Have you ever thought about opening a retail store? The idea of being able to see the trends before they happen and use your own money to buy items wholesale or directly from a supplier and sell them again for healthy profit margins?
With all the ecommerce shops shooting up from nowhere each day, it seems that starting a retail webshop is like trying to stand out from the audience at a packed football game: pretty much impossible. But to open a physical store, doesn’t that seem to be something of earlier decades? It might not be as clear cut to completely ignore the physical store as people still will want to hold a product in their hands before purchasing, and the ecommerce space is crowded! It might be prudent to consider both the ecommerce aspect as the physical one, as key learnings will apply to both.
Where it’s essential for webshops to have a memorable and clear domain name, it’s all about location for physical stores. Where you can create a new website in a matter of hours, you will have a harder time getting online traffic to site without working really hard (or pay a significant amount) to get traffic to the site.
For physical stores, this is all down to research. Looking at locations and finding out what the natural footfall of traffic will be if that traffic will be in your target demographic, and how people can reach you.
One of the big choices for webshops is the ecommerce platforms it runs on. You can choose from almost ‘free’ solutions (be careful, free at first usually means a hefty price tag when you want to expand).
There are 3 elements to consider:
- The robustness of the ecommerce solution in terms stability and maximum amount of products it can handle
- How you would deal with the webshops in terms of actions after the purchase (think fulfillment, loyalty schemes, customer service)
- How it all looks on your webshop (does it look like another Shopify webshop)?
For a physical store, these are questions around having a workspace where you can take care of admin and shipping and having a good shop design, utilizing proper shop interior elements such as Lozier shelving.
For both ecommerce stores as physical stores, being able to entice people to shop is all about presentation. It’s the homepage when it comes to the webshop, it’s the storefront when it comes to the physical store. In both locations, you need to be able to convey to people what your business is all about in just a few seconds. Think of it like that infamous elevator pitch principle, if you can’t tell people in just a few seconds what your business is all about, you might want to rethink things a bit.
So there you go, think about how people are going to find you, what they would find once they visit you and what the message is that you want to bestow on them once they have dealt with you. For both the webshop and the physical store, these are still essential elements to think about. And they said brick-and-mortar was dead!