store, and most likely choose to do so in an online store.
Comfort. Many prefer online stores because they can review the products for as long as they want without being bothered by sellers, without leaving their home and without the inconvenience of touring a crowded place.
Scope. From an online store we can sell products around the world, thus obtaining a much larger target audience than a physical store.
Competition. When we establish a physical store, it is not difficult to determine who our competitors are: they are those who perform a similar activity in the vicinity. With online stores, the same thing does not happen: on the Web we will find, literally, hundreds to thousands of competitors. Highlight more than they require a careful online marketing strategy.
Attractive. A study by the Exabyte info that if consumers have the ability to see and touch a product, they will be willing to pay on average 50% more than if they just have the option of seeing it in photos. In a survey conducted by Time Trade, 85% of respondents said they preferred physical stores.
Trust. Beyond showing “live” products is more appealing than doing it online, there is still some special mistrust around online stores, especially if they run on free platforms? Online exchanges with the seller do not have the same proximity to face-to-face contact and photographs may not reveal the true state of the product. In addition, many of the organizations that only sell over the Internet are not legally registered or issue sales vouchers, not to say that the origin of their products is doubtful.