The future of retail has never been more uncertain. Although more and more people are turning to mobile devices and computers to shop, there would be uproar if all physical stores decided to close and retailers went purely ecommerce.
Whether you sell online or offline will change how you as a business will interact with customers, market your products, and even hire new employees. There are pros and cons to both.
Online retail is growing at an astounding rate, despite the fact that the majority of people still prefer to shop offline. Selling online comes with significantly lower costs than running a traditional physical store as you don’t have to pay for a physical space and the ongoing costs.
Customers tend to appreciate the convenience of ecommerce, as they can browse in their own time and have the products delivered directly to their front door. As per the information on redbrain.com, people spend as little as 28 seconds on some eCommerce websites, which is a testament to how time efficient they are. You, as the retailer, are able to accurately track the customer’s interactions which gives data that can elevate marketing efforts.
Despite all these benefits, you will have to accept that often a larger marketing budget and personnel is needed compared to a traditional brick and mortar store in order to let customers know that you exist. It could also be more difficult to build meaningful interactions as there are no face to face interactions.
Offline remains the most popular shopping channel for consumers that can’t be matched when it comes to customer experience. With offline stores, you are able to craft a unique experience for your customers in a creative way that wouldn’t be achievable online. Passing trade is also accessible to offline stores which makes you easily visible to your target market and helps you to build up your brand.
However, despite the more positives that come with a physical store, there will be higher setup and running costs, with more money to pay out each month. Not picking the right location could also be a big problem for a physical store, which is partly the reason that so many stores around the world are having to close, especially with the rise of ecommerce stores.
Find out how some of the biggest stores in the world are dealing with this digital revolution by checking out the infographic below!