Setting up a business online vs offline: Who wins?

eCommerce VS Offline Retail
You might have heard people talking about how difficult it is to start one’s own business. It is true. Starting anything from scratch requires a lot of effort, be it online or offline. In each, there are decisions you have to take, plans you have to make and strategies that have to be individually crafted to ensure that your business is successful.

You might have got the idea by now. It is all about how to set up your business. But there are two worlds for doing business - the online and the offline worlds. Which one is better? Where to start for your product? How to know which brings more sales?

Well, let’s make our lives simpler and analyze both offline and online business once and for all to get a clear picture.

1. Setup cost

Cost Setup
Offline business: Opening a store means finding a location for it, spending quite a lot of money on rent and other overheads, including hiring staff, training them, starting to promote your business in the area. This all amounts to a significant (read lakhs of) financial investment.

Online business: Starting an online business is free from these hassles. There is hardly any setup cost as everything is on your computer or mobile phone. You don’t have to stock up inventories or hire staff for running the business. Also, you can promote through social media for free. And that’s it. No more stress.

2. Setup Convenience

Setup Convenience
Offline business: Opening an offline business means getting a lot of things done, running from one office to the other. You need to set up a store, get a warehouse, stock up inventories, You also need to keep your stocking and warehousing licenses in place, navigate through some potential red-tape, etc. Not exactly a ‘piece of cake’.

Online business: On the other hand, online business such as Amazon business is comparatively quite simpler. First things first, everything is online. So you don’t have to go anywhere. Start your business sitting in your armchair. Just sign up and register yourself as a seller, upload your product listing on the platform, and that’s it. Now you start selling to your buyers with just a few clicks.

3. Getting new customers

Attracting new customers
Offline business: Expecting a swarm of buyers as soon as you open a new store is a dream come true, which is very rare. You need to build your business slowly and steadily. You need to promote your business all over the place through every possible media and have good relations with everyone. But you can only access your buyers within a limited range (within your neighborhood or your city), that too for a limited time period in a day (till the store is open).

Online business: Joining an e-commerce marketplace as Amazon gives you the perks of a pre-established buyer community. You also get to sell globally and your products are available 24*7 for the buyers. All you have to do is put your best quality products and start selling. As one of our top sellers says, “You don't have to go to the customer, the customer comes to you.”

4. Advertising & Marketing

Online Marketing VS Offline Marketing
Offline business: It is probably the trickiest part of any business. Promoting for offline business means using all different media like brochures, pamphlets, newspapers advertisement, local TV and radio ads, etc. Implementing these may add significant costs to the business.

Online business: Having an online business means using digital media to its fullest. You can use social media platforms to promote your business and offer discounts and coupons to attract more buyers. You can also be a step ahead through sponsored products to increase your product visibility. The cost of online promotion is way too less than the offline world.

5. Measuring business performance

Business Performance
Offline business: One of the fundamental rules of any business is ‘If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.’ Once your business starts, you need to consistently check how it is performing. For a local business, it might be difficult to keep track of how many buyers are visiting, how many of them are buying, and what needs to be improved to increase sales. Buyers will move to the next store if they don’t like your products.

Online business: Selling online makes business tracking very easy. Through customer feedback, you get to know whether your buyers are liking your product or not. Also, you can automatically track inventory, sales numbers, outstanding orders to increase sales.

So what’s the consensus?

Well, you guessed it right. It’s the online business that wins the competition.
Online VS Offline Business Consensus
And why not. As you can see, it is easier to set up, easier to operate, and easier to grow. Easier growth means (in theory, at least) better business and thus better profits. Hope you get a better understanding of doing business online and offline, about what you need to adopt and what to drop off. Now that you know the answer, let’s get started and get your business online.
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