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Online store versus real store

Discussion in 'General Business and Entrepreneurship' started by Corazon, May 12, 2016.

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  1. Corazon

    Corazon Member

    Let me talk of clothing items because that is my line of interest. I have been contemplating on this since last year. When I retire from my job, I would probably engage in business not for the money but more for the occupation. And since I had a sad experience with a boutique, I am now doing a research on an online store or online boutique.

    May I have your opinion on this matter?

    PS. My clientelle in mind are only those reachable by courier, that means domestic deliveries only.
  2. Goldstandard89

    Goldstandard89 Member

    I think it depends on what kind of store you want to make. I think limiting your clientele to those who are only reachable by courier is very limiting in a recession. If you are only willing to do that, then a physical store is a must so that they can try on the clothes and get them fitted. If you were willing to expand your willingness to at least ship by mail, with no returns, I would consider creating a shop on Etsy to sell you clothes if they are uniquely handmade. If they aren't handmade and you are buying from a wholesaler or someone one else, I would create an online store. If you do decide to have just a physical store, you should consider working on creating a Facebook page, with connecting Twitter account, to update you clientele when you have new clothes in and build a more loyal fan base for your boutique. It could work if you want to focus on a few but I would bet on a online store making more consistent money than personalized clothes from a boutique, but that depends entirely on where you live.
  3. Alaine

    Alaine Member

    There's also the marketing part. A brick and mortar store would probably make you money faster than an online store. Customers will visit the new store, tell their friends about it if they like what they buy there, etc. Now with an online store, to get that first sale and establishing yourself as "legit" might take a long time. If it's possible, I'd suggest having a real store but also have an online presence. You can slowly shift to selling your products only online.
    Slique likes this.
  4. Valerie

    Valerie Member

    I think online stores are a boon, but as others have mentioned, there are shortcomings. Managing and marketing an independent online store when you competition against names like Zulily and Rosegal (which have affiliate marketers and a huge network) and Cafepress can be a bit challenging. Some people have very successful Ebay-based clothing shops that feature clothing people can't get in their locale; however, if you seek to go the domestic route, you're going to be offering clothing to a small market, meaning there won't be much profit. Yet, you did say you're doing it more for the occupation rather than the overall business. So, this might not bother you much.

    You might want to try Etsy, Cafepress or Zazzle to create your own unique goods. It is also a fairly agreeable means of self-promotion. Twitter, Facebook and other SNS can be useful too.

    Of course, it all depends on who you'd like to reach. Having both a physical and online presence might help you get more customers. But then you'd have to worry about finding an advantageous location to set up shop.
  5. VirtualGlobalPhone

    VirtualGlobalPhone Moderator MVP Member

    @Corazon@Corazon - nice idea, its a good time also.

    You have lots of free open source online store front (Web Application) which you can get it up in a matter of days to week. Some of the commercial store front has everything in it right from listing of various items to logistic tracking, return management etc.
  6. Nathaneal

    Nathaneal Member

    Why Not Do Both
  7. T J Tutor

    T J Tutor Member

    eCommerce is thriving and growing at an incredible rate. I've been preparing two online stores myself over the past month. For many of us, small niches with high quality products is productive. There are those that choose to connect with large suppliers and drop shippers like AliExpress. When it comes to clothing, I'm not certain what clothing lines and styles may be successful. I think it's definitely worth making the effort. Loads of big box companies do well with clothing lines.

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