Is high street shopping dead? High street stores vs e-commerce

Buying and selling has changed vastly over the past decade, and companies are finding new and innovative ways to sell their products. With Covid-19 changing our buying habits, we're going to discuss whether high street shopping is still the go to, or whether e-commerce stores are the way forward.

So what is an e-commerce store?

An e-commerce store (also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce store), refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet. The benefit of running an e-commerce store is that you're making sales without the hassle of costly overheads to showcase your products. On average, high street store owners in the U.K pay £1,000-£4,000 per month depending on size and location for their spot on the high street.

This cost is automatically illuminated when you run an online store, and your main costs will revolve around paying your website server, marketing and shipping your products to your customers. As you can guess, this is way cheaper than what you'd be paying a landlord in rent.

What are the benefits of running a high street store?

Although running a high street store may work out more costly, there are definitely pro's to sticking to selling face to face, one of them being free advertisement. When you run an e-commerce store you have to think about how you're going to advertise to your target audience which may end up being a costly endeavour. However, on a busy high street your customers will come across your store almost automatically. Even customers who may have never been interested in your products before, may be enticed by the look and popularity of your high street store and come to buy your products.

Another pro of running a high street store is face to face customer service. Customers love to feel appreciated and special when shopping with you, and doing this face to face is definitely easier than through a computer screen. Customers being able to put a face to a brand creates trust and will keep customers coming back time and time again.

Overall which method has the most risk?

The truth is that both running an e-commerce store and a high street store have their risks. With e-commerce there's always the risk of hacking, unintentional lack of customer service, and being scammed or robbed online. Similarly, high street stores can also suffer the consequence of robbery, not breaking even due to high costs, and the risk of losing money or getting into debt due to failure.

With an e-commerce store it's fair to say that the risk of you being hacked and losing all your hard work and money are fairly slim, and with less money needed to start up your business, it makes sense that you'd have less to lose if your business failed. However, the risks with high street stores are most definitely more consequential. Not only have they suffered due to Covid-19 lock down, but some have suffered over the last few years due to customers discovering the convenience of shopping online.

In 2020 which method is the most effective?

I think its fair to say that an e-commerce store is undeniably the safer and cheaper option when it comes to starting a new business in 2020. The consequences of lock down have changed the way people buy, and in these unpredictable times, it's better to be safe than sorry. Having an e-commerce store is also great fun and can introduce you to a world of marketing knowledge.

Are you looking to open up your own e-commerce store this year? Visit and let Feet on the Street help you not only set up your store, but also help market your new business.

Written by Coralie Ayala

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