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Advantages of Online Stores Over Retail Stores

With the growing popularity & success of online stores, eCommerce is becoming an important choice for all businesses who want to multiply their profits. And why not,eCommerce business/online stores have several advantages over traditional retail stores.

Not only this but with the increasing demand for online purchasing by most customers today, more and more businesses are moving from brick & mortar stores to e-stores. In this blog post, we are going to point out the 9 biggest advantages of online stores over retail stores.

Online Store vs Retail Store

#1 24X7 X365 Availability

One of the biggest advantages of eCommerce websites is that they are available for the customers 24/7, throughout the year which makes it more convenient for the users to buy anytime from anywhere.In the case of traditional stores, most of them have certain opening hours and if few (very few) of them have 24/7 availability too, the customers still need to walk down to the store for their purchases.

#2 Cost Effectiveness

Ecommerce setup is definitely cost-effective when compared to those traditional retail stores. All you require to start an online store is an eCommerce website along with website hosting & domain. For eCommerce website development, the agencies would charge a one-time cost however for domain and hosting, you need to pay every year for renewal. In the case of retail stores, you need to spend a lot on setting up infrastructure and hiring manpower to operate daily activities. Other than these charges, there are several monthly overheads like rental, electricity, and so on.

#3 Reach

When it comes to reaching ability,eCommerce has no limits. One can set up an online store locally but sell their products globally. However, in the case of retail outlets, you will have to depend on the customers to come to your store and buy products from you.

#4 Getting New Customers

Through online marketing activities like search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and social media marketing, it has become easier than ever to attract new customers for your eCommerce website however in the case of physical retail outlet, there are several limitations when you run online marketing campaign for your store and you have to rely more on offline branding and promotions like billboards, flyers, etc.

#5 Customer Behaviour Analysis

With the help of several web analytics tools available, you can track the buying behavior of your customers and focus on the areas which require a higher degree of attention to improve the customers’ browsing experience however in the case of retail business, you don’t have such intelligent tools. All you can do is, just rely on your salesmen’s vague feedback to improve the customer’s experience.

#6 Information for Customers

When you run a retail outlet, you can’t provide huge information about your company & products to each customer who visits your store however in the case of eCommerce websites, you can definitely provide rich information for the customers who wish to know more about your store & products.

There are several online stores who would publish their store’s policies, history, mission, and even customers’ frequently asked questions on their eCommerce websites which helps potential customers to understand more about your products and company.

#7 Customer Reviews

It’s not a new thing in the eCommerce industry now. Most of the online stores have their existing customers’ reviews about the products that they had bought from your website in the past. These reviews help your new customers to know more about the quality & reliability of your products and it also helps to build confidence in them to buy products from your online store. Read our blog on the importance of product reviews for an eCommerce website.

#8 Scalability

When you think about expanding your retail outlet, the first few things that come across your mind are huge investment & store downtime during the renovation period. But in the case of eCommerce websites, it is very much possible to scale up the features of your online store without having any downtime which again adds another golden egg to your revenue basket because you are able to expand your business & get more sales without spending too much and having zero downtime too.

#9 Different Product Lines

When you run an online store, the sky is the limit for you to think about adding different product lines to your website. If you are not sure about this, get inspiration from eCommerce giants like Amazon and eBay.

You can also add hundreds of different product lines without any huge investment however in the case of retail outlets, you will have to arrange for a bigger space in order to accommodate different line products. For eg., if you have a retail outlet for apparel and you would like to add another section for furniture, you will have to almost double your investment and recurring costs too.

Considering the above facts, do you still think that eCommerce website setup is an additional overhead for your business to invest in? Think again.