Retail business owners face hundreds of choices between the idea and the execution. One of them is which retail format they will use. Your design for your retail business dramatically impacts how it looks and runs in the long- and short term. The dream of a brick-and-mortar location on Main Street can be costly. Online-only experiences are convenient for the customer and streamlined for business owners but can be challenging to market.
Every retail format has its pros and cons. Here are some more common designs to help you achieve long-term success.
What is it? A brick-and-mortar store is a physical place where customers can browse and shop. Most people want to own a local store.
- It’s yours. By opening a physical shop, you can give your business a unique identity. A brick-and-mortar store can be yours, from the layout to the customer interaction.
- Visitors are more likely to have a buying mood. When someone browses a local store, they are interested in purchasing something. Once people are inside, converting them into paying customers is more accessible.
- You learn about the community. It is just as essential to building relationships as it is to sell products when building a business. A brick-and-mortar storefront lets you regularly interact with your customers and develop long-term relationships. This can help your company form a strong connection with the local community.
- This comes with a high level of risk. It is expensive to open a physical shop. You must pay licensing fees, make down payments, remodel, decorate, and all of that before you even start paying rent.
- A brick-and-mortar storefront’s potential client base is restricted to the region it operates. Brick-and-mortar stores are limited by their location. Consider your income if you live in a small town or your storefront is in an area with little foot traffic. Clover allows you to easily add a component to your store, allowing you access to customers around the globe.
Retail businesses with a solid business plan, long-term outlook, consistent revenue stream, and dependable funding are the best.
What is it? An Online Marketplace is a store that operates exclusively online. It can be accessed through a website dedicated to the purpose or by a third-party seller like Etsy. There are many online marketplaces. It is a great way to start your business because they are easy to enter. In an online environment, you must be competitive in many ways.
- This is a simple entry point that has minimal overhead. You can start an online shop with an Internet connection, a few items to sell, and time. You can operate virtually without limits if you don’t have a physical location.
- Customers can be found anywhere and everywhere. The internet is a great tool. Online businesses allow you to reach out to anyone with an internet connection anywhere.
- This is the leanest version. Online businesses only need a few support staff at brick-and-mortar locations. You can run it all yourself. Running your brand-new business online is an excellent way to get started.
- Marketing can be challenging. There is no foot traffic in the town, and no one will tell anyone about your store on Main Street. All your marketing and advertising will be done online or in physical markets like street fairs.
- Running a business online means you’ll make fewer meaningful connections. Online shoppers are usually looking for a quick and easy experience. You can ask them to complete a survey about their experience, but you will not get to know them as well as you would if you were in a physical store.
- Pricing is a new breed of. Customers are online and can compare prices easily with Amazon or other large retailers. Your products may be better and unique, but you must keep your costs competitive online.
Best for businesses that appeal to specific markets or those who wish to start a small business and grow from there.