The world wide web has been amazing at opening up the world and making the flow of information so much easier. In commerce, it connects buyers and sellers across oceans and borders like never before. While online stores and marketplaces like eBay or Amazon have been extremely successful, brick and mortar shops have not died either.
While there’s an argument for people’s need to experience, connect with, and engage with the products and services they are contemplating purchasing, there’s a different backstory for speciality shops which cater to a very specific audience.
Here are some pros and cons to taking speciality shops online rather than brick and mortar.
Pros to Having an Online Speciality Shop:
- Having an online ship gives you greater accessibility to your audience. For example, if you are a diecast model shop in a small town, you might just a handful of local customers. Going online lets you cast a wider net and reel in more sales, regardless of where you are located.
- You can compete with larger retailers located in larger cities. With shipping being an option, your customers can compare and contrast without having to wonder which one is closer. Otherwise, these smaller retailers wouldn’t stand a chance.
- You’re more likely to be part of the conversation if you are online. Become known as a thought leader by developing content on social media, YouTube, and blogging about specialized information that your expertise is in. When you are brick and mortar, there’s only so far your voice can go.
Cons to Having an Online Only Speciality Shop:
- When transitioning to an online shop, you lose the opportunity to more intimately connect with your customers. People who might have just “dropped by”, can’t really anymore. You stop being an experience for these fanatics who might really value being able to put a face to a name.
- Touch and feel options don’t come with an online store. When people look for diecast model cars in specialized shops, they value being able to carefully inspect each model, looking for details and flaws. These customers might not trust online descriptions and photos when looking for something specific for their collection, especially if it’s an expensive investment for them.
At this point in time, most speciality shops will benefit from having both a brick and mortar and online presence. It will give both local and online customers access to their products in the method they like to shop.