Should You Transition From Online to Physical Store?

It seems like you can buy anything nowadays. From exotic vacations to groceries, there are countless online stores that seem to have it all. With all this one-stop online shopping, why would anyone choose to start a brick-and-mortar business anymore? It turns out consumers still like physical stores, and it might be the right time to take your store to the local community.

Physical store sign

Are you considering transitioning from an online business to a physical store? We’ll discuss whether this is the best option for you and your business in the guide below!

Return to the Physical

While the world is turning towards the internet, consumers still want to shop at brick-and-mortar businesses over e-commerce. This is good news for the established businesses in the community that have earned a space for themselves amongst local customers. Those with online businesses still have a chance to make the transition to include physical stores in their strategy.

People like to see products before they purchase them, and that’s just not possible online. The rise of reviews and other ways of virtually “trying” a purchase before checkout still haven’t fully bridged this gap for customers. Having a brick-and-mortar store means buyers can make better shopping decisions. People are visual, and they like to see things before committing to a purchase. Both young and old shoppers prefer to feel and see products before purchasing according to Retail Dive.

The return to physical also means the return of the customer experience. In today’s internet-driven market, it often feels like websites are acting more like computers than humans. Customers still want positive interactions with actual human beings, and this is something that’s hard to replicate online. Face-to-face interactions with customers give you real-time feedback and let you build genuine relationships. This is why so many big-name retailers like Amazon are returning to retail!

Amazon store in San Francisco mall

Different Challenges

While there are a lot of great reasons to make the switch to retail, it does present new challenges. Having retail space brings its own difficulties like choosing a location, paying for store space, and hiring employees. When your customer base is remote, you don’t have to worry about hiring people to help with stock, cleaning, or cashiering. These employees require training, but they’re also a valuable asset to your business. They form the face for your brand in a way your website never could.

The biggest hurdle for in-person stores is maintaining the space and mastering the design. Your retail space says a lot about your business. It completely controls how customers interact with your brand and your products. The right space brings more customers while the wrong space can harm your reputation. Luckily, there are a lot of great tools and resources for physical store owners like which gives you the freedom to find the equipment you need. Committing to an in-person store means committing to more responsibilities, but it will all pay off in customer satisfaction.

The Future of Business

The future of business is about finding the right balance between physical stores and online stores. Having a website as a business helps you find a larger audience, while a physical store gives you an edge over the competition. The days of brick-and-mortar stores are not over, and it’s up to innovative businesses to bring about new changes in the marketplace.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to business, but physical stores might just be the solution to modern business problems. Physical stores bring the focus back to the customers and community. If you’re ready to build real relationships with customers and challenge your business, make the switch from digital to physical!