In the beginning, there were buildings built of brick and mortar that housed merchandise and services. These places of commerce were the only places people could go to purchase goods and services. Customers would travel to these locations to buy everything they needed such as:
- Cleaning products
- Electronic devices
- And so on…
Then, something changed that made brick and mortar stores tremble in their permanent foundations. eCommerce was born. The internet arrived and eCommerce stores made the use of brick and mortar stores almost nonexistent. What’s worse, as time progressed, it became more expensive to have a brick and mortar, then an online store.
Nowadays, brick and mortar stores still exist. However, those that are still successful are the ones who have learned to coexist with eCommerce. So, how does eCommerce work? How can a store have both a physical, brick and mortar and an online presence simultaneously? Below I am going to explain.
eCommerce Eliminates the Need for Physical locations
While there are very few brick and mortar stores that are successful without an online presence, there are many eCommerce stores that are successful without a brick and mortar. When searching online, you will be shocked to find how many of your favorite shoe stores or jewelry shops business addresses are in a simple residential neighborhood in someone’s house. This is because many eCommerce solutions offer “full fulfillment” services to the site owner which sometimes includes drop shipping features or virtual inventories. Meaning when an order is placed the product comes from a 3rd party seller and is shipped directly to the customer.
For those who deal with services, advertising, or travel agencies, there used to be a need for a physical office so consumers could visit and receive services. With the requirements to travel to the location and the number of potential customers the office could hold at one time, it limited the amount of traffic that the business could receive on any given day. eCommerce sites eliminated that limitation with company websites that could do most of the work of the employees in the office, by just taking user input. Now, because of eCommerce, without any travel required, users could book their own vacations or set appointments for services needed, without ever leaving their bed.
However, having both a physical address and an online presence tends to increase the reputation of the business. Simply by letting users know the business can be seen on a map, this solidifies your reputation, and that is very important in eCommerce. Many businesses who go this route will increase traffic by taking acquiring customers both in eCommerce and at the brick-and-mortar location.
eCommerce Helps Reduce Costs
One of the hardest parts of keeping a brick and mortar successful has always been balancing a budget. How much is coming in versus how much is going out? Even those physical locations that received a ton of traffic had to balance profit against expenses from:
- Renting the Building
- Electric and Water Bills
- Employment and Training
- And much more…
Sometimes a bad month with little profit and a lot of expenses would be all it would take to close the doors on that company. eCommerce alleviated a lot of that stress. Those who solely run their businesses online easily do away with most of the expenses that come with a brick-and-mortar location. There is no rent to pay unless you equivalate that amount as the hosting bill for a website to display your business. (If your hosting bill is as much as your rent used to be…. find another provider now).
While you might pay a lot less for electricity and water, there will still be the expense of whatever is needed to keep your computer and internet running which is obviously necessary for eCommerce. But the same point as above applies here as well, the cost will be a lot less with eCommerce. Also, while a larger online business will also need employees and training to be successful in the internet market, there are many duties that just do not exist in eCommerce. This makes less of a need for a large workforce. Many entrepreneurs have even had success on free website builders, focusing on dropshipping. Only during this period, through eCommerce, can someone have success in business with $0 start-up capital.
Advertising Online is a Breeze
Remember the Wacky Wavy Arm Inflatable Man? Come on, of course, you do! You drive past one every day. This is still one of the most extreme ways of getting attention to a physical location, and it works most of the time. Other than that, the most you can do to advertise a brick and mortar alone is billboards with directions, static signs, and people spinning signs with arrows. eCommerce enjoys a much more creative and effective advertising platform on the internet. If you need help with online advertising, feel free to learn more about our white label marketing.A business that makes the transition to online advertising are given the opportunity to use thousands of tools available for targeting audiences Click To Tweet. While you can do the same for a physical location with newspaper ad campaigns and long months of testing data, online retail gets information almost immediately and most of the time accurately. With an eCommerce store, a business can create a new advertisement and within moments view activity upon it. They can react immediately to their target audiences’ actions and they can share added information about products, services, or events to a mass of potential clients in moments and through multiple channels.
Online Advertising vs. Physical Advertising
The best benefit of advertising online versus advertising at a physical location is the cost. Just the manpower alone involved to spread a message, without the internet or Ecommerce involved, would be enough where failure could mean disaster. Digital marketing or eCommerce, on the other hand, can many times be done by one person alone, if they are skilled enough, and without any traveling fees or material expenses, the costs cannot even compare, let alone the effectiveness.
Yet, this is another area where a business taking advantage of both a physical and eCommerce can benefit. The advertising around the physical location can be minimized dramatically as most of the advertising can be done online more affordably. This is a big benefit of eCommerce. Those advertising services can use forms on ads to set appointments and people come to the physical location. While it is easy to see how a brick and mortar can benefit from having an online presence, it is exceedingly difficult to see how they can survive without one.
The implementation of eCommerce Must Be Done Right
Even if a long-time business decides to acquire an online presence or eCommerce to restore failing profits, this does not automatically mean the business is saved. While companies need an online presence to stay successful nowadays, the presence must be implemented correctly, or the business can be hurt instead of helped by eCommerce. Those with no experience with the internet should not undertake the task of getting their business visible online by themselves. There are specialists whose everyday job is search engine optimization and making new businesses relevant online. If you are a brick and mortar without eCommerce and wonder why your business is failing and years of success? You have just read why.
Need help implementing eCommerce to your business? You should consider using White label services. Feel free to contact us and let us know what you think of the article. And let us know how you plan to implement eCommerce in your business.