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Saturday, September 4, 2021

Online Business vs Offline Business in 2021

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It’s inevitable; we all know that the world will soon be a fully digital and globalized place. And as this happens, many of us will lose jobs to things like automation and the general shift in businesses becoming much more online-focused. But don’t despair — there are ways to survive and even thrive in this brave new world; especially those clever enough to adapt early.

We have already seen a lot of businesses cutting down on their costly “physical” presences in favor of a more online-only approach.

Online businesses have been growing over the years, and a whole new market is being created to serve their ever-increasing demands. Online stores are being built, products are being designed from the ground up for eCommerce, and fulfillment methods have been put in place to deliver them at lightning speed. In fact, recent statistics even show that physical store based retail is dropping while online retail continues to grow.

But now, many things that were reserved for Internet-only businesses are creeping back into the offline world. And with the shift in technology bringing about innovations like virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D printing, we can expect to see even more of this shift.

Offline Businesses Are Becoming More like Their Online Counterparts

As mentioned earlier, many offline businesses have been replicating their online counterparts at a rapid pace. This is especially true for brick and mortar shops which want to bring their customers an online-style experience even though they aren’t entirely online.

Here are some examples of this trend:

Online Store with a Physical Offshoot

Numerous online businesses have made their way into the physical world, either by opening an actual shop or by setting up physical kiosks in malls, airports, and other places where people tend to congregate.

Amazon is a prime example. Their main presence online is Amazon.com, but they’ve also opened Amazon Pop-Up shops in several locations for quick shopping needs like last Christmas’ Black Friday. And Amazon Go, Amazon’s new checkout-free stores, are also an extension of their online style shopping experience.

Amazon Go is a physical store with no cashiers and no checkout lines. Customers simply walk in, select a grocery or other item from a list, and then walk out. It’s a curious concept that seems to be the perfect hybrid of the physical and online worlds. And data from their trial suggests that it’s going to be huge.

One of the interesting features of Amazon Go is that they have an app to make sure you don’t forget anything while you’re carrying other items home with you or while you leave your package behind somewhere. Enjoying this post? You can continue reading about more business tips and advice by visiting our website.

Self-Checkout Service

Sometimes, online businesses want to expand their businesses without opening brick-and-mortar stores at all. And setting up kiosks in malls or airports is an easy way to get the word out to people without having to jump through all of the legal hoops that come with building a physical store.

eBay has been doing this, and Best Buy has also expanded into airports with their Alliance airport shops. And Walmart continues to open new standalone stores while extending its catalogue of products to be sold online, too.

The fact that these stores are only physical extensions of their online businesses could mean that brick-and-mortar retailers are no longer immune from the changes happening in the digital world.

Vending Machine

Online businesses are even making appearances in the physical world in the form of vending machines that sell things like food, makeup, and souvenirs. The Japanese have gotten into this game more than anyone, with machines selling everything from curry to warm towels.

While there aren’t any vending machines in the United States just yet, this concept could be expanded upon to suit more than just food. There is also the possibility for vending machines to fill many of our totally unnecessary wants if we let them. We are sure that Skype is already working on this.

But the process of converting the vending machine to a stand-alone business can be costly, with legal issues to consider, as well as keeping up with the high level of service that consumers demand from these machines. And then there are all of the maintenance issues for vending machines themselves, especially when they’re exposed to harsh weather conditions. All this means that these businesses are still mostly online businesses made physical.

Physical Boutiques and Art Galleries

While many of us may think of art galleries as being only an art form, many are now taking it even further by adding physical store fronts.

New York City has opened up a bunch of these modern, so-called “super stores,” which are actually just art-related concepts with retail space included. The concept is that the store is the work itself and that by shopping there, you are supporting the artist or gallery (or both.)

This concept could easily be expanded to suit other types of businesses. A clothing store could act as its own art gallery, acting as showroom to display its merchandise. And this would go for any business, not just fashion. A restaurant could even serve as its own gallery where patrons can purchase (or paint) their food before eating it.

Going digital is still the future, but we’ve seen that some offline businesses are beginning to give their counterparts on the Net a run for their money. We may be on the brink of a new tech-driven renaissance, and it’s likely that we’ll see more physical business become online businesses as this tech revolution continues.

 


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