Advantages of offline shopping include the opportunity for customers to establish personal connections with your business, which can build loyalty. Some customers may prefer to buy only after touching or trying on a product, which may reduce the number of product returns for certain businesses. The offline model is the only option for many businesses. For example, although a restaurant can advertise on social media or put up its menu online, it obviously cannot serve customers online. Similarly, a car dealership is unlikely to be as effective without its sales staff walking buyers through the buying or leasing process.
Offline Venture Limitations
Offline ventures lease or build facilities for their customers, while e-commerce websites are global storefronts for online companies. The market for an offline business is usually limited. For example, a restaurant’s clientele may live within a 10-mile radius, which could restrict the owner’s growth opportunities. Several traditional business ventures, such as bookstores and video rental stores, have become unprofitable because they cannot compete with the low cost structure of their online counterparts.
Considerations and Picking a Model
Businesses can use both online and offline models. For example, newspapers have built online portals that incorporate multimedia and interactivity to enrich the reading experience. A bank’s customers can view their accounts, transfer funds and pay bills online, but they can also go to a branch to make a loan application or to withdraw cash.
When both models can’t be utilized, picking requires assessing your business needs and potential customers. Auto repair shops, hair stylists and bakeries must ordinarily meet the needs of customers with a physical location. The sale of goods or services, however, can be conducted through an online store or offline business. Look at the quantity of customers you need and the number you have access to in your area to determine what to do. For example, an antique book dealer may not have access to a large enough customer base in a rural community to justify the expense of a storefront but can sell a high volume of items online because the store reaches the world.