From The Web To Bricks and Mortar


As eCommerce dominates headlines and business growth, you’d be forgiven for thinking that physical businesses are on their way out. However, the reality couldn’t be further from this, and that’s been evidenced by the businesses queuing up for Toys-R-Us premises and the $4bn additional mall development money being invested throughout 2018. Traditional businesses still favor outlets, but could digital businesses benefit as well? In a word, yes. It is entirely possible for an online business to expand to a real-world location when it makes good business sense. Establishing whether your business will benefit is first, and you can take inspiration from real-world success stories.

Determining the scope of your business 

The first thing to consider before looking for a physical location is its necessity to your business. Use analysis to see where your products are shipped. A business with a local catchment area could save on shipping costs by having a physical outlet that customers can utilize, or, if you have a company vehicle suitable for hauling cargo, can be used as a hub for conducting deliveries. Conversely, there’s also logic in a wider business having a physical location. Bloomberg have found that physical property improves marketing alongside the all-important digital marketing aspect. Essentially, having a physical presence will gather you customers from a market you might not reach online.

Pay close attention to the area you’re in, too. Rents vary wildly across the state, and the taxes imposed on a physical business can be very different to those online. Refer to a financial professional if in doubt.

Making your move a success

If you’ve decided that brick and mortar is the way forward for your business, making it a reality – and a success – requires careful, managed planning. Looking at how to implement this is aided by thinking about businesses who have done it with success. Amazon have opened a grocery store in Seattle. What sets it apart is that transactions are done instantly without the need for a checkout. This is an example of considerations digital-first businesses need to make – one of the major attractions of a digital business is avoiding queues and lengthy checkout processes. Harness what makes your digital business effective and prioritize it in your physical outlet.

Taking this principle and extending it can also aid your business. One area where digital business falls down is the inability of consumers to try an item before they buy. Tackling this is advocated by ecommerce gurus Shopify, who in a feature with startup Bulletin outlined the process of ‘discovery’ – the simple process of people having a look around your shop that invokes strong brand favorability in consumers. Pair this with canny digital marketing and you will find your presence blossoming and sales rocketing.

Taking your business offline and making a physical presence for your brand is not a new thing. In fact, more and more big businesses are doing it every year, taking advantage of low rents and the enhanced marketing it brings. If your business can benefit, why not investigate and see if you’d benefit from a brick and mortar business?

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