This week, Grey Suit Retail is going to approach the blog from a little bit different of a format. Generally, we’ll propose a topic, delve into the topic, and leave you with the information to do with what you please. However, as we have learned from history and the teachings of the great Phil Collins, we always need to hear both sides of the story, as there are always at least two options to consider with any life endeavor, and conducting a business is no different. Reluctance to jump on board an untapped method of selling is a reality to many, and we want to put any questions to rest in the wake of that reluctance.
So here is what we’ll do. We’ll take a hypothetical business owner, we’ll call him Harry. We’ll have him fill the role of business technology skeptic in our blog today. Hypothetical Harry will ask us some questions surrounding the question of whether or not being able to sell with an online shopping cart is a necessity for your business.
Hypothetical Harry Question #1:
Brick-and-mortar sales account for the majority of all sales, relative to online sales, and I currently own a physical store location. All things considered, what reasoning is there pointing towards why I should sell online as well with a digital shopping cart, how could it benefit me within my market, and what is to gain?
First off, you are correct about brick-and-mortar sales. Sales done in store do account for the sweeping majority of overall sales. However, major shifts are being taken towards the digital end of business practice. More and more of commerce is being conducted online and in so doing it is giving business owners the flexibility to transact in ways that they have never been able to in the past. Because of online sales, a globalized market is more realistic and achievable, long-distance sales outside of one’s locale or even international sales are within reach. So ultimately, while you can still maintain your successful business status through your brick-and-mortar store, equipping yourself with a website that you can sell through will supplement the sales that you are making, and do so covering a completely different potential market and diversifying the output of your brand.
Hypothetical Harry Question #2:
I’m toying with the idea of starting a new business and am leaning towards the brick-and-mortar option of selling. However, as I weigh my options, I know that selling online must be a thought in mind as well. What reasons are there for me to consider online as my primary selling option?
Based on your provided line of thought, it is safe to assume that if you go the route of the brick-and-mortar store, you will forego the online option. So we’ll discuss it under that assumption, as many brick-and-mortar operators will choose this mode of conducting business. If you work strictly out of a physical location, and not multiple locations for that matter, your customer base will be those that are proximal, and can be rather confined to the area where you are located. Furthermore, working out of a physical location means potentially higher overhead costs, including leasing a space for selling and storage, labor, utilities, and more. So, it is crucial to bear in mind, just because most sales are done through brick-and-mortar stores, this does not mean that all of your success will rest in the brick-and-mortar option.
Selling online could alleviate those concerns and could actually prove for greater success in selling. With a selling website, you are able to reach out to more potential buyers than just those located in your local vicinity, allotting the opportunity to increase the range of your customer base into as far out as you desire. Additionally, when selling online, you eliminate certain overhead costs and increase independence. You no longer need to buy out that space and labor in order to sell, you can start selling immediately and cost efficiently, and do more on your own, giving you more control. And while brick-and-mortar may not always benefit a brand based on its industry, online selling bears versatility to allow one to sell anything to any market.
Hypothetical Harry Question #3:
So with my businesses, I have decided to take it to the physical selling realm, conducting sales and all commerce through the brick-and-mortar stores that I have shaped. In addition to any advertising and promotion that I do in store and by other physical means, I have also devised a website for the sake of having a shareable, digital mode of informing displaying company information to customers. Why not leave it at this arrangement instead of feeling a necessity to sell online with a digital shopping cart integration?
There is a simple answer to this question. We’ll answer in the form of a separate question. You are paying for the service of having a business website, so why not sell off of it? Why not integrate a shopping cart? This would be the equivalent to paying for a brick-and-mortar space but not selling from it.It simply does not make sense. For shops selling products, having an online shopping cart could allow for a new way for people to buy from you conveniently even if they are nowhere near your store. For shops providing services with fixed rates, payment could be taken care of in a way that is, again, most convenient for the customer. In the end, providing a secondary option of paying for goods and services will add convenience to buying experiences, putting the shopper in charge, thus enticing more business.
In conclusion, there are definitely a million considerations to be make regarding how you conduct business. And with every potentially good idea or reason to act in a certain fashion, there is always reasoning pointing towards other possibilities. This week we looked at why enabling customers to buy online is important, even considering the scope of brick-and-mortar selling, as digital selling is becoming more and more practical and crucial. Take the time to learn more about selling online and the features and integrations that help make it possible. Contact Grey Suit Retail today to learn more!