Should You Start An E-Commerce Store Or Brick And Mortar?

If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and are looking to get into retail you have a couple of options. The first one most people think of is to open a traditional store. But, you also have the option of opening an e-commerce store?

Which one is better? They both have pros and cons so you have to really understand the finer points of both to be able to decide which works for you. There isn’t a one size fits all scenario involved. In this article, we will take a closer look at each option so you can make an informed decision. 

E-commerce pros and cons

An e-commerce store has the power to reach customers not just in one city or country, but across the globe. It’s like opening your shop’s doors to the entire world. And the best part is this door never closes. Your online store remains accessible every hour of the day, every day of the year, making it convenient for customers from different time zones to shop at their leisure.

Starting an online store typically requires a smaller investment than a physical storefront. There’s no need for a prime retail location, elaborate store setups, or even a large staff initially. All you need is to sign up for a premium e-commerce platform like this one on which to build your store. Maintenance costs can also be lower since you don’t have to worry about rent, utilities, and other overheads associated with physical locations.

There are some disadvantages, however. Namely competition. There’s always another website just a click away for customers since the barrier to entry is so low. 

Running an online store also comes with its share of technical challenges. Websites can crash, payment gateways might fail, and glitches can interrupt the shopping experience. Building trust is more difficult since a website is mainly faceless and your brand may not be familiar to people. 

Brick and Mortar pros and cons

Brick and mortar stores have been the backbone of retail for centuries, and there are strong reasons why they have stood the test of time. One of the main attractions of physical stores is the tangible shopping experience they provide. Customers can touch, try on, and immediately assess products, something that online shopping can’t replicate. 

Owners can also get a lot of useful information in real time since they are in the presence of their customers and can ask questions. This builds trust with customers since they feel heard. In addition to that, having a store in a physical location provides undeniable brand visibility within that community. 

One of the most apparent challenges is the overhead cost. Rent for a prime location, utilities, interior design, staff salaries, and other recurring expenses can be substantial. These costs are paid even before a single sale is made. 

Another negative factor is geography. You can only service an area that is limited to the people willing to travel to you. Your market is limited so revenue is also.