Retail Stores vs. Online Stores

Retail Stores vs. Online Stores

Are retail stores really dying? 

To a lot of people, online stores are taking over while the brick and mortar stores are diminishing. This may not be exactly so.

You may then ask: Which of the two models should I use to grow my retail business? You will find the answer in a moment.

The fact is that both business models have their highs and lows. So let’s quickly look at the benefits of both systems.

Advantages of operating a retail store

  • You will have fewer cases of returned/rejected items – The number of returned or rejected goods will be low since your customers have access to physically examine the products before making payments.
  • Easy to manage disputes – You can easily handle disputes over pricing, packaging, or product quality because all parties involved can relate to each other one on one.
  • You can leverage the reputation of your shop – If you have built your business based on competence and reliability, you can leverage your reputation to maintain consistency and growth. 

Advantages of operating an online store

  • It is easy to set up – Starting an online store does not require as much money and energy that would be needed to start a brick and mortar store.
  • It is easy to operate – Online stores are usually automated. It means that you do not have to put in much time and effort in rearranging the shelves often.
  • Provides convenience for your customers – Your customers do not have to worry about parking spaces, shopping carts, and bad weather. It is also easier for them to make selections with a few clicks.

However, there are also problems with both models of retailing. The retail stores face the following challenges.

  • It takes many man-hours to operate.
  • It requires much effort for the cleaning and movement of goods and merchandise.
  • It may likely require a higher number of people to run.

On the other hand, online stores are faced with the following challenges.

  • High cases of rejection may arise when there are new and unpopular products on display.
  • In cases where there is a high volume of rejection or disputes, management of returns can become a problem.
  • Online stores easily become a target for social media backlash. Even after the issues have been resolved, it may not be as easy to win back public confidence because bad news spreads extremely fast online.

Now, it might interest you to know that despite the disruption caused by covid-19 in 2020, more goods are still being sold through retail stores than online stores. The brick and mortar stores aren’t going away any time soon. It is also clear that online retailing has come to stay.

My suggestion is this. Do both models. If you want your retail store to remain relevant, create a website for your business. Your website will take care of the need of consumers who may prefer to make purchases online. But realize, that both business models, are truly each a full-time job.

This step will prepare you for an emergency such as the Covid-19 lockdown, but it will also bring in more income for you.

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