Are you struggling to decide where to locate your business? Nowadays the options of where to locate your store has become vast. So how do you decide where to locate your store?

First you need to answer the question “What is my business?” Sometimes the type of business you run will dictate whether you should have a physical shop or an online shop. You need to carefully consider your product, the consumers of the product and your business goals. When you have a clear idea of what your business is then you can consider the pros and cons of having a brick and mortar shop to an e-commerce shop.

Now let’s look at some aspects and the effect they have on physical and e-commerce stores:

Start-up costs

Brick and mortar shop: when you start a physical shop, you will have to look at how much it will cost for shop fittings, rent and utility bills. You will also have to insure your building and goods.

E-commerce shop: The start-up costs for an e-commerce shop are a lot cheaper. You will only need to have web-hosting and technical support. You may also have to hire someone to design an e-commerce website for your business.

Competition

Brick and mortar shop: This is a benefit for a physical shop as you can to some degree ensure that you are the only retailer in your area selling your specific product. You can choose a location which is best suited to your product and clientele.

E-commerce shop: When you are online, you will be competing with all the other businesses which sell the same or similar product to you. It may be difficult to distinguish yourself from other brands in your industry, especially if there are well-known brands in your industry.

Marketing

Brick and mortar shop: When it comes to marketing a brick and mortar shop, it may be difficult to change the branding and shop fittings should you see that they don’t appeal to your consumer. You could also use online marketing to bring people to your shop. You are sometimes limited to the foot traffic within your area.

E-commerce shop: There is a lot more flexibility with an e-commerce store as you can change the website or way things are displayed online relatively easily. You can also target a wider range of customers.

Consumer loyalty

Brick and mortar shop: It is easier to develop brand loyalty when you speak to your consumers face to face. They can get to know the people behind the brand and this helps to build trust and legitimacy. People will also believe you will be around longer if you have a physical shop. Some people also prefer to feel and touch the product they are purchasing.

E-commerce shop: Without face-to-face interaction with customers, it is difficult to build brand loyalty. People like to buy from a person rather than a business. They will be more wary of buying online as they will be concerned about scams and their credit card details being stolen. Furthermore, your legitimacy could be under question.

Schedule

Brick and mortar shop: You are limited by the area where you choose to run your business. You have to run your business according to your landlords opening and closing times. You will also need to ensure you are allowed to run your business in that area and if there are any government rules pertaining to your business.

E-commerce shop: You can be open 24 hours 365 days a year. This could be seen as a positive or negative. If you run an online store you will be able to set your own schedule and work within the hours where your ideal clients are based.

By considering all these aspects, you can then decide which type of location would be best for your business.

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