Online Business Vs. Offline Business: Which One Is Better For Beginners?
In recent times, many businesses have come into the industry to appeal to customers with the help of various platforms. Thus, it is very important to know the ‘behind the scenes’ of the operations performed – which will eventually help when getting started with a business.
The main operating structures designed to start a business are – the offline business model (Brick-&-Mortar) and the online business model (E-Commerce).
Keep reading to find out more information on it!
An offline business, also known as a Brick & Mortar business, is a business platform where there are dedicated physical outlets/stores in one more location for different types of brands. For example, the shops and outlets that you find in your local area are all doing offline business and are known as brick-and-mortar shops.
Hence, at present several customers still prefer this, where they get to go physically to a store and also inspect the physical goods that they are buying beforehand – prior to making a purchase.
Here are a few benefits of offline businesses:
- The businesses get to form personal relationships with the customers.
Having an offline store for customers allows a business to build strong relationships. Also, every business opting for this type of business gets to show their customers firsthand how their brand can create a difference and make people’s lives easier. Which in turn makes the customers become more loyal.
- Customers can firsthand get to view the inventory stock.
Buying goods from offline shops has its own set of benefits for its customers. Many shoppers prefer seeing the condition of the goods in person- before deciding to make a purchase. This is one such unique aspect of offline businesses that their counterpart (online businesses) can’t. Also, customers are always looking for an opportunity to connect with a product before actually finalizing the purchase.
- The product return rate is always less.
When the topic is about purchasing at an offline store, then the people are actually inspecting the product before deciding to purchase – this, in turn, decreases the return rate. While buying a product, they get to do trials – an added benefit of brick & mortar stores. Customers get to see the merch and then buy based on if it interests them and also if it meets their needs.
Online Business / Virtual Business, also known as E-Commerce, is the purchase and then sale of services and goods via the transfer of data and funds through an electronic network (the Internet mainly). In most instances, the words e-business and e-commerce are used interchangeably.
The overall use of electronic-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon has led to substantial growth in online shopping a lot over the last decade.
With the rise of E-commerce, people can now purchase services and goods with just a click – pay for the bills and transfer money.
Types Of Online Businesses
Here are a few types of online businesses available out there:
- Business–To–Business (B2B)
This business model refers to the exchange between companies regarding information, services, or products rather than between businesses and consumers. An example would be websites and online directories for the exchange of supplies and goods enable businesses to search for services, information, and products. They then create transactions through e-interfaces.
- Business-To-Consumer (B2C)
This is the retail part of e-commerce. This happens when companies directly sell their services, information, or products to consumers. These days, there are countless online stores selling all kinds of goods on the internet. A good example of a B2C site would be the Amazon marketplace. If you are a beginner especially, it will be highly beneficial for you to start with a B2C eCommerce business model.
- Consumer-To-Consumer (C2C)
In this type of business model, consumers trade online information, services, and products. The transactions are then carried out through a third party via an electronic platform –where the transactions take place. A well-known example where this type of business model is practiced is an eCommerce platform called OLX.
- Consumer-To-Business (C2B)
This is a type of e-commerce where customers make their services and goods accessible online to bid for and buy from companies. This is the exact opposite of the traditional Business to Consumer type of business model. An example would be Youtube.
- Peer To Peer(P2P)
In this type of business model, two individuals sell or buy goods from each other without any involvement of middlemen or a third party. Additionally, the third party is not even involved in the payments exchange or delivery processes. A great example would be Airbnb.
Here are a few benefits of online businesses:
- Lesser Operation Cost
The overall cost of doing business online is definitely lower than that of offline businesses. It may be because workers are not required at different locations, and there is also no need for any security or health staff. In most cases, no additional storage space is required if the sales are direct.
- Remote Operation of Business
Online commerce websites reduce any constraints (regional) that an offline business otherwise might usually face. One can be anywhere in the globe and still run their e-commerce business successfully.
- Wider Reach
All eCommerce business owners know that if they produce a huge amount of goods of trending products in good quality – then they can be sold anywhere in the world. Hence, many businesses nowadays are expanding with the use of the Internet, which provides an improved chance of earning.
To Wrap It Up!
As you can conclude after reading all of the information above, there is a major difference between offline and online businesses. A comparative analysis of both types of businesses makes one clearly see that the online form of business is the most advantageous. Online Commerce or Electronic Commerce is the future of retail businesses.
Thank you for reading up till here. I hope you find the information useful. Let me know in the comments your thoughts on the same.