Selling in the Virtual Age
We were already on the road to digitalization when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, and this journey accelerated right away. Now, more and more people are continuously switching to online means of running a business. From buying to selling, learning to working – everything can be done online.
Welcome to the Virtual Age!
Looking at the stats, we can surely say that virtual selling is already winning over the local businesses, where selling through the internet makes your business grow significantly. However, physical stores have been working for centuries and have their own advantages.
If you are confused about which of the ways, online or physical, is better for selling, this article is for you. Here, we will look at the different pros and cons of online selling so that you know what it is like to run a business virtually.
So, let’s begin right away.
The Pros of Virtual Selling
Here are the top reasons why virtual selling is the definite future:
Highly Enhanced Reach
In many ways, online selling has broken down all the barriers to customer reach. It enhances your reach, connecting you with an unlimited number of potential customers all across the world instead of only those who visit your store themselves. With an online store, you are open to the world, able to sell your products to anyone.
For most physical stores, it can be nearly impossible to run their businesses 24/7. They have to face the constraints of time, staff, customers’ availability, and many more. This is not an issue with virtual selling. Your online store can remain open and serve customers round the clock. There are simply no schedules, holidays, or closing times.
From setting up the store to running it successfully, the expenses associated with virtual selling are far lesser than physical selling. With an online store, you can eliminate the need for expensive retail properties, a large team of employees, rent, utilities, maintenance, and other costs that are usually associated with physical stores.
Better Selling Opportunities and Expanded Customer Base
Virtual selling does not only eliminate the stress of long lines and challenging customer support, it also offers a huge advantage to both buyers and sellers not located in urban areas. Online selling opens up new markets for you, allowing you to grow your reach and expand your consumer base.
Lower Start-up Costs
Setting up a physical store is much more expensive than building an online store. When starting a conventional brick-and-mortar shop, you have to build, buy, or rent a building. You will also have to buy vehicles, hire staff, and whatnot. Creating an online ecommerce store, on the other hand, has a very low startup cost. Simply build your site and start selling.
Accessibility to Global Market
Next on the list of benefits of online selling is that any brand, new or established, can easily sell to customers all across the globe. The ability to sell worldwide to global customers helps you build and scale up your brand a lot faster, widens your marketplace, and allows you to gain profit sooner than your local competitors.
More Scope for Rapid Growth and Scalability
With enhanced reach, new selling opportunities, and an increased customer base, your business has the potential to grow rapidly. When a physical store grows, it needs to reconsider its model to accommodate and serve more customers in the same space. They would need more employees, more facilities, and thus, more expenses. Logistics get tougher as the business grows. However, that’s easier to handle with online stores. They can manage the growth without worrying about the physical store aspects.
The Cons of Virtual Selling
As you can see, virtual selling is highly beneficial for businesses. However, it also has some cons:
Over the internet, there are countless sellers targeting the same audience. As a result, the competition is much higher than that among physical stores. You have to put in greater efforts to make your company stand out from your competitors. This would mean building a stronger brand identity, improving customer services, and employing better marketing strategies.
Lower Customer Loyalty and Retention
The online world presents customers with infinite options. They literally have millions of stores available on their screens to buy a single product. Consequently, customer loyalty and retention are much lower in virtual selling as compared to physical.
Cyber Security Threats
Online stores can impose a security threat on not only the sellers but also the buyers. Customers take the chance of identity fraud and other similar risks every time they enter their personal details into a website. Likewise, online businesses take the risk of phishing and many other cyberattack threats. Just one wrong click and you can risk your website operations, financial information, or your customers' information.
Shipping Time and Costs
Logistics plays a huge role in running an online business successfully. In fact, 34% of customers are uncomfortable with the delivery time, while 58% find shipping costs a burden. This can be a big problem for online stores, which can only be resolved by hiring the best logistics services provider, making quick deliveries, and offering affordable shipping costs.
Customers are Unable to Touch or Feel Products
Many customers want to look at or have a feel of the product before spending their money on it. Unfortunately, that cannot happen when they are buying through online stores. They are unable to try before buying, which still keeps many customers away from online shopping. However, this won’t remain a problem for much longer now. With augmented reality, virtual sellers will soon be able to allow customers to try out the products.
With the world moving towards a virtual age, virtual selling is becoming unavoidable. Moreover, it offers various benefits that guarantee to make your business grow if you go about it the right way.
We hope that this article was able to explain to you what it is like to run an online business in this virtual age and how it benefits you.