When deciding how to start a business, the modern day entrepreneur requires information to shrewdly assess whether or not the product they intend to market would require a physical location or whether the internet is the only tool they need. In the age of Depop, Etsy and Ebay it’s hard not to see the bricks –and-mortar style shops rapidly becoming a thing of the past. However here is a balanced argument for both.
PRO- 24 Hours service
The issue with having staff man a store is that they have working hours and depending on the store’s staff, sales will stop at some point, when people go home. In short, you need a platform that allows you to make a sale at any time of the day or night. Maximising the time your customer can spend perusing will maximise the amount you make.
CON- Less Impulse Buying
When you shop online you ordinarily take your time to peruse but there’s less immediacy when you can’t actually see the items in question. That works in tandem with the usually tedious purchase process and then all of a sudden you have all the time in the world to think about what you’re doing. Shopping in a store, if you see something nice acting on impulse is so much easier.
PRO- Collect More Data
Technically you could do this in store as well its just a far more laborious process. Online shopping means that collecting data from your customers and plotting graphs based on buying habits its easy as you don’t have to tally up receipts or simply ask your staff what’s popular. The information presents itself to you for your interpretation. You can then adjust strategies accordingly.
CON- Less Trust
There’s a certainty about holding something in your hand. With clothes or fragrances, you can try it on. Free samples are available in some cases. This is why physical shops are still in business, there is a lack of trust that we have when all the information is on a computer screen. It sounds silly but proof something actually exists is very important.
PRO- Less Employees
The main thrust of this point is that an online retailer is far cheaper to run. You don’t have to employ staff or rent building space, it can simply be a case of you and your smart phone if you so desire as so many millennials are figuring out themselves with apps such as Depop.
CON- More Competition
The internet is literally massive. Everyone knows this and that’s why you can find anything on there. If someone is in your outlet they know it might require using their legs or jumping in a taxi if they want to find something similar elsewhere. All they have to do online is backspace and scroll down the search engine’s next couple of pages.