5 advantages of online vs. brick-and-mortar stores
Keep reading for 5 advantages of online stores over brick-and-mortar!
Rewind just 20 years ago, and you would have been hard-pressed to find a business that sells and advertises their products online. Almost every business-to-customer (B2C) company would house their products in a physical, brick-and-mortar store, with online shopping being a thing of the future. Nowadays, almost every large brand has an online alternative to their physical store, with some just opting for an online service.
But which is better? And which would work best for you? Keep reading for 5 advantages of online stores over brick-and-mortar!
It goes without saying that without the restrictions of opening hours, your business will benefit. Rather than relying on your customers reaching your store before it shuts at 5, you can make sales online at any time, from anywhere in the world. And with 67% of all Gen-Z or Millennials preferring to purchase or browse for products online, it is obvious that offering an online store option can boost your sales.
You can improve your sales with increased availability and 24/7 opening hours and expand your boundaries, as an online business has no geographical restriction. You no longer have an accessibility limit or have to open multiple stores to reach more customers. Anyone from anywhere in the world can access your site in a matter of minutes.
Better Customer Service
Traditional brick-and-mortar stores have the benefit of face-to-face interaction and the ability to build relationships with regular customers. That said, an online business, if managed correctly, can boost customer experience and trust with 24/7 customer service. You can set up an inquiry form, chatbot, or email address to provide customers with an outlet to provide feedback, voice their concerns, or ask questions.
Setting up a brick-and-mortar store comes with some hefty set-up costs. Not only do you have to find and choose a store to rent, but you also have to pay rental charges, electricity bills, employee wages, and you have to fork out for stock to fill your space. On the other hand, if you set up an online business, you can drastically reduce your initial investment costs.
Today, building your own website is easier than ever, and there are a number of hosting sites that provide a free service. And with drop-shipping options for supplying your products, you don’t even have to hold any stock when selling products online.
Last but certainly not least, an online business can provide much more room for growth than a physical store. Between 2015 and 2018, employment in high-street retail in the UK dropped by three quarters, due to a decline in sales and profit. Translation? The high street is slowly losing out to larger, online retailers. When it comes to a brick-and-mortar store, it can be rather costly to continuously adapt and grow to meet the consumer’s ever-changing needs. On the other hand, you can completely redesign and rebrand a website quickly, without spending much money.
So, whether your brick-and-mortar store is starting to see a decline in sales or you’re looking to set up your own business, online stores are the more popular, cost-effective, and successful option.
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