If you sell products to customers, you might automatically assume that all you’ll need to survive – and grow to become successful, in fact – is a website. After all, don’t most people use the internet to buy things these days?
While it’s true that a lot of people do go online to buy what they need, it’s also true that you could be missing out on a lot of additional sales if you don’t have a physical store as well as an online one. Here are some of the reasons why a physical store is still worthwhile, and if any of them apply to you, it might be worth taking the next step in this direction.
Creating An Experience
One of the best reasons to have a physical store as well as (or perhaps instead of – although this is risky) a website is that with a physical store, you’re able to create real experiences that people will remember. When you walk into a store, you can see things, touch them, try them on, and see what they’re like in person rather than just on a screen. This kind of experience means that it’s easier to make decisions about buying something – you don’t have to do a lot of research to find out more about it because it’s right there in front of you, and that means more sales and fewer missed opportunities as a business owner.
You can also go one step further and actually make experiences happen. You can greet people as they come in, you can offer them coffee and cakes as they wander around, you can be there to answer questions, play music, and much more. This might mean you need a little extra space, but you can always add retail mezzanine floors to ensure you have room for everyone who wants to visit and everything you want to do to make that visit memorable.
It’s fun to browse online and add things to your cart, but then the waiting begins. No matter where you buy something from, you’ll have to wait for anything between hours and weeks for the item you just bought to get delivered to your home. In the meantime, you might change your mind, you might see something better, or you might start looking around to see if you can get the item quicker from a different site.
As a consumer, that’s one thing, but as a business owner, that could be a disaster; you might have to deal with a lot of returns or cancelled orders because there’s time for people to do more research and think things through. In a physical store, those customers get immediate gratification, so they won’t look around elsewhere, and they won’t think it’s taking too long to get what they ordered – you’ll have fewer returns and happier customers as a result.
Showing Your Brand Identity
Something that’s really useful when it comes to physical stores is that you’re able to showcase your brand identity much more easily than you can online. This doesn’t just come from your logo or the colours used, but it also comes from the store’s layout, the décor, and the ambiance in general, which you can carefully craft to give your customers exactly the impression of your business you want them to have.
It’s much easier to leave a positive lasting impression on customers when they’re surrounded by your brand rather than when they’re only looking at a single screen with your logo on it.