When the time comes to get that new shop up and running there are a multitude of very important decisions that need to be made, regarding where you are locating the new business, what you are going to offer your customers in the way of products, how are you going to finance the new operation, how many staff members do you need etc.
First of all you need to weigh up the pros and cons of running a physical shop verses running an online shop or combing the best of both worlds and running a hybrid consisting of both systems.
Traditionally all shops have been started by renting out a premises some where in a city and in a location where there is plenty of foot traffic walking past the shop front, but with the growth of internet users over the last couple of decades all this has changed, now days over ninety percent of the population have shopped online at some time for a product that they needed and if you are starting a new online shop that is a huge number of potential customers.
With a physical shop customers can feel more relaxed about buying a product, they can enter the store and look around and browse for something that they need and they can pick up the product and see the quality before they purchase.
With an online store they do not have this reassurance and can only rely on what other people say through product reviews and recommendations, and the only time that they can see what they have brought is when there package is delivered to there door, if you are considering opening an online shop one effective way to get started is with Shopify or you can read our independent Shopify revew.
Buying online gives the customer a far greater choice of what they can purchase and where they can purchase from, Google search gives shoppers the opportunity to shop at a faster rate than they can with just walking around different shops, they can compare prices easy and book mark a store then return later if needed, they can easily ask the online shop any questions they have, and online shopping gives customers time to relax and shop at there own pace.
When a customers needs to buy an expensive item they are more reasured when they buy from a retail shop, they can talk to the shop owner directly about any concerns they may have about the product and they can inspect the product themselves before they make a decission to buy or not to buy.
Cost wise it can certainly be more cost effective to start an online store as there fewer overheads, particularly if you can run the store from home, however this is not always feasible with all online stores, when you are importing goods to sell online you are going to need a warehouse to store the goods in and saff to dispatch the goods when they are sold, so you need to carefully weigh up the costs, some shops run a physical store as well as running an online store this can certainly be good for business but will generate a lot of extra work for you and your staff.
Marketing plays a big part in the success of any store and if your customers have never seen your store you will not sell many items, with a retail shop your customer base can be limited to the local area where your shop is located, as customers are not going to travel great distances to your store to purchase goods, with an online store your customer base can be huge potentially world wide as shipping is available in many countries around the world, and you can market your online store in many more ways than you can with a retail store