Online web store vs physical store - Pros and Cons

Posted on 06 Sep 2021 10:40 in Small Business Hacks
by Zainab Sohangpurwala

Are you confused on whether you should conduct your business via a website or a physical store? Read along to know the pros and cons of selling via a website store and decide for yourself which business model suits your brand!

A lot of small businesses, as well as big brands and companies, have started their online website stores to take their brand to the virtual platform.


Especially during the pandemic when it was impossible to go out shopping, many brands started their website stores to sell their products. 


Various companies just sell via a website and do not have a physical store for their brand.


Are you starting your business and wondering which is the best means to conduct it?
Whether you should start a website for yourself or not?


Then here is a detailed pros and cons list of selling via a website store and not a physical one for you that will help you in your decision making.


Pros of selling via a website 


1. Less investment - Conducting business via a website requires very little investment. You can set up your business website for FREE using website builder like BUDO. If you want to set up a online store you can make that for FREE using online store builder like NINJIN.

For starting a physical store you’ll have to invest in a shop or a store in a mall and pay monthly rent. But on an online website all, you’ll have to invest is your time, creative skills, and a small amount of money if you’d like to have a premium version of the software.

This will help you save a lot of money that you can invest in your product.


2.Cheaper than a physical store - the cost of making a website is quite cheaper in front of setting up a physical store. The maintenance of a website is a nominal expense and you can do it yourself too.

Whereas in a physical store you’ll have to purchase boards, mannequins, furniture, and other required infrastructure. You’ll also have to hire an interior designer to help you make your store.

Hence the cost of making a store and maintaining it is much higher than a website store.


3. Less staff - in a physical store you need to hire more staff. Several salesmen, cashiers, managers, and maintenance staff are needed. Whereas in an online store you need a smaller staff. Some people are required to manage the website and others deal with inventory, packaging, and customer service, etc. 

Hence you'll save up on salary payments too. Moreover the smaller the staff the easier it is to manage them.


4. Wider audience - If you own a physical store people living near your store are the target audience. They are more likely to visit your store and purchase from it. People living in that city are also likely to visit and purchase.

But if you own a website store your audience is the entire country. If you ship worldwide then the entire world is your audience. People from anywhere across the world can order from you and you can deliver your products to them at their doorstep.

The convenience of online shopping attracts many customers. Hence all you have to do is market your brand so that whenever somebody wants to buy a product your brand comes to their mind. 

A physical store geographically limits your brand whereas a website store removes all geographical boundaries for your brand. 


5. More attention can be given to product designing- as you don't have to manage a store you can dedicate your time to product designing, online marketing strategies, product photography, and other aspects of your business. 


Cons of selling via a website store


1. No schedules - in a store there is a fixed time where one has to work. But in a website store, the work goes on 24/7. Your shop never closes. So you have to work all the time so that the customers can purchase without any issues.


2. Cannot see or touch the actual product- in a store you can see, feel and even try out the product before purchasing it. But in an online store that's not possible.

One can only see the product via photographs. Some people do not trust photographs and want to feel the product before buying it. Hence that section of the population is not tilted towards online shopping. 


3. Websites can crash due to heavy traffic - if you have a huge sale your website store might crash due to heavy traffic. Payments may get refunded, orders might be rejected, or the website might not load.

This issue can be solved with technical assistance.


4. No face-to-face interaction - in a store your salesman can have a face-to-face interaction with the customers and can convince them to buy your product or can suggest them other products. 


This cannot be done in an online mode. If the product sits with the customer's needs they might buy it or they might get distracted and not buy from you and buy from your competitors. You cannot talk and convince them to buy. 


In conclusion, I'd like to say that selling via websites is the upcoming business strategy. It has various advantages but also has a few disadvantages. The best form of business would be having a store as well as a website for it. Hence conducting business via both means will boost your sales. It will be the best of both worlds.


About the author

Zainab Sohangpurwala     
Passionate about helping companies grow their business via content marketing.

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