Online web store or some physical stores?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Ethan2, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Ethan2

    Ethan2
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    Hi everyone in BAF, I have a proposal that open a store to sell hi-tech toys for children Cali. However, now I am hesitating between 2 options: Launching a online webstore or some physical stores. Any one here has experience in launching a business like this? What is advantages and disadvantages of each choice? What about cost, management, service, ...
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. manishsqrt

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    It depends on what is the situation of your target location, let me tell with an example, i also thought of starting an online grocery store last year, but due to limited budget i was targetting it only in my nearby location(25 km radius from my office)because the delivery was a hassle as grocery items are bulky, but then i did a research in my target location and found that there were around 1000 physical grocery stores within, so i dropped the idea, because people are more comfortable with the goods value when they can weigh it up in there hand, touch it and feel it, images dont give that feeling, but i will like to add that online business is growing day by day, it will take some time but will work some day but not immediately, you should think of long time investment and go slow.
     
  3. Chris_Tax

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    Either way you go you need to offer a product that stand out. You should not be selling what others are selling. Too many failed businesses do not address this
     
  4. James4

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    If you have good budget and also have experience in marketing field then i think both the options are good.
    But sounds seems you have not any idea about the budget, managing, maintaining, and other services. So... Firstly you need to analysis your cost and other programs like market research, relationship etc. Take advice from your folks how have experienced in the field. Then take the decision.
     
  5. 60degreeDigital

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    Advantage to making your Business online is that you don't need to have a physical store. This would save your many expenses. But, though you need to have a good website with a very fine lay out.Along with this, you need to have a good inventory store and a very fine courier service.

    For Physical store, advantage is that you can have direct client interaction. You would be able to understand their needs, their valuable feedbacks, their experiences with the products & most importantly, whether the client is satisfied with your services or not.
     
  6. avillasage

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    Having a physical store is better because you can sell your stuff directly for who can walk in buyers of your shop, but if you have an online shop is too much better, because you can market your stuff properly, you can sell your item worldwide via shipping. Based on my expirience.
     
  7. chad23

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    Before opening the store whether it will be a web store or some physical stores, you need to think carefully about your business plan, loyal pricing policy and to choose quality products for sale. If your product is high quality, it will be in demand in any case. As for the costs for building online businesses I think your expenses for purchase of the domain, hosting, site promotion and advertising will pay off faster than the cost of room rental, purchase of necessary equipment, staff salaries and others.
     
  8. Damien Lee

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    I've got plenty of experience with brick and mortar retail businesses. I would only recommend this avenue if you've got sufficient capital on hand. It's high-risk and high-stress and the failure rate is high, especially in this tough global economy. I think having an online strategy as well makes sense, especially with the type of product you're dealing with. But if you focus on the one, you'll likely be weak on the other. I don't recommend that small businesses should try to be a jack of all trades, it's better to focus on one thing but do it well.
     
  9. pwarbi

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    In this day and age, I think the first step of any business needs to be to have a solid online system set up. It's low cost, and gets your product noticed by a vast amount of potential customers world wide.

    While there a obviously nothing wrong with shop based business, many companies are ditching their bricks and mortar outlets ond focusing on the internet side of their business, so that should tell you something.
     
  10. Nox

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    The one area of business that in my experienced has thrived the most using online stores, would be technology. Other products meet substantially more resistance with this type of selling strategy. Start-up costs are significantly lower when it comes to settling up an online store versus a physical store. You will have easier access to customer for research purposes if you use an online store as a selling point. Funds that would have been spent on rent and aesthetics can be spend on marketing, or on the growth of your products or business model, should you go the online route. I have a friend who has recently started selling his own line of hand bags and I cannot emphasise enough how much having access to a wider target audience has benefited his early cash flows.


    Obviously there are several factors that may be unique to your situation that could make an online store less suited for the products you want to sell. If you already have a specific group you are targeting and that group is within your locale, then for purposes of maintain customer relations, physical stores may be a better option. Another very important factor would be the ease of use of the products; if there are some complexities to the products, then having a physical store, where the use of the toys can be demonstrated would be completely invaluable.
     
  11. dyanmarie25

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    If you have the money for it, I would go for physical stores. But yeah, it is a big risk since it requires huge investment. Why don't you just try creating an online store, and if it becomes really successful, that's when you take your business to the next level and open a physical store. Anyway, best of luck with that! :)
     
  12. CashAware

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    I do not think it is true. The only thing needed is a unique advantage at the target or the location that attract people. It's not especially products. If you organize better products and do a nicer store, people can choose to come to your store instead of the other, even if you find the same things.

    I agree with that, really.

    I agree with that as well.

    Let's come to my own advice now: the fact is should target local does matter, but only a bit. You can geographically restrict your website and your clients will be happy as well, because they know straight if it works for them or not. In my opinion, it depends more of who you target. The more you target people that doesn't use smartphones and computers, the more you should go straight to physical stores. But you should also if technically-aware people still buy the category of goods you will provide via physical stores (changing habits is hard, hard, hard). Otherwise, go online and make it nice.

    What you should remember is that the up front cost of a online store is little comparing the physical stores, so the risk is pretty less high. You can always start with online, see if it works and if it works, trigger a better, costly redesign that you couldn't afford first. Otherwise, go physical?
     
  13. MyDigitalpoint

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    Most of the above posts have covered what are the advantages and disadvantages of an online store versus a brick and mortar store.

    However I will add that when the choice is for a physical store, having a complementary online stores does not hurt and helps to remain competitive, while broad your opportunities to make sales.

    On the other hand, having a product that stands out is a plus, not necessary really, but if you have one this is a great advantage... or disadvantage because when the whole world seems to be looking to buy chocolates and you are offering caramel, you need to give them arguments on why they should better buy caramel, or buy both of them.

    This is obviously achieved through advertising to create (or turn on) the need to get what you are offering for sale.
     
  14. Corzhens

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    My suggestion would be to have both - a physical store and an online store. The physical store will cater to the public that inhabits your area while the online store would be on the delivery system for online clients. For a new business, advertising is a necessity unless you have the so called support group like a big circle of friends and relatives who would patronize your store upon short notice.
     
  15. m0n2k

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    If you can do both that would be great. The advantage of a online store is residual income, but there's a disadvantage if you can't get customers. having a physical store has it's advantages as far as interacting with real potential customers. The only disadvantage of a physical store is more work. Doing both is the best way. You can gain customers in a flee market or physical store, and hand them a business card referring them to your web site. Once you get enough online customers, you can cut back on all the physical work.
     
  16. Winterybella

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    What resources do you have available to you? Are they unlimited? I have had a physical store for more than 20 years. Twenty years down the road, I am regretting that I did not invest in an online store. So many questions need to be asked here. Is it a store where you will incur very high overheads? Is there a demand for your product? Who will you be targeting: local or international buyers? Your marketing research should be able to answer all those questions.

    With what I know now, both can work well together if there is a proper plan in place and sound financial footing. Still I think in most cases one should precede the other.
     
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