The High Street Is Making A Comeback- Is Your Business Ready?

There has been a lot of talk in the last few years about online shopping taking over the high street but that might not actually be true. Online retailers have seen a huge rise in sales but physical shops are still pretty popular and a lot of the shopping we do doesn’t take place online. Companies have been responding to this recently by opening a brick and mortar store to go alongside their online stores. 

In 2015, Amazon opened their first physical store in Seattle and they’re looking into expanding soon. Other companies have also been experimenting with what is known as a ‘Guide Store.’ These are stores that online retailers have opened where you can go and browse all of the products but you can’t actually purchase any of them in there. You have to go back home and buy them online. The thinking behind this is that it combines the best of both worlds. You have the benefit of being able to see the products in the flesh, which is something that people often miss when shopping online, but you also have the convenience of getting it delivered to your door. This is a good model because the companies don’t need to pay all of the overheads that come with a standard store like restocking and excessive staff costs.  These companies have got a working offline presence because they capitalized on the success that they had selling online, so if you’re making lots of sales online and you’re unsure of the next step, a physical store might be the way to go. Here are a few things to consider to help you decide if it’s the right move. 

Can You Afford It?
This is the first question you need to answer before doing anything. There are a lot of costs involved that you might not have thought about before. You’ve probably considered the rent and the staff costs but have you thought about all of the equipment that you’ll need like a Datalogic Barcode Scanner, all of the tills, a computer system and much more. You might be thinking that you have enough money from your online sales to set up a shop but the reality could be very different once you cost everything up. 

Is There A Market?
The reason that some online companies have been successful with physical stores is that they are selling the kinds of products that people want to see in the flesh. If you sell clothes, for example, people will want to get a better idea of what they look like up close. Depending on the kinds of products that you’re selling, there might not be a market for a physical shop. One good way of deciding whether there is a market is to survey your existing online customers and ask them whether they would be likely to visit a store if you opened one.

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