Pros and cons of opening a brick and mortar store for your online business
Owning an online business can be an exciting venture; especially if your inventory has resonated with customers. If you own an online business that has seen great success, you may have contemplated expanding your business into a brick and mortar store. This can translate into new opportunities for your business; additional sales, more visibility and an overall successful business.
Of course, expanding to a physical establishment is not the right decision for every business. In this post, we’ll detail the pros and cons of opening a brick and mortar store, so that you can determine if it is the right move for you.
Pro: You’ll form personal relationships with customers
When running an online business, most of your customer communication is completed online or over the phone. This doesn’t always allow you to connect with customers the way that you might want to. That’s why expanding into brick and mortar retail can be valuable. Having a storefront for customers to visit will allow you to form relationships with these patrons. In turn, they may be more likely to become loyal customers!
Con: You’ll need to hire in-store employees
Once you open a brick and mortar store, you’ll need to hire additional employees. While you may already have staff that works on your online business, you won’t want to decrease these efforts. You may also need employees with different skill sets, since working in a physical store requires other abilities. By hiring more employees, you’ll need to have more cash available for payroll costs. Prior to recruiting new staff members, you should review your budget and verify whether your business can afford this.
Pro: You’ll make additional sales
Since you’ll be providing customers with another opportunity to purchase your inventory, you’ll generate more sales. You’ll likely gain new customers, or patrons who may have heard of your business but aren’t keen on online shopping. If you’re serious about growing your business, having a brick and mortar store will allow you to have two different ways to sell your products.
Con: You’ll have extra bills to pay
Although the extra sales will be beneficial to your business, opening a brick and mortar store will also increase your monthly bills. These costs could be rent, inventory, electric, property tax, among other expenses. Before you take the leap and open a brick and mortar store, ensure that your business will be able to sustain itself while paying these bills.
Pro: Customers can see inventory in-person
While shopping online has its benefits, such as convenience, purchasing items in-person also has its perks. Some shoppers may prefer to physically see items prior to making a purchase. That’s why you should advertise that your online business has expanded into brick and mortar retail, so uncertain customers can come see your inventory for themselves! Plus, you may have less returns since people can see what they are purchasing prior to buying it.
Con: You may have less time to dedicate to your online store
Since you’ll be focusing on brick and mortar retail, you may find yourself neglecting your online business. If your online store has proven to be lucrative, you shouldn’t completely abandon this operation. Remember how your business began, and aim to put equal effort into your online and brick and mortar stores.