Why It Is Important for Brick-And-Mortar Stores to Create Online Versions of Their Stores in The Digital Age

Nowadays, anything can be sold over the Internet. In 2015, total retail ecommerce sales reached $27.726 trillion, and double digit growth is expected to continue through 2020. While traditional brick-and-mortar stores are better for some type of businesses, one should never ignore the opportunity to sell products and services online.

Either an addition to a physical store or a main source of sales, an online store expands the presence of your business. Should you create it?

Consider the following reasons.

Potential Customer Reach

This is the most important advantage of having an online store. A website allows to reach much more people than you would have reached with a physical store. For example, if you have a physical store, the number of your potential customers is limited to the area of its location. On the other hand, more than three billion people use the Internet. You get the idea.

Lower Costs

Any owner of a physical store knows they have to pay thousands of dollars every year to cover all expenses, including insurance, property tax, rent, and utility expenses. Moreover, a number of employees should be hired to communicate with the customers, handle delivery, accounting, and other things.

An online store, however, has lower costs. For example, some of the expenses such as rent and property tax, are excluded at all. Of course, there are still some areas that need to be covered, including hosting for the website and security. However, the total cost of setting up an online store is much lower compared to a physical store.

For example, a typical startupper can expect to pay between $4,000 and $8,000 to get an online business running. This is a fraction of the costs of a physical store that is also susceptible to a number of out of the ordinary events that could increase the costs such as damage, extra employees, and utilities.

Accessibility

A typical store in a mall works during business hours. As the result, some people cannot visit it and have to wait until a weekend. On the other hand, an online store is easily accessible because it works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Of course, if you order something at 3 am in the morning, nobody is going to call you to confirm but this proves the point.

Given that your online store is accessible around the clock, the people can make a purchase from anywhere they want, when they want.

Easy Changes

An online store allows to make changes on the go while a physical store provides some difficulties with that. For example, if you’re organizing a sale and need to lower the price of a product, you can simply change it in the admin panel, which takes a minute.

It’s a whole other story with a traditional brick-and-mortar store. To change a price, you need to print out new tags for each product and the price of the shelf. In some cases, an inventory system might need some changes as well.

Credibility

Many ecommerce stores today promote themselves with reviews and testimonials from happy clients. For example, they provide a special section on their website where you can read about buying experiences of other people. If you think that online reviews don’t work, read below.

According to a 2014 survey completed by Deloitte, 81 percent of online shoppers regularly read reviews before making a purchase.

Deloitte survey on online shoppers attitude to online stores without customer reviews

A survey by V12 Data can be used to determine how online shoppers feel about an online store that has no reviews. The graph below shows the results.

V12 Data survey on online shoppers attitude to online stores without customer reviews
Source: V12 Data

Having reviewed the results presented by the graphs, it’s sufficient to claim that most people today search the net for a product or a service before deciding to purchase it. A lack of reviews means that no one buys from you, so online shoppers will probably go look somewhere else.

Finally, remember that people trust only those companies they have done some business successfully. By providing an excellent service to your customers, you will be reviewed well, so your reputation will grow faster.

Easier Selling

No one likes salespersons. They often get in customers’ way and push them to make a purchase. This is a wrong move that could be avoided with an online store. It allows them to shop in a comfort of their own home and make a more relaxed, informed decision. Moreover, there is no need to hire employees to be pushy salespersons.

Final Thoughts

Selling online has numerous benefits for businesses, so one should never dismiss this option. Either a main source of sales or an additional store, it can really increase your sales and improve reputation. After all, it’s the digital age now, so taking an advantage of technologies would be a smart decision.


Tom Jager is professional blogger. He works at Bestessaytips. He has degree in Law and English literature. Tom has written numerous articles/online journals. You can reach him at G+ or Facebook.

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