The merits of physical versus online businesses

Jul 25, 2015
The merits of physical versus online businesses

With the digital revolution of the past two decades transforming almost every aspect of our lives, it’s important for modern businesses to keep up with these trends.

Although online businesses make up an increasing part of the global market, there are still those who maintain that traditional physical businesses will always have a place, and so here’s a rundown of the pros and cons of each kind of operation.



The world of media has been hardest hit by the online revolution in that if a media product can be digitised, then the physical product can swiftly become obsolete.

This has been seen in the music and book industry with iTunes and the Amazon Kindle devices rendering compact discs and books almost redundant. Furthermore, entertainment sites that offer adult gamingsuch as Springbok Casino are able to deliver instant casino games into the home, and Netflix has shown an impressive ability to help people create their own home cinemas with instantly streamable films.

However, there will always be pockets of resistance to such change, as shown by sales of recorded music on vinyl showing a resurgence despite the obvious environmental benefits of using less packaging.




Another big reason as to why businesses are making the switch to going online is through being able to operate without a visible physical presence. The sight of shops vanishing from the high street is a case in point with many clothes retailers such as ASOS being able to operate from a warehouse without having to hire shopfloor staff, maintain a showroom, and avoid expensive premises in town centres.

There are many other benefits to this pattern including being able to keep overheads down through the slashing of heating and lighting bills, as well as providing workers with the opportunity to work from home. This has undoubted environmental benefits through using less fossil fuels to maintain buildings, as well as lowered carbon emissions from the daily commute.



The basic running costs of maintaining an online business have become much less significant too. Many online operators are able to use auction sites such as eBay which have made traditional newspaper classified sections redundant, and groups on social media sites like Facebook are able to quickly tie together disparate audiences who share a similar taste in order to reach a large and interested market without huge advertising costs.

Despite this, there are those who point out that the amount of effort spent into advertising using online methods can often provide little in the way of financial success. And the true way to make an impression on any potential consumer is to provide the basic human elements of customer service and expertise that cannot easily be achieved in the modern digital age.




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