More and more people nowadays are shopping online. Because of this, more and more business owners are considering the benefits of starting up an internet store. Some business owners already own a brick and mortar store and are looking to branch out. Other business owners are trying to decide if they should begin doing business in a brick and mortar or an ecommerce store.
Before you continue reading this post, I would like to recommend some of our other articles about this topic, such as Freelancer Burnout Effect: 8 Great Tips to Overcome It, 4 Growth Markets You Should Look Into When Starting a Business Online or Call Recording A Useful and Important Feature for Any Business.Dont forget to subscribe to our RSS-feed, become our fan on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Regardless or which type of entrepreneur you are, the issue still remains the same: which is better, a brick and mortar store or an ecommerce website? Since this may be one of the most important questions you can ask regarding the success or failure of your business, you need to know the facts.
Below you will find the reasons why I wholeheartedly believe that when a business owner is deciding which option is better, the choice is clear. So let’s get right down to business. Why should you opt for an online store instead of a brick and mortar one?
Although it is true that a brick and mortar store is a tangible advertisement for your business, its cost outweighs its benefit. Yes, if you have a good location you may attract a sizeable walk in following, but consider this: as of June 2012, Internet World Stats calculated that there were around 2.5 billion people online, and less than 12% of those people live in North America. Furthermore, of the 500 million internet users in North, Central, South and Latin America, less than half of them are from North America. This means that the vast majority of your potential customers live in markets that you can only penetrate using the internet. With the right ecommerce website builder software you can create an ecommerce website that will automatically translate your store into many different languages and allow for transactions in a plethora of currencies. When you speak the language of 2.5 billion customers, your chances of success increase exponentially.
A brick and mortar store is only open during business hours, whereas an ecommerce website is open 24/7, 365 days a year. You don’t even have to be awake to transact business with an ecommerce website, and with the right design you can attract any customer in any time zone at any time. You would be surprised at how many late night internet shoppers there are (including myself), and with an internet store you will be there for them.
One of the major differences between a brick and mortar and an internet business is the initial cost and the continuing overhead. With a brick and mortar store, you have to worry about rent, advertising, utilities, insurance, tax, labor, etc. With an ecommerce website you need a computer, internet connection, advertising, a phone, ecommerce website software, and your time and effort. This is often the factor that makes entrepreneurs choose an online business over a brick and mortar store.
The lower initial cost and overhead of an ecommerce website can easily translate into lower prices for the consumer, and thus, more business. The fact is, when you are not inundated with paying for rent, wages, and the like, you are saving a lot of money. If you had to pay for all of those things you would have to jack up the prices of your products. With an ecommerce website your product markup can be much less.
Long Hours Spent Wisely
Regardless of whether you are running a business on or offline, you will still have to put in long hours to be successful. However, with the right ecommerce website builder software such as the one’s offered by Shopify you can automate many of the tasks that you would have to do manually in a physical location. Tasks like maintaining inventory and tracking sales are done in real time without you having to touch anything. Additionally, store maintenance becomes much simpler online because you don’t need to mop floors, dust, or clean up a spill in aisle 3.
One of the biggest benefits of running an online store is that you can do so from the comfort of your home. Instead of the dreaded morning commute, you can wake up on your own time, grab a cup of joe, pop open your laptop, launch your ecommerce website software, and you are ready to work. This actually saves quite a few hours in your day that can be used productively in your entrepreneurial efforts.
It is clear that for most people the benefits of running an ecommerce website far exceed those of opening a brick and mortar store. You will save time, money, effort and sanity, and you will gain a drastically larger market for your products, but on top of all that, you can go and test out ecommerce website builder software before you commit to an online business. Try to do that with a commercial building!