In 2019, retail e–commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022. 50% of the population online has shopped at Internet retailers more than one time. And statistically, non-food consumer goods takes up to the most part of e-retail revenues. Under such circumstances, how do the offline retailers keep their part of non-food consumer goods business?
The Pros & Cons of a Retail Store VS an Online Store
With the popularity of online shopping, you don’t have to open a storefront to own a retail business. However, not all business ideas work well online, and there is still need of retail stores. If you are looking to open a retail store, you must consider your product, the consumer and your overall business goals when decided whether a retail storefront or online store will work best for your small business.
Online Stores Are Much Cheaper to Open
In general, opening an online store is much cheaper than a retail storefront. Unlike a retail storefront, there is no rent to pay or other utility bills directly related to the store, except for web hosting and technical support. You do not have to decorate the inside of the store, purchase inside and outside signage or display units. Since you can manage the work yourself, you do not have to hire additional employees. With an online store, your costs are directly related to your website, shipping and accepting online payments. Developing your website and e-commerce platform would be the major cost. It can be expensive but it’s less expensive than opening a retail storefront.
Customer Prefer to Touch the Inventory
For high-value items such as designer clothing, antiques, jewelry, furniture, etc., and for fast consumer goods or daily necessities, a retail storefront may appeal more to customers and would be more convenient for the consumers. And some customers are looking for the experience of shopping, and prefer to see, touch and test items before they buy.
In addition to the price of items that you can sell, you must consider the number of items you wish to sell. A retail storefront will perform better for a business that sells a select amount of products, while an online store may work better for a business that carries an extensive selection.
Consider the Competition
Online retail business has a much greater competition than retail storefronts. When you want to open a retail storefront, you can easily survey an area and determine what other stores are selling the products. Or you can choose to open in a location where those stores do no exist. Anyway, a retail storefront would have stable buyers from its nearby.
Online retail is full of competition with each passing day. A startup online retailer can’t break in and find success in a short period. And online retail business asks for much more unique products and greater customer service.
Requires Different Marketing Approaches
Building a customer base is one of the most-essential components of creating a successful online or offline retail business. The potential customer base is limited to the surrounding area for a retail store. On the other hand, the customer base is vast for online retail business. Once you open up a retail store, your options for attracting new customers are limited. You are confined to the retail space that you chose and changing logos, signs, shelving and products, etc. And the overall marketing strategy can be expensive. When you work online, changing signs and logos takes mere minutes. And you can quickly and easily change the products that you sell and the way you present them on your website.
Products for Retail Stores and Online Stores?
Almost all online stores started from selling non-food consumer goods, especially for those international online retail platforms, they can hardly promote and deliver food and beverage. However, for retail stores (convenient stores, grocery stores, department stores, chain stores, supermarkets or hypermarkets), they can easily sell any kinds of consumer goods. In most grocery stores, chain stores and supermarkets, non-food product category takes up to 30% of the display and sales.
For both retail stores and online stores, they have some popular products in common. Here are some fastest-growing non-food categories in both online and offline retail stores: fashion accessories, toys, health care, pet care, household care, personal care, beauty care, etc.
Gift, home decoration, festival decoration, holiday decoration, home electronics, novel electronics items are especially popular in online retail. In offline retail stores, especially grocery stores, supermarkets and chain stores, household necessities like kitchenware, hardware tools, kitchen cleaning products, stationery items, office supplies are sold better than other categories.
For department stores, quality clothing, shoes, lady bags, backpacks, fashion piece like sunglasses, scarves, jewelries are more popular. Products in department stores also tend to be branded to differentiate from other products. It creates a much high-end value among customers.
Where to Source for Retail Business?
If you own a retail business or you are in charge of sourcing for it, you would wonder where is the best to source? No matter you are sourcing the hot selling products mentioned above or retail store equipment & supplies, store fixtures and shelving, store displays, supermarket equipment, butcher supply, store fixtures, this part brings you to the best place to source from China.
If you are sourcing a large variety of products, Yiwu wholesale market is one of the best places to visit. There are over 70,000 standalone shops exhibiting millions of products daily. You can have one-stop sourcing experience from Yiwu wholesale market. The products are not only made in Yiwu city but coming from all over China.
Visiting the Yiwu market can allow you to see, touch, and select the products face to face negotiating with the suppliers. Products from the Yiwu market are ready-made with enough inventory. The suppliers support a fast delivery time of 3-5 days with a relatively low MOQ. If you are buying in bigger quantity, Yiwu market suppliers also support OEM/branding.
Don’t want to bother to visit China? Never mind. 1688.com is another great option for you to source Chinese suppliers directly. Unlike Alibaba.com, 1688.com offers a much better price and lower MOQ. For all the products, you are allowed to buy samples to test. This is even more convenient and resonable than Yiwu wholesale market, as it’s hard to get samples from the offline wholesale market.
1688.com nested more suppliers than Yiwu market. So, it has a lot more prodcuts available. Suppliers on 1688.com are also from nationalwide. And sourcing products from this online wholesale platform is much easier, time and money saving.
Another great advantage of 1688.com is that some products listed there already have well polished pictures. If you are sourcing for your online ecommerce store, you can get the products listed on your platform and sell them upfront.
What Can Minden Intl Do for Your Importing?
Whether you own a small retail store, a convennient store, or you purchase for supermarket chain stores, or a online ecommerce store with a wide range of products, Minden Intl, a leading China Sourcing Agent, can offer you a turnkey import solution from China including product sourcing, mixed container consolidation, product inspection, and shipping arrangement.
Product Sourcing. Minden Intl sources products for retail business. A few years of experience and knowledge in sourcing a wide range of products allow us to offer retail businesses a quick response and a competitive price.
Mixed Container Consolidation. Whether you are sourcing from Yiwu wholesale market or selecting products from 1688.com, Minden Intl is able to manage ordering products from multiple suppliers and consolidate orders in one. At the same time, delivery time and shipping of mixed orders will be scheduled.
Product Preparation. After production, your products would be inspected and prepared for your retail business. Leveraging the labeling, bundling, repacking service, you could save a lot of time and money in sorting out the products. Your ordered products are ready to move into the retail market. For example, if you are selling on Amazon, Minden Intl works as your product preparation center in China. Labels like FNSKU or FBA shipping would be well handled. Simple as that.
Shipping. Our freight connections allow us to ship cargos worldwide by air, express, and sea. For businesses who are ordering hundreds of products and consolidating for a mixed container, our warehousing and shipping service can free all your concerns in sourcing from China