Difference Between Online Selling and Offline Selling


What is Online Selling?

online selling

Online selling is a form of e-commerce business that allows people to buy products and services online from the seller through a web browser over the internet.

What is Offline Selling?

offline selling

A form of a business model that allows people to purchase goods and services through a business outlet, who has a physical location.

Let’s discuss some major differences between Online Selling and Offline Selling that help you to make decisions if you are interested in starting a new business.

Customer Reach
  • Offline Selling: In offline selling, customer reach will be limited. Because in this business model, you have a physical outlet with one or more locations. Your customers will be the native people.
  • Online Selling: While in online selling, customers will reach you globally. Because in this business model, you have an online store, and customers can search you from anywhere in the world using a web browser.
Cost of Setup
find cutomers
  • Offline Selling: When you think to start an offline business, you must have to buy or rent a space to make an outlet. You have to hire salespersons, you need furniture, manpower for maintenance or so on. The cost of the setup is more.
  • Online Selling: For online selling, you don’t need a physical store. You need an online store for selling, you sign up on the marketplace and pay some registration amount. The setup cost for online selling is less.
Operation Cost
  • Offline Selling: For physical outlets, the operational cost will be more. You have to pay rent monthly if you rented a space, maintenance cost of the store, salaries of manpower, electricity bills, etc.
  • Online Selling: For online stores, you have some expenses as well. You have to pay a maintenance cost of web hosting, which is almost 30$ per month. You have to pay a small amount as you are working in the world’s largest marketplace.
  • Offline Selling: In a physical outlet, availability is limited. You set your working hours and days.
  • Online Selling: While in online selling, the availability of stores is 24/7.
Feasibility to Operate  
  • Offline Selling: You can only operate from the store. For selling products to the customers, you need to be feasible at the store.
  • Online Selling: Online stores can be operated anytime and from anywhere.
  • Offline Selling: For this type of business, you have limited marketing options and possibilities.
Business Expansion
Business Expansion
  • Offline Selling: For offline or physical stores, you can expand your business locally or maximum to some regions.
  • Online Selling: But for the online stores, you can expand your business worldwide.
Customer Retention: 
  • Offline Selling: In an offline business, it is easy to retain loyal customers. Because you have customers’ physical support.
  • Online Selling: It is comparatively difficult to retain customers at online stores. In online selling, customer support is virtual.
Refund Rate
Refund Rate
  • Offline Selling: In this type of business, the refund/return rate is less. Because customers have physical access to the store, they can try or observe the products before buying them.
  • Online Selling: The refund/return rate of the products is high in online selling.
Multi-channel Selling
  • Offline Selling: A seller cannot sell his products on multiple channels.
Brand Visibility and Development
Brand Visibility
  • Offline Selling: A seller’s product is visible to a limited audience, and it takes more time to develop as a brand.
  • Online Selling: In this business model, you are working globally. So products are visible on a larger scale and can become a brand in fewer months compared to offline selling.
Employees Headcount
Employees Headcount
  • Offline Selling: This business surely needs more employees to manage the store.
  • Online Selling: While for online stores, fewer employees are required to manage work online and remotely.
Sales Channel
  • Offline Selling: For marketing, you can use limited sales channels like radio and print advertising.
  • Online Selling: In online business, you may sell products on different multi-channel on social media by email marketing and messaging apps, etc.
Performance Analysis
Performance Analysis
  • Offline Selling: To analyze the performance of an offline store, you need more time, and it isn’t very easy.
  • Online Selling: For an online business, stats and figures are updated in real-time. So performance analysis is easier.
  • Offline Selling: In this business, you can gain mouth-to-mouth popularity that builds trust. It is more significant but on a less reach.
  • Online Selling: In online business, you may get reviews globally to build more trust. And better social media feedback may help you to resolve problems.

Thanks For Reading.

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Smith Mathew is a copy editor for SG-educate and writes for the marketing section. He’s a former digital marketing and SEO expert specialized in lead generation, Marketing outreach, Social media accounts management, copy-writing services, and Email marketing through lead generation.

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