In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, many would think there’s no use for physical establishments like offices, stores, and warehouses for e-commerce ventures everywhere.
However, even as modern technology continues to reshape how companies do business, having a tangible presence has become more vital now than ever.
Owning physical locations, like offices, warehouses, or studios, offers many benefits to e-commerce brands. It provides complete control over various factors in the business, whether it’s conducting quality control, collaborating with team members, or producing marketing materials.
If you’re still deciding whether or not you want to open a physical location for your e-commerce business, give this guide a quick read. Learn all about what you can do with a tangible space for your online company.
Some may think online brands don’t need a physical store to succeed in the industry. However, a brick-and-mortar shop may seem more crucial today. Here’s why.
The rise of fraudulent websites and many cybersecurity attacks has made shoppers more skeptical about trusting an online brand. Now, they demand more than excellent visuals and appealing descriptions. Instead, they seek meaningful or memorable experiences before proceeding with a purchase. Establishing a physical store is a perfect way to ease doubts and earn confidence from existing and potential customers.
A physical store is an excellent way to boost a potential customer’s buying journey by providing a tangible space to experience the products firsthand. Because of that, they can gauge the quality of their ideal item and see if it fits their requirements. This experience helps increase conversion and elevate trust.
Additionally, a brick-and-mortar store helps promote a more omnichannel experience. An omnichannel experience is when brands offer multiple touchpoints to customers, allowing them to seamlessly transition from one channel to another.
For instance, they can browse for their desired items online and visit a physical store to learn more about them. Providing such a transition offers an opportunity to increase engagement and conversion.
Moreover, a physical presence helps increase an e-commerce brand’s customer service. Existing and potential customers who prefer in-store experiences can interact with staff face-to-face to answer questions and address concerns with their desired items. It’s an excellent way to boost your credibility and conversion.
Traditional warehouses provide ample space for storing large quantities of inventory. Generally, many e-commerce brands partner with logistics companies to keep their stocks, which is also an excellent option. However, owning a warehouse also benefits e-commerce companies in many ways.
For one, establishing a warehouse is cost-efficient for e-commerce businesses. An extensive storage facility enables companies to purchase and store products in bulk, allowing them to take advantage of volume discounts and reduce costs per unit.
Additionally, warehouses provide the ideal environment for brands to conduct quality control or product inspections. Because of that, they ensure that only high-quality items are shipped to customers. Doing so will reduce the likelihood of returns. Plus, it increases customer trust, encouraging them to buy more from the store.
Unlike some options listed below, warehouses may work well with a specific structural design. Many e-commerce companies often go for steel buildings because they require less maintenance, allowing them to save money from conducting frequent upkeep. Plus, it can support solar panels, adding to the venture’s cost-efficiency.
The best part is that many trusted manufacturers are widely available today. For instance, US-based provider Worldwide Steel Buildings offers a variety of steel structures like airplane hangars, recreational buildings, and agricultural establishments. They also provide a 50-year warranty for any manufacturing defects.
Fulfillment centers work similarly to warehouses, where e-commerce companies can store their inventory. However, this facility is designed to enhance the customer experience by making their products and services available nearby.
These establishments provide faster order fulfillment by strategically placing inventory closer to customers, contributing to the overall positive customer experience. It’s also cost-efficient because it significantly reduces shipping times and costs.
Visual materials like images and videos are vital to effectively marketing e-commerce brands. Through close-up shots and multiple angles, customers can comprehensively view their desired item, allowing them to examine every detail and imagine how the product would feel in person.
Offering high-quality product visuals helps e-commerce brands elevate their trust and engagement. Plus, it creates a sense of professionalism and authenticity. Although studios are available everywhere, an in-house studio is an excellent space for online stores to have.
Establishing a studio offers brands complete control over their product images and videos. It removes the need to rent third-party studios with their hourly limit, which saves significant time and money. Because of that, marketers can focus on getting the best shots without any pressure, allowing them to discover and play with more creative and unique concepts.
Having a studio also provides a space for brands to launch a live video broadcast. Live streaming has been one of the best ways for e-commerce brands to engage with their target audience, conduct product demonstrations, and promote other events in real time. It’s an excellent platform for them to humanize their brand and increase their trust.
Many startup e-commerce companies begin with a remote workforce. Some remain that way as their business grows, while others prefer establishing a physical space to collaborate with their team in person.
A co-working space for e-commerce brands is an excellent way to encourage teamwork within a company. While remote work has certain benefits, working side-by-side with team members is better to foster community and cooperation. Doing so could lead to better decisions to further the e-commerce company’s growth.
Additionally, online brands can use these spaces to improve their networking opportunities. A physical office could elevate an e-commerce company’s authenticity, which appeals to potential partners, investors, and employees.
Improve Your Credibility With a Physical Presence
As discussed above, establishing a physical presence has become crucial in today’s e-commerce landscape. It helps online companies streamline processes, engage with their target audiences, and elevate their brand image through creative marketing. These benefits amount to a credible e-commerce brand that their customers trust.
It’s excellent to have all the establishments mentioned above. However, it might be costly to launch them all at once. Brands can start with one space, like an office or warehouse, and gradually acquire more as they grow.