Business Wars – Online Vs Physical
It’s the nature of the modern world. We are used to purchasing anything that we want from the internet and having it delivered to our door that we rarely need to bother heading out to a physical store unless we really need something. While there are businesses that require a physical presence in order to be successful, there are many that do just as well online. So which one is best? If you are looking for the best platform to launch your company, such as a retail store, you need to weigh up the options in accordance with the greatest needs in your business plan. Some of the fundamentals are laid out as follows:
The first question on everybody’s lips. The overheads in obtaining a business location are vastly different to obtaining an ecommerce business. By going for the physical, you need to pay for rent, insurance, property tax, utilities, and so on. The act of moving items into a business location requires decent transport services when you factor in the materials you will need, such as equipment and tech. This is an essential component in getting any business location set up properly.
The costs in setting up an online business are in relation to website development, a domain name and hosting, an SSL Certificate and a payment gateway. The big difference in an online business is the amount of staff you will need, especially at the outset. A small startup company can survive for a long time without needing a fleet of staff, but if you are hoping to expand a retail business, the staff is vital for the actual act of customer liaison and the selling of items.
A physical store has difficulty in making changes to ticketed items. The whole process of taking the tickets off the shelves, making the changes, and even possibly changing your inventory details before printing them out again is a lengthy one in comparison to changing information online. Online it’s as easy as a couple of clicks. Time is money in business, and you are saving a lot of time when you need to change things.
Reaching Potential Customers
The big difference in marketing in the 21st century is the sheer amount of people you can reach. A physical business would potentially use the internet to communicate the company further than the population of that location, but by purely going online the customers can choose to access you quicker and easier. Over 1 billion people use the internet; compare that to the amount of customers going through a shopping mall in one location on any given day.
The Personal Touch
The defining factor when weighing up the two options is this. How personal do you want to be with your customers? If it is a defining characteristic of your business, then you need to be making sure that aspect is front and center. There is an element of personality online, via emails and newsletters, but this cannot replace the tangibility of someone discussing an item with tone, intonations, and physical presence.