Is online shopping replacing brick-and-mortar stores?
We live in a digital age where everything is readily available at our fingertips. In the last couple of years, leases for physical stores have declined to 2/3. A brick-and-mortar store allows people to touch and feel the product before purchasing. Therefore, many people browse online and go to the store to buy the product. However, the pandemic spiked the online business to unprecedented heights. Today, people prefer shopping online as it saves time and is accessible anytime, anywhere.
Considering the growing popularity of shopping, it is an excellent time to set up an online business. Here are a few benefits of eCommerce if you are confused between setting up a physical store or an online store.
Five benefits of setting up an online store
Accessibility to more customers
Your online store can be accessed anytime, anywhere. Unlike a physical shop that attracts people in its proximity, an online store expands your customer pool. You can also choose to have a global audience if your budget allows. Otherwise, it is an excellent way of accessing parts of the country that you cannot reach with a physical store.
No time restraints
A physical store is open for a specific time and can be visited only in that timeframe. However, customers can place orders at your online store in the middle of the night. This makes your store handy and increases sales as many people can access the website based on availability.
An online store saves money on the maintenance and facilitation of a brick-and-mortar store. Although you can choose to have an office to manage deliveries and accounts, these things can also be dealt with from home. The pandemic created opportunities for people to work from home, and you can hire employees who get the job done without needing to maintain an office.
Moreover, you do not need a warehouse to store products. You can opt for drop shipping, where the vendor delivers the product directly to the customer without you having to worry about shipping or storage.
Improved customer satisfaction
You can use analytics for your eCommerce business to understand business growth and customer satisfaction. Instead of waiting for feedback from physical stores, you can have all the data accessible on a dashboard which helps you monitor profits and losses. It enables you to identify problems in customer care and tackle them quickly. This improves customers’ experience on your website and is likely to visit again.
Drop shipping allows you to play around with new products on your website easily. If you plan to expand your product line, you can display it on your website. Unlike a physical store, which requires you to have the product in hand, an online store can present something and source it if the customers demand it. It is a win-win situation as you are not spending anything, and there is no risk of wasting products if there is no market.
Although some people still prefer the in-store experience, the market for online shopping is increasing. You can set up your dream business online with the proper knowledge and resources.