When brick and mortar stores going online, they can choose different directions of own business. Web space can offer a wide range of opportunities to provide the result for merchants and most of them depend on a choice of a certain form of future existence. There are the most popular types of online stores with explanations:
- General Marketplace
Space, where it is possible to use all the benefits of online shopping: including merchant tools for smart-choice etc. Always presented on public platforms, as the personal store, or on own website. In most cases concentrates attention on a certain group of goods. The most popular and profitable way in brick and mortar stores going online direction.
- Auction Marketplace
Place, where customers can use special shopping rules, which can provide an auction form of deals.
- Social Media (networks)
Stores on the basis of network’s environment. Such kind of business depends on additional tools connection, because of the equipment lack.
Space, where the customer can find a wide range of goods on the own store’s platform.
Another one common way of online commerce is a template-based online store. It is a kind of typical constructor with own theme, which merchant choose as the main line of own business.
Software for online stores
Online store can’t exist without professional software. Its quality brings the opportunity to keep your business growth. It is possible to separate best programs by groups, which includes:
- payments processing.
Every one of them is very important in brick and mortar stores going online direction, as the platform for future work.
There are top-5 best solutions for storage and finances:
- Quickbooks – smart&simple system for small business.
- J2Store – simple design. For newcomers who want to keep small business under the control.
- Quicken – for someone who wants to get detailed information about own financial situation. Useful in a high volume of sale cases.
- Intuit Online Payroll – service that can provide all important tools to control storage and financial side of any size business.
- InnStock – flexible cloud-based service for a merchant who wants to control business in 24/7 mode.
Top-5 solutions for cms:
- Shopify – complex solution for small and medium business control.
- Magento – fits any size business, can be customized for any eCommerce need.
- WooCommerce – simple solution for worldwide website managing (includes live online support services for customers, that makes it perfect for newcomers).
- BigCommerce – has wide integration opportunities with other platforms, but it should be chosen only by professionals because it would be not easy to transfer ready business on another service (in case if everything was already built on BigCommerce).
- Jekyll – new approach of cms for someone who is looking for special solutions.
Top-5 solutions for payments processing:
- Dharma Merchant Services – for small business with high ambitions (and high volume of sales).
- PayPal – for small business with a low volume of sales (nice for expensive goods).
- Square – for business which concentrates attention on mobile sales.
- Payline Data – high-risks business.
- National Processing – for business with wide geography.
Brick and mortar stores going online: 15 advantages of web space
- Low rent price
When you work online, there is no need to rent a large space. As the result, it is possible to destroy such kind of markups and make the prices being lower. Such approach is a good chance to poach customers from your competitors. It brings an opportunity to concentrate attention on something really important, – for example on the client’s service, as the additional way to make business better.
- Launch speed
There are no such difficulties in physical turf, which could be compared with offline store opening. It means that it is possible to use own resources to encourage speed of launch. Most of the questions could be solved online by the distance – there is no need to communicate with people in real life, no line of merchants who want to get the same options from the only one available window.
It brings another one perfect opportunity – to create own plan of realization with limits and personal timeline. Own plan and self-control is something that creates comfortable conditions for business. This is one of the most important physical store vs online store advantage.
- Audience coverage
The Internet can help to cover people of all age categories. The thing is that there is one popular wild-guess which says that online store could be concentrated only on middle-aged people and young men. The truth is that society already understood the game rules, which always brings additional discounts in case if we talking about a comfortable and effective web way of goods realization. That is why wondering of a good deal, most customers use their opportunity to order everything they need in the web, makes brick and mortar stores going online.
Offline store depends on a rent territory. In case if it has a lack – there is no opportunity to store a wide range of goods. As the result, it can’t offer them to own customers, because, in case if order was made, it would be important to provide the real information about its quality, delivery speed etc. When all the process depends on the line of relationships between provider and store, it is impossible to display the real data with the guarantee.
In the online store case it is possible to offer an unlimited quantity of goods just because of the wide web space. At the same time people, who want to order something online, understand that the delivery could take a time and they already accepted the fact that they should wait. Low price, which is available just because of the destroyed rent markups, makes them being more patient.
- Low transaction costs
The online store can choose the best way to provide financial relationships with own clients. It is possible to accept all available tools: even cryptocurrencies. It means that it brings a kind of freedom and independence from the financial equipment. At the same time, low costs make customers being more attentive in a field of using an opportunity to save their money. As the result, it brings double profit: economy and comfort (because online payments have a wider range of flexible settings that makes them easier).
- Time economy
It is possible to create a personal offer for every customer. The thing is that online store can provide the best consulting options ever just on a platform of previous experience, saved settings and other tools.
The merchant can use cookie as the raw material for analysis and combine the groups of own goods which could be interesting for every single customer. It brings an amazing opportunity of the time economy. They would be hidden under the surface of positive emotions which buyer can get from the situation when he took everything he wants from the first try without exhausting shopping.
It creates the positive emotion’s connection and a kind of psychological anchor – customer in a subconsciously way will understand that this online store can save his time and bring an opportunity to get goods without efforts. This is another one good reason that makes brick and mortar stores going online.
- Smart choice system
Offline store consultant can’t get useful information about customer’s taste just on the basis of visual observation. At the same time, the online store can use previous web search data to offer the best way of shopping.
It is possible to make platform remember visitor’s activity, and even compare it with other data to combine fresh ideas and display something that can make customer being interested. As the result, shopping would look like a miracle – everything customer even never thought about (but smart analysis shows that it is something he needs), could appear in a perfect time.
This opportunity is a good engine of sales because the smart choice system creates an additional way to distribute more goods.
- Wide geographic
The opportunity to connect own online service with transfer and logistic companies brings a way to realize cross-border sales. It is possible to use the same options in the offline store case, but in that version, a customer can’t be informed with that data 24/7.
The chance to make own business geographic wider could save the business in crisis time. The thing is that most of the local merchants in the native region can’t even imagine the real hype of attention which could appear in other countries.
- Low risks
The online store launch depends on a fewer money amount. At the same time, there are no difficulties with rent agreements etc. It means that even in the case when merchant by some random reasons decided to close own store, it brings fewer problems. The ease of the process creates a support of low risks and makes brick and mortar stores going online.
- The different volume of sales
It is possible to change the actual volume of sales in both sides: increasing, decreasing. The decision shouldn’t be linked to the actual storage options. The online version can offer fast growth, which would be possible to provide just by customer number increasing and a new agreement with providers.
- Control on distance
It doesn’t matter where merchant situates – he always could have an access to control own online store. It is the easiest form of business because all the information displays in already calculated data. Even team control could be done on distance. It brings the spirit of freedom.
- Promotion costs
Create fast distribution online is much easier because targeting brings an opportunity to observe the real goals before promotion launching. It is possible to find own customers on the basis of available data and use their preferences as the main line of presentation.
The devil is in the detail – this phrase means a lot in business. The thing is that self-control can’t offer the same quality with the automatic system, which keeps every piece of data and mixes them up in a goal to display the real situation. Online store business can forget about boring calculations because now this work belongs to the machines and algorithms.
- Simple analytics
When all data about efficiency is available, it is possible to earn own conclusions and fix the mistakes. As the result, the online business can grow faster and be stronger.
- Profitable presentation
Online product presentation can light best sides in a goal to make the presentation better. Of course, the created advertisement should offer a real product without glossing over, but at the same time, good light on a picture and other tiny tweaks can show to your customer how this object can look like in the best way. It makes brick and mortar vs online business comparison brighter.