Online Stores vs Physical Stores – The Differences

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When it comes to the differences between online stores Vs physical store, few people know which one to choose. The debate has been going on for years!

Wondering how to choose the best platform for your business, online stores Vs physical stores?

One of the many things that the Internet has changed our lives is buying things. We are now able to go online and browse through various products that we can order and have delivered to our doorsteps. 

Some people prefer online stores to physical stores and others prefer the opposite. The first question that pops up is whether both have an equal edge over each other. 

This article compares the differences between both kinds of stores. Let me take you through a list of points that will help you make a decision to choose your favorite one.

The perks of physical stores

Physical store

A physical store provides the most natural way to shop. Walk-in, find what you need and see if it feels soft and of good quality. Here are more benefits of shopping in a store:

1. Customer can see and touch products

Physical stores provide more than a place to shop. Customers who enter a physical store can see, touch, and feel the products before making their purchase decision. 

You can also make comparisons between similar products. Also, you can see all the options available without any trouble. This gives customers the ability to research products in-store before buying. 

For instance, it’s easier to appreciate the texture and color of a sweater in person than it is online. With physical stores, customers can get an idea of a product before they buy.

It’s common to see customers picking up bottles of hand soap or shampoos before buying it. To the consumer, this adds value by creating the feel and experience of the product.

2. Immediate availability 

Let’s face it, product availability might not be instantaneous. But trying out physical stores ensures that you are going to get the item when you want it.

For most people, physical stores are a great place to get your product. Unlike online stores, you can walk in and buy right away. No need to wait for shipping or for the product to be delivered to your doorstep.

Your local physical store is a place where you can get instant access to all the products. Everything is present in that particular place.

3. No extra fee on shipping 

Saving money is also another reason why local shoppers prefer to shop in physical stores. A shipping fee will be charged whenever online shopping is done. 

A physical store may have the upper hand when it comes to shipping. Consumers become more cost-conscious because online stores usually charge shipping fees based on the total amount of purchase.

4. Personalized experience to customers

A personalized experience is one of the most common reasons why customers go to a physical store to shop. 

That’s because physical stores are able to create an experience for every single person that enters their doors. Thus, making the experience much more enjoyable for them.

The way that you would feel when strolling around your favorite mall and then walking into a store or talking to a salesperson. 

At physical stores, the staffs give personalized experiences to the customers. The store staff is giving 100% for providing the best products they have. 

Physical stores also offer reward discounts for their customers. Furthermore, they provide proper knowledge about the products so people can take an informed decision.

5. Funding is easy

Funding is a lot easier to raise when you have a physical store. Having an actual place your customers can visit makes it easier to gauge interest in your product.

As a physical store business, you will rely on your clients to fund your startup. For those who have a large amount of capital already, this won’t be an issue. 

But if you don’t, you’ll have to come up with creative ways to secure funding. The primary way is by securing a business loan. 

Bank loans to help with starting up a store business are easy to secure. Especially in this economy where banks are hungry for new customers. 

Having a real physical store is the best way to show your credibility. Banks and financial institutions recognize the value of brick-and-mortar stores.

The perks of online stores

Online stores

There are many reasons why online stores are gaining popularity over their physical counterparts. We will explore some reasons in detail below:

1. Convenience 

One of the essences of online shopping is all about convenience. Customers today are seeking ways to save time and money. But, without giving up the luxury of quality.

It is no secret anymore that people are shopping online more than ever. It is much easier to buy something you want or need online.

The number one benefit of doing your online shopping is that you can shop from home in your pajamas. You can do those whenever you want, without anyone watching and without any stress. 

Online shopping means you can buy products in larger quantities. This is something that local stores can’t do for you. This is because some products can only be purchased in smaller quantities. 

Another popular reason to shop online is that you don’t have to leave your house to get whatever product or service, that you need. 

You can do a quick search on your smartphone and find the cheapest deals. Sometimes it’s hard to convince yourself to get out of the house but shopping online makes it easy. 

2. Wide reach

Guess what? Well, you already know. An online store does not have any restrictions when it comes to the area in which it serves its customers. 

Also, since it is an internet-based platform, there are no geographical restrictions as well. It can be accessed by any potential customer anywhere.

The wide reach of online stores is one of the significant advantages that they offer over physical stores.

No more walking from store to store to find what you want at a reasonable price. Online stores have a wider reach of products and can provide you almost everything.

You can sell more and reach more customers online than you ever thought possible. You can reach new customers who live nearby. Also, new customers in other countries around the world.

3. 24/7 sales

No time? With online stores, you can buy whatever you want whenever you want to. Unlike physical stores that open and close at specific times.  

Online stores work around the clock, giving their customers 24/7 access to a range of goods and services.

You can make purchases online whenever you feel like purchasing. This is also handy if someone forgets a loving birthday or needs something special for a special occasion. You know how it is. 

Also, online stores do not need long aisles that force you to spend time walking from one product to another.

4. Reduced start-up cost

If you are a start-up business with limited capital to spend on your products, an online store is a way to go. 

To set up an online store requires minimal investment. You just need to rent or buy a domain and pay for web hosting and people could be shopping in your virtual store.

A good online store should be easy to set up. Besides, if you find a reputable host for your website, it shouldn’t cost too much.

Reduced start-up costs are a huge plus in opening an online store. No extra costs such as rent, insurance, licenses, and utility bills. This is possible considering no physical shop front is required. 

5. Diverse product option

When considering the various positives of online buying, one of the most valuable reason is the range of products and brands that are available.

Online stores are a collection of diversified kinds of products. You can find what you want to buy by filtering or searching for products with an online store. 

Most online stores offer a vast variety of products for the customer to choose from. These include clothing, footwear, accessories, electronics, and more. 

Shopping in-stores is often very restricted when it comes to choice. Having the choice to browse many brands and product lines can be a big benefit for today’s consumers.

These products range from the most basic ones to the ones that are hard to find. With the increase in the number of online stores, people have more options to choose from. 

Also, make a decision at ease, sitting in the comfort of your home. Online stores can also be very useful for people who want to reach many people at once. 

It saves cognitive and monetary resources that would otherwise have been used for a physical search.


People have been buying goods and services from producers long before they had the ability to do so online. 

In today’s world, online shopping has become widespread among many individuals. Besides, small businesses are now conducting business exclusively online.

It is so hard to know whether to start your own online store or even open a physical store. The product descriptions on both of them would be giving you different features for the product. So,  how do you make your decision?

Physical and online stores both have their own share of pros and cons. Meanwhile, both online and physical stores have a few ways to attract the attention of the customers.