For those of you who have the ability, you should always have an regular store as well as your own internet store front. Many may be hesitant, because of some of the commercials you see on television, or maybe that it is not affordable, but these things are not true. There are actually many benefits of having an Ecommerce site as well as brick and mortar store.
Let's start by looking at maybe one of the biggest advantages, the ability to get more customers. With a brick and mortar store you may be very popular in your community, as well as communities close to you. When you open up your web store, not only are you more popular with the locals, but now your products or services have world wide access. Some one who sees your site online, likes your products can buy from you even if the live in New Zealand or South Africa, the North Pole or at some oil platform in the middle of the ocean, as long as they have internet access and a credit card.
Another reason to have both a brick and mortar store as well as a website is that customers have access to you any time of the day or night. They can go to your Ecommerce website and look at your products and order them even in the middle of their night in their PJ's. It also reduces your advertising. If you are running a sale or have deducted merchandise, instead of running a flier which almost never works, you can simply email your customers, even giving them further discounts if they come in and mention the email ad. You can give out special promotions, or even free merchandise with a down loaded coupon. The possibilities are almost infinite.
As far as costs go, putting out an online store and maintaining it is not as expensive as many may think. Initially it can run from 500 to 2500 dollars to get started, and around fifty and up per month for maintenance. However, when it is up and running, you can do just about anything you want with the site. You can upload video commercials, change them any time, in any way, which you would never be able to do with television or radio. The Ecommerce company that sets up your site does all the routine maintenance for you, so you do not have to worry about getting on the online search engines, or getting links to and from other websites.
Unless you know someone who is qualified to do website design, it is just a better idea to get a professional to do it for you. It will take half the time, the site with be set up the way you want it, and there will not be as many problems in general. It is important to choose a company with a good reputation, experience in website designs, and one that is reasonable.