Online Business Vs Offline Business

The influence of internet has expanded to all areas of life and businesses have adapted to the changes by entering online platforms. Before setting up an online business, you have to ensure that the nature of your business suits the online environment well.

In this session, we are making a comparison of online businesses and offline businesses.

Property Online Business Offline Business
Start up cost Less More
Flexibility More Less
Operating hours 24/7 Limited
Possible threats Online attacks Theft, vandalizing etc
Resale value Less More
Ease of getting funds Less More

Start Up Costs

Setting up an online selling business has lower associated costs when compared to that of an offline business. A brick and mortar shop owner has to deal with expenses like property tax, insurance, rent etc whereas an online store doesn’t have similar associated costs. In addition to these expenses, an offline store requires more employees than an online store.

 An ecommerce store owner can anticipate costs like website development, purchasing SSL certificate, domain name, monthly gateway fee etc but their total expenses are less than that of a physical store owner.


When compared to an offline store, it is quite easy to make changes in an ecommerce store. Take for instance the price change of a product. In an ecommerce store, all you have to do is change the price at the back end but in a physical store, you may have to change the price tag on each individual product.

Better flexibility is an advantage of online business.

Customer Relationships

Although online stores offer better convenience than physical stores, building the trust of customers involves more hard work in the case of online businesses. The customers have to be sure about the legitimacy of the business and have to be guaranteed that their payment data is handled carefully.

As customers get a chance to familiarize with the product first-hand, customer trust can be earned easily in offline businesses. Online businesses have to use methods like product reviews from satisfied customers, addition of clear and concise product details etc to make earn the trust of potential customers.


Unlike offline stores, offline stores are not tied to a particular physical spot and the businesses can expand beyond domestic borders easily. Online stores can sell a wider selection of products as massive cataloguing doesn’t seem to be that much of an issue for them.

Round-the-clock nature of online businesses enables them to accommodate buyers who prefer shopping at night. The buyers have the freedom to shop any time that is convenient for them.

Marketing Requirements

There is no denying that physical stores have to invest larger sums of money for starting its operations when compared to online stores. But the lower cost of setting up indicates that there will be higher competition in online business environment. Thus online businesses have to focus more on marketing activities lest they will be unable to survive amid the increasing competition.

Shopping Time

When you have particular product ideas in mind, you may have to visit multiple stores. If you choose to shop from offline stores, visiting a number of stores to get the product you have in your mind is often time-consuming. On the other hand, if you prefer online shopping, all you have to do is search the product list of ecommerce sites to check if they sell the product that you want. The process saves a lot of your time and makes shopping quite easy.

Possible Threats

An offline store has to worry more about threats like shoplifting and vandalism. To cover the costs of burglary, property damage etc, the offline stores require insurance protection. Online businesses do not have to be worried about crimes like theft and vandalism as the only possible threat they have face is being targeted by malicious entities.

Since online businesses operate in the online platform, they may get hacked but they can protect themselves from the online attacks by using advanced cyber protection tools.

Ability To Earn New Customers

As offline stores are restricted by location, they can only get customers that come to your store in person. This restricts the ability of the offline store to earn new customers but online stores are not limited by the location restrictions. Online stores can get customers from all over the world as the customers make use of their service by sitting at the comfort of their homes.

Funding And Resale Value

It is relatively easier for offline businesses to get bank loans and funding as they have real assets. In contrast to that, a digital entrepreneur would have to use some additional persuasion to get funding.

When it comes to the sale of a business, selling offline business is easier than selling online business as it is often difficult to explain how much money the online business could bring in.

Final Thoughts

As more and more people are familiar with the growing opportunities offered by the digital world, they depend more on the internet for shopping solutions, thereby increasing the relevance of online businesses.

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