In today’s world, the way we do business is changing. No longer is there a one-size-fits-all approach; rather, companies have lots of different options when it comes to the way they market and structure themselves. while some stick to more traditional business models, setting up stores and/or opening offices, others prefer to exist solely online. With no bricks-and-mortar premises at all, their customers are only able to access their products and services and connect with them via the internet.This poses an important question for fledgling companies: which of the two is better for your business? If you’re struggling to make that decision, here are a few pertinent points to be aware of.
The advantages of eCommerce
The number of enterprises that exist solely online is growing year by year, with many of them being ambitious new companies with their eyes set on expansion. Choosing to conserve their resources and widen their reach, they often opt for an eCommerce-oriented business model. One of the reasons for this is that it hugely increases the audience they have access to. To understand this, think about it this way: when you open a store, your customers will nearly all come from a certain geographical area, with the majority living in very close proximity to you.when you exist online, however, people from around the country – perhaps even the world, can suddenly access your products and services, making your goals for long-term expansion a fair bit easier to achieve.
It’s also worth noting that the customer experience is very different depending on whether your business operates online or off-. While there are advantages to both models, a major upside for internet enterprises is that they can offer their buyers instant access and convenience. Rather than having to visit the store in person, potential purchasers can browse your wares at leisure, irrespective of where they are or what time it is, and this is something you can use to your advantage.The drawback to this, however, is that your online offerings need to be strong, with an easily navigable and mobile-compatible website and quick delivery available.
Online enterprises are also able to offer a much more comprehensive support package than their more-traditional counterparts. While face-to-face interaction might not be possible, websites can be outfitted with chatbots, which make it easy for customers to contact you around the clock.This strongly complements the ability to buy from you on a whim, whether during a midday break from work or in the early hours of the morning, and is something that can be used to grow your appeal as a company.
There are many other reasons why eCommerce can be a good option for your business, from lower overheads, which can help to increase profits, through to a wider audience, but one area where it cannot compete with a more traditional model is in creating an immersive buying experience.For many shoppers, going on a shopping spree is something to be enjoyed. They like to see your products laid out before them, and to have the ability to touch, examine, and compare these before they buy.If you do decide to use a more traditional approach, this is something you should embrace, creating a space that’s pleasant for your customer and that really represents your company’s aesthetic and ethos.
In addition, there are a lot of people who prefer the human interaction element of buying from a bricks-and-mortar retailer. Rather than being advise by a chatbot, they want to be able to talk to experienced professionals, who can school them on their purchases and help to create a more enjoyable shopping experience. In this sense, the value of a strong sales team should not be underestimated, and is certainly something to think about when deciding which route to go down.
Another upside to more traditional business models is the ability to benefit from opportunistic sales. Imagine, for a moment, that you own a shop in your local city centre. You’ll choose this space with exceptional care, bearing in mind its location, aesthetic appeal, and ability to showcase your products. Once you’ve taken out a lease on it or purchased the property, you’ll renovate it with your vision in mind, before taking care of practicalities such as insuring it. The likelihood is that you’ll shop for your coverage online, in order to find a tailored solution that can keep you, your company, and your customers protected.
The reason for all of this hard work? Because you want to create a safe and pleasant space to attract your customers, including those who are only passing. This is an upside that eCommerce shops do not benefit from, very rarely being discover by anyone who is not specifically looking for the service or product they sell.When it comes to picking the best business model for your startup, it very much depends on what you’re selling and what your ambitions are for the future. While both options can work well, it’s about deciding which of these upsides would offer the biggest advantage to your particular venture. so what’s it to be: a budding bricks-and-mortar business or an aspiring eCommerce enterprise? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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