Hey there, if you are thinking about stepping into the world of business offline to online, then there must be billions of questions running through your mind. There isn’t a perfect guide which can give you an answer to your every question. But, here we would like to answer one of the most important business questions you are facing.
Offline Vs Online Business
Nobody can deny the fact that there are benefits to each model. If you stay local then it is easy to build a relation with your customers and chances of their returning back to your store for more products and services will increase. Hence retention rate increases. You most probably get a customer for a lifetime. Although choosing online business models gives you much more reach then you can possibly have with just a physical store.
Comparison between E-commerce and Retails sales between 2017 – 2019 in United States
This sales trend has been the same since the 2010.
Let’s take a look at benefits of both Offline to Online
Advantages of Offline business
- No wait for delivery or products
- Ability to physically explore the products i.e touch, smell or feel
- Providing in house experts to understand and provide solutions to customers
- You get to celebrate and put up displays of whats new and real time purchase
- Shopping becomes a experience for customers in your store and they will return back
- Easy payment options like cash or Credit / Debit card
- Try before you buy
- People buy more then what they need in physical store more
- No shipping cost so cost be can lowered to some extent
- Returning a product is much easier to explain
Hence, when it comes to offline to online, a local business can focus on the service and local buyers to keep itself in business for a long time. They build a relationship, give great customer service, and are the owner of their decisions.
The fact that offline shops still have a humongous market share in the industry gives out a clear sign that shopping is not limited to need but an experience in which customers like to feel and live as an activity.
An offline shop might lack online visibility which can guarantee more sales but their retention rate of customers is higher online stores. You can always have a team working on generating more leads for your business if you want to keep an online and offline mix kind of business model.
Advantages of online business
If you want to focus on keeping your open 24*7 so that you make money even while sleeping an online store is your go-to strategy between offline to online business. There are many benefits of online business over a traditional business. Some of the benefits are following –
- World wide audience
- Visibility for the customers for easier access
- Promotions activities that are targeted and can be tracked easily
- Less involvement of human and decreasing chances of mistakes
- Improving customer experience by asking feedback
- Better competitors understanding
Having a traditional store limit your audience to the local population but online stores don’t have that limitation. You are open 24*7 and can have your store in the USA and sell your product to a person sitting in another country. Online stores increase your chances of having a huge base of customer and increasing your revenue that you have only dream about. The physical barriers reduce with having online stores.
Visibility via Google Ads
Ability to run ads make sure that people who are not aware of your online business can be shown adds and convert into a paying customers. Google Ads has been a source of lead generation and new business for many companies and online business.
Promotions and offers
Another, great activity for increasing sales is to run offers on your website. You can have an end of season sale or a festive sales. All you need to do is to put up banners on your website, send email notifications to your already customers and give them a coupon code to buy with discount offers. Companies have seen huge increase in sales with activities like email marketing for sales.
Competitor analysis and Consumer Feedback
Moreover, you can always keep an eye on your competitors and see what they are planning and executing. It is always a great way to know what should be your next step for promoting your online business.
Along with promotions, you can also run feedback campaigns and see what the audience has to say about your store. If they find what they were looking for and what’s stopping them from buying.
The requirement of an online business model requires things like –
Requirement for online business
- A web address
- Professional Email for business communication
- Website ( E-Commerce website)
- A Digital Marketing Team
- Tie up with shipping company
- Payment gateway methods
- Return policy
The above mentioned requirements are just a few to start with offline to online business.
A web address
A web address like .com vs .net vs .org is your first requirement for your online business. You should pick a domain name that is easy to remember for people. A right domain name can represent your brand or give you a unique identity for your business. For ex: good domain name will sound like fruitseller . com and the bad thought domain name will sound something like fruit-seller23 . xyz.
Professional email for business communications
The next part is to concentrate on business communications. After adopting online business, communication over email will be the most easiest way to communicate with customer or business associates/vendors. Having a professional domain-specific email address increases the trust of your partners and customers.
A website or E-commerce store
The third part has a website for your business. The website will be your online store where you will list down products and offers that you are willing to sell. The website will have categories, new launches, offers, discounts, and whatnot. It will be your one-stop destination whenever any customer requires any information about products.
Digital Marketing Team
The online world is full of competition. Every business want to land on the first of Google search results for maximum users to visit their website. But, it is easy said then done. To attract more visitors to your website you need to follow and implement digital marketing strategies.
You will need to perform SEO for your website, run Google Ad-words campaign, Social media presence, and engage with other websites. Just by having a website for your online store is not going to provide you sales. Search for a good digital marketing service and take their services to rank your website.
After users buy any product you will need to ship the product to their buyers. In this case you can take help of shipping services providing companies
Return and other policies
Moreover, you will also need to set up a return policy so that people can develop a trust on your website. Studies have shown that website which provides full return have higher conversions of visitors in customers.
In the end, if you want to focus on your local customer because you sell something which can’t be transported then offline business or physical store is the right choice. But, if you have a line of products that can be sent over parcel to all over the world then you should focus on having a online business.
It also makes sense to have a mix kind of business models where you maintain both an online website and offline physical store.
Let us know in the comment section what you think is the right approach for you and what works for you.