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Retail Store vs. Online Store: Pros and Cons

It seems like eCommerce and online shops are all the rage these days, and many suggest that opening one is better than an actual physical store. But should you follow this business advice? Or should you stick to the old-school brick-and-mortar approach?

In this article, we are going to help you out with some business advice for beginners by looking at the pros and cons of both retail stores and online stores and show you why more people are going online for all their needs from clothing and online slots UK games to electronics.

Pros of a Retail Store

Brick and mortar retail shops have been around for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks and Egyptians both had sophisticated shops, where you could purchase everything you could imagine, from furniture, political advice, art, and clothing to weapons.

So let’s look at the pros of retail shops, which allow them to still exist and thrive in our modern society whether it is good business advice to open your own shop:

1. Immediately receive the item

When shopping at a physical store, you can pick the item you want and take it home to use immediately, and you don’t need expert advice to see how valuable this is. There is nothing worse than finding some amazing item online only to hit the checkout button and find out that you will receive the product in a week!

Even with Amazon offering same-day shipping and other express options, online shops cannot compete with physical shops in this regard.

If you want to enjoy your product right away and don’t want to worry about delivery, then take some simple advice and head to your local physical shop for your next purchase – great business advice if you want an amazing shopping experience.

2. Ability to try on and physically touch the item

Everyone who has bought something online, particularly clothing, has had at least one “what did I just buy moment.” It is often incredibly difficult to make purchases without trying on clothing or testing products (wise advice!). Fortunately, this can be done quickly and efficiently at physical stores.

You won’t ever have to worry about buying a dress two sizes too big as at a physical store, you can easily try it on and select the dress that fits you perfectly. The best business advice for small business owners says if you want to compete with online stores, you need to ensure customers can fully try out all of your products as this is something online shops are not able to offer!

3. Personalized and Human Customer Service

A key difference between online and in-person shopping is the real human interaction and customized buying experience. For example, many customers enjoy chatting to a sales rep to get some advice and out about different products in a natural conversational style.

While online shops try to recreate this via chat support, it isn’t the same as being face to face with a person, especially as many buyers are looking for a social connection.

So, here is the main business advice for entrepreneurs: if you want to compete with online shops, focus on things that they can’t offer, such as human interaction. Do not ignore this important business advice if you want to succeed.

Pros of Online Stores

1. Fast & Comfortable

Do the idea of driving 30 + minutes to your closest shopping mall and spending hours looking through the shelves drive you crazy? Then you aren’t alone. The ability to quickly browse through thousands and thousands of different items from the comfort of your own home is a major reason why online shopping has become so popular.

If you are just starting, then here is some business advice for small business owners – to run a successful online store, you need to make the purchasing experience as easy and fast as possible, and a 2-step checkout process should be standard (follow this business advice to earn money now).

2. Low Cost to Set Up

Saving money is the number 1 business advice but one of the hardest business advice to follow! Establishing your very own online store could not be easier with so much business advice on the internet and lots of business advice on the TV. You can set one up in a few minutes using platforms like Shopify or spend a few hours creating one using WordPress.

A basic eCommerce platform like Shopify will cost less than $50 per month, while with WordPress, it is free, but for more advanced options, you will have to pay for plugins.

Alternatively, you could sell through platforms like Amazon and eBay, which do not require you to build an online business and are free to use. You can check out different business advice websites which will show you exactly how to build your eCommerce store.

4. Lack of Overheads

Let’s face it, opening a physical store is very expensive and overspending is always bad business advice! With a physical store, you have to pay rent, insurance, renovate the store, security, and a whole lot of other expenses. With an online store, none of these costs exist.

This means online shops have higher profit margins due to significantly lower operating costs, which is why most modern business advice consultants and business advice books will recommend new business owners to start with an online store.

Cons of a Retail Store

While physical retail shops are still popular, they have suffered a decline due to the rise of eCommerce, and many are offering business advice against opening them. Let’s look at the cons that have led to a shift away from physical shops and why every online guru is offering eCommerce business advice:

1. Very Costly

Business advice gurus are always preaching to avoid costs. Well, running a brick-and-mortar retail store involves a high number of expenses which goes against common business advice of saving money. These expenses include electricity, water, rent, insurance, payroll, legal costs, and so much more!

Due to these costs, all business advice says it is harder to make money with a physical store, and you need more initial capital to start the business. Business advice organizations will recommend you create an extensive budget that accounts for all of these costs before you open your physical store.

2. Limited Potential for Growth

With a physical store, your customers are limited to the people who physically reach your store. Therefore the best business advice you will have to rely on is attracting people driving or walking past your store. This makes it hard to grow your business because there maybe hundreds of thousands of people who would love to buy your products, but they live in different cities or even countries.

Business advice for startups always says that if you want to grow your business as quickly as possible, you need to be able to reach the maximum number of potential buyers through advertising and word of mouth. This business advice cannot be overnight, though.

3. Hiring In-Store Employees

Hiring and training in-store employees is not only costly but very time-consuming. And if you know common business advice, you would know time is money and wise business advice always preaches keeping things simple!

When hiring in-store employees, businesses also have to follow a range of different laws, and failure to do so can result in huge fines. In-store employees are also required to maintain the physical shop and perform tasks such as cleaning, checking inventory, and security.

This is why business advice memes often poke fun at the problems with hiring, training, and managing in-store employees.

Cons of Online Stores

While eCommerce is definitely booming, there are definitely some business advice questions you need to ask yourself before opening an online shop. Here are some major cons you need to consider before diving into business advice:

1. High Competition

We established that starting an online store is cheap and fast, easy advice to follow! Unfortunately, due to this, eCommerce is flooded with competitors because the costs of entry are so low. This high competition environment not only makes it hard to win customers as customers have so much choice, but it also places downward pressure on pricing because you have thousands of similar stores willing to undercut each other.

If you want to follow business advice from successful entrepreneurs, remember to never compete on price but compete on quality because if you compete on price, you are driving down your own profit.

2. Technology Problems Could Destroy Your Business

Opening an online shop is smart business advice during covid because you are not at risk of being shut down by the pandemic. However, online shops are at risk of being shut down if their site is hacked, their eCommerce platform crashes, or they make a mistake when changing the code to their site.

Online shops crash frequently, and while the damage is usually fixable, it can cost you large amounts of lost revenue! Sound business advice is taking your IT security seriously and making sure you follow the business advice of backing up your site.

3. Shipping Problems

You don’t need to read your favorite business advice magazine to know that running an online store has a lot of logistical issues.

When running an online store, you need to figure out how to quickly and cost-efficiently ship your products across the country and often the world. This is a skill that takes a while to develop, every business guru will tell you that!

And if you don’t get it right, you will have to deal with very angry customers who will not listen to your advice!

Conclusion – Start A Successful Shop With Our Business Advice

Now you know all of the major pros and cons of starting a physical retail store vs. an online store, you are in the perfect position to decide which business advice is best for you.

What many businesses are doing is starting with an online shop and, as they earn revenue, then expanding by opening a physical store to get the best of both worlds. We have found that this is the most efficient business advice you can follow to maximize your profits and diversify the risks.

About the author: William Benetton is a famous writer, professional photographer, and web designer. Last few months he has been creating interesting, informative blogs and websites. If you want to contact William, please check his Facebook. He can’t imagine his life without sport, travel and morning coffee.

She is the Marketing Manager of Poptin. Her expertise as a content writer and marketer revolves around devising effective conversion strategies to grow businesses. When not working, she indulges herself with nature; creating once-in-a-lifetime adventures and connecting with people of all sorts.