In many industries, retail stores are proving to be less profitable in the long run. There are many reasons for this. It could be that the cost of land is rising or that a store may prove to be too far from consumers. There are many reasons against retail stores regarding convenience and accessibility. In the past, there were no alternatives available. Consumers just accepted these stores as is due to the lack of any other option. Yet, just like the fall of DVDs, retail stores are also going on a decline. This may not be as bad as it sounds though.
Online retail stores such as Amazon have been winning over consumers for a long time. Many companies have opted to make their own online stores too. For example, Logos-pack.com is a well-known company that offers bulk baby food pouches through their own website. There are many more examples like this that have a fully functional online store. This is because of the many benefits surrounding online retail stores. Below are several of these benefits summarised to portray why businesses are shifting online.
1: More Customers
Retail stores attract consumers that are located nearby and see the store banner. More consumers can be attracted via word of mouth or marketing. Marketing in the form of newspaper advertisements or billboards. This boundary is no longer present with online stores.
With online stores, the consumer base is significantly increased. The internet is vast and has no set location to attract local consumers. The customer base extends to the entire country if not internationally. Instead of spending on newspaper advertisements, spending on online advertisements is preferred. Setting up an online store ensures that the customer pool is significantly increased. With the right advertisements, this can prove to be highly advantageous.
2: Faster And Easier Setup
When setting up a retail store, there are many variables to consider. This involves the construction team, the land to occupy, and many others. At best, it would take about a few months to get a retail store up and running. The cost incurred will also have to be earned back which may take time too.
In terms of online stores, the time taken to get up and running in a few weeks. That is if the website is being developed from scratch. The cost incurred to set up a website is also lower in comparison. Premade templates for websites can make the process faster too. There are also no complicated variables to consider. Setting up a website can be easy and hassle-free with a qualified team. There is no land to buy or market rent to consider and everything is digital.
3: Low Cost
One of the key benefits for online stores is the low cost attached. In comparison, retail stores have high costs from a lot of different aspects. The cost of land and the rent is usually the highest cost attached. Constructing near busier areas is bound to be more expensive. A high sunk cost is attached to building a retail store from the ground up.
Online stores usually have little to no cost involved. This makes them extremely affordable options for many businesses. Managing an online store has minimal fees attached to it. This means a large amount of the sunk cost is not present with these stores.
4: Data Collection
An underrated benefit of having an online store is the valuable data collection they provide. In retail stores, data can be collected via the sales for the month. This can show which products are being sold and which are shelved. Yet, this data is not very specific and leaves out a lot of information.
Online stores can provide a plethora of data to businesses. The most-searched-for terms in the store can be presented. Products that are sold the most and even products that are viewed the most can be presented. Most importantly, customers can have the option to review their products after receiving them. This can provide valuable input to the business on how to improve.
5: Niche Markets
There are many markets where the products sold are only for a targeted audience. Retail stores may prove to gather less profit as there is a smaller customer pool available. For example, a store selling Can Packaging Machines may be less successful than a website.
Online retail stores will guarantee sales in a way. Consumers in the search for these niche products will likely search for them online first. This ensures websites like yours will be the first thing they see. If they see the option to purchase these products online, they may not bother going to stores. This makes online websites significantly better than retail stores for Niche markets.
6: Inventory Holding
Retail stores have to always have inventory on hand. This may mean keeping the products that do not do well too. This can prove to be less profitable when stores are in an area with high competition. Many of that inventory may not be sold and the cost of holding it increases too.
Online stores can choose to hold inventory based on their orders. This can prove to be very advantageous as no inventory holding costs will have been incurred. Consumers are already expecting to wait to receive their product. For example, instead of holding glass containers, ordering them based on a sale will be better.
Online stores are well on their way to becoming the primary method of sales. They are convenient, accessible, and beneficial in many ways. That is not to say that retail stores are obsolete. A hybrid system of online and physical retail stores is the way to go in today’s world. The benefits of both combined lead to a greater number of sales and faster delivery times. A future where online stores take over retail ones is not that far.