In this modern world of technology, there is no doubt that the Internet is one of the most significant inventions, maybe even ever. And with its significance, it is almost foolish for any business to ignore its usefulness as a high-potential marketing channel. It’s not a secret that there’s a lot of money to be earned online, but keep in mind that there are some negatives sides as well.
As such, it is worth noting the different pros and cons of selling your own products or services online. It is also imperative that you compare them with the more traditional “brick and mortar” approach, so you will know if the route you are taking is suitable for your business.
The Pros of Selling Products or Services Online
Quick and Easy to Get Started – Setting things up online is without a doubt easier to do than a real physical store. After all, you can always take advantages of popular online marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay, etc. What’s more, they don’t necessarily require any technical skills or knowledge. These days it’s relatively easy to create and manage a website. You can also create an online store using platforms such as Shopify, which isn’t expensive, and promote your products on it while using different advertising methods such as banner ads, as seen on marketplaces like Click2sell.co.
Cheaper to Set Up – Not only is it cheaper to set up, but you will also have a lesser risk if things turn out to be wrong. Online marketplaces will generally charge you with small amounts. Not only it is cheaper to set up, but you will also have a lesser risk if things turn out to be not so profitable. Different online marketplaces will generally charge you with relatively small amounts, depend on the platform’s policy and the size of your online store. Even if you opt for an e-commerce software package, you will find it cheaper than a physical store, and although you have to factor in the design costs, you can always take advantage of open source platforms that are free.
24 Hour Sales – This is one of the biggest advantages of selling your own products or services online. You have the ability to trade all day, every day, 24/7. For starters, there is no need for you to manage the store’s supply and see what’s available for sale and what’s not, it’s all digital. Also, your customers will find it convenient to shop with ease. The more selling time you have, the more sales you can make.
The Cons of Selling Products or Services Online
More Competition – If you take a look at the high streets, you can say that they have a limited amount of shops. This is not entirely the case with the Internet, where there is little to no constraints of the number of competing businesses. You also have to consider marketplaces and commercial sites and brands that tend to sell directly to consumers. As such, they can be in direct competition with whatever products or services you are offering.
Less Customer Contact – The thing with selling online is that in some cases it is harder to upsell items to customers. Why? That is because you might find it difficult to hold their attention as compared to talking to them in person. When online, all they have to do is click on a single button and move forward in an instant. Above all, people tend to be more loyal to local shops than a faceless online seller or website.
Less Trust – Whether you accept it or not, websites or online marketplaces tend to have lesser trust associated with them. And the difference can be even more significant when compared to a physical store. With a “brick and mortar” approach, your customers can see that you are financially stable. They can trust you, knowing that your store will exist in many months or years to come. This assurance, in one way or another, helps them in making informed buying decisions.