Brick and Mortar vs Ecommerce: Pros and Cons
If you’re trying to decide whether to open a brick and mortar store or start an ecommerce business, it can be tough to know which option is right for you. There are pros and cons to brick and mortar vs ecommerce, and it’s important to understand the differences between them before making a decision.
I remember when I was first starting my business, I wasn’t sure whether I should go the brick and mortar route or start an online store. After doing some research and talking with other entrepreneurs, I decided that an ecommerce business was the best fit for me. But if you’re in a different situation, a brick and mortar store might be the better choice.
It depends on your specific products, goals, and customers. To help you make a decision, here are some of the key differences between brick and mortar vs ecommerce businesses:
Brick and Mortar vs eCommerce: Differences and Pros and Cons
When starting your own business, you’ll need to decide whether you want to start an e-commerce website, a physical storefront, or both. Which option is best for you?
In 2017, eCommerce businesses earned $453 billion while physical retailers made $3 trillion.
Ecommerce is growing three times faster than brick-and-mortar stores, but what makes it different?
Here are the pros and cons to help you decide if it’s right for your business.
It’s no secret that eCommerce and brick and mortar stores differ in a few key ways. For starters, eCommerce stores are based online, while brick and mortar stores have a physical location. This means that customers can shop at an eCommerce store from anywhere in the world, while they need to be physically present to visit a brick and mortar store.
Another key difference is in the transaction methods used. eCommerce stores typically use credit cards or other forms of online payment, while brick and mortar stores usually accept cash or check.
When it comes to customer connections, eCommerce stores typically have less personal interaction with their customers than brick and mortar stores. This is because customers are not physically present in the store, so there is no opportunity for face-to-face interactions. However, some eCommerce store owners do build personal relationships with their customers through social media or other means of communication.
Finally, marketing efforts may differ between these two types of businesses. For example, brick and mortar stores may rely heavily on local advertising, while eCommerce stores may use more global marketing strategies such as search engine optimization or pay-per-click advertising.
So, what are the pros and cons of running each type of business? Let’s take a look.
You can reach a global audience with an eCommerce store – anyone in the world with an internet connection can buy from you. This is great for businesses that sell products that appeal to a wide range of people.
No need for an expensive physical storefront – all you need is a website and somewhere to store your inventory (which could be your home!).
Open 247 – since your store is online, it can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without any extra effort on your part. Customers can shop whenever they want!
Can be harder to build personal relationships with customers – since you’re not interacting with them face-to-face, it can be difficult to build the same level of rapport as you would in a brick and mortar store.
Requires more time and effort to market effectively – reaching potential customers can be tricky if you don’t have a solid marketing strategy in place. You’ll need to put in extra effort to make sure people know about your store and what you’re selling.
Brick and Mortar Pros
Easier to build personal relationships with customers – since you’re interacting with them face-to-face, it’s easier to develop personal relationships which can lead to repeat business down the road.
Can take advantage of foot traffic – if your store is located in a busy area, you may get some customers just by being in the right place at the right time!
Brick and Mortar Cons
Limited by location – unless you have multiple locations, your customer base will be limited to those who live near your store (or are willing to travel).
Operating expenses can be high – rent, utilities, staff salaries, shipping costs, packaging costs, inventory costs…the list goes on! These costs can add up quickly, eating into your profits
Brick and Mortar vs eCommerce: Making Transactions
A few decades back, it wasn’t possible to make purchases over the internet, so people had to physically go to stores to buy things.
Ecommerce businesses, however, have an advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar shops in that they have access to more modern payment methods.
There are some advantages that brick-and-mortar stores have when it comes to payment options. For example, they can accept cash payments, which is not an option for many online stores.
While both physical and online store offers their own advantages, there are several notable differences between the two. Most notably, online retailers cannot process cash or accept checks, while brick-and-mortar retailers can.
Additionally, some shoppers have concerns regarding the security of their financial data when shopping online. However, some consumers are more comfortable paying with a credit card or PayPal account, which both protects both consumers and merchants.
Ecommerce Marketing vs. Physical Store Marketing
Ecommerce stores must rely on online marketing methods to create relationships with customers, whereas brick and mortar shops can use a variety of methods, including signage, advertising, and customer service.
Most businesses advertise their products on at least one online platform. This is usually where their customers can be found, and it’s also one of the best ways to reach a global customer base. Social media advertising is a great way to boost engagement, and it’s often more cost-effective than other forms of marketing. It does, however, take a lot of time, effort, and money, and it requires a lot of monitoring and maintenance.
While physical shops can (and should) take advantage of online advertising, they may also choose to utilize more traditional methods of promotion, such as print media and radio ads. These traditional methods are great for reaching a specific audience or region, but they can be very expensive and time-consuming.
Brick and Mortar vs eCommerce: Operating Expenses
Many people think that an e-commerce website is cheaper than a brick-and-mortar store, but that’s just not true. The costs of running an e-commerce business are just different.
Running an eCommerce website isn’t necessarily cheaper than running a traditional (physical) store. Both kinds of businesses incur the same recurring costs and just have a different format. For instance, an online shop may have web hosting, apps, shipping, and storage. A traditional shop will also have the same type of expenditures, such as renting an office space, storing inventory, paying for marketing campaigns, and hiring staff.
Why Do People Prefer to Shop Online?
The reasons why customers prefer shopping online are varied.
There are many benefits to shopping online. You can shop whenever you want, and you don’t have to worry about waiting in line or dealing with crowds of people. You can also easily compare prices between multiple stores, and some items even come with free or discounted shipping.
While online shopping is becoming more and more popular, some people still enjoy the in-store shopping experience.
Some people prefer to shop in-store because they can interact with the product, get assistance from a sales rep, and there’s no shipping charge. Returning an item is also usually much easier when it’s done in a store. Lastly, many people feel that the shopping experience is more enjoyable when done in a store.
Retail sales are growing every year. Make sure you’re part of that by choosing the right e-commerce platform.
After reading this blog post, you should have a better understanding of the pros, cons, and differences between brick and mortar vs eCommerce businesses. Ultimately, the decision of which type of business to start depends on your specific products, goals, and customers. If you’re still not sure which option is right for you, it might be helpful to talk with other entrepreneurs or even consult with a business coach.