Are you in dilemma on what kind of business you want to get into? That is, you can’t decide between online and offline business? Don’t panic. Here are the three things you should know before you realize which option will work better for you.
Establishing an online business is usually less expensive and also easier to operate. This is because online businesses does not always require a large amount of capital for inventory. They could resell other companies’ products (dropshipping) for a start, which does not require large starting capital.
In the case of offline businesses, however, starting out can be very costly as business is required to have a substantial initial investment for equipment, renting premises, hiring human resources, storage, operating cost, etc.
A physical business is usually limited to particular geographical locations, and, in most cases, it only operates within fixed hours. This means that potential customers will have to travel miles or wait for you to open the business for them.
On the other hand, online businesses like Amazon, Shopping.fm and the likes operate 24 hours/day, which can only bring better sales rate than that of offline business.
However, the downside of online businesses is that consumers will expect you to be always available, which means you will have less time for breaks unless you hire a personal assistant to help you out. Here is the catch: the smaller the business, the less likely you are to get some time to enjoy road trips or family vacations.
Most people prefer offline businesses because it’s safer. Customers don’t have to worry about being conned as they have all the time to visit store and inspect the products before buying them. This is a major plus for business owners as they have a location that customers can refer their friends and families to.
As for online business, trust is a significant issue. There have been numerous reports of people getting scammed by cunning merchants.
Additional reasons for avoiding online shopping might include:
Customers are not sure whether the business actually exists and if it will actually send the ordered products.
Customers fear business might fail to refund their money in case they find products are not what they were looking for.
To convince customers not to fear your online business, you should have a customer-business platform where you transparently engage with them and solve problems. This will also help the business to gain endorsements and positive feedback.
So, which one is better? Online business or a physical shop?
Both are acceptable! Some companies can do well online while others just can’t. But with an online business that has also a physical presence, it is a lot easier to cover a larger global audience.