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Selling online VS in-person. The Pros and The Cons

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

9mins Read 


It’s easier to build trust with people you can see or meet, this is simply because by meeting them, you are able to overcome objections and read their emotions. However, selling online is incredibly scalable. That’s why many smart small businesses start out selling in-person but start to implement more online selling.

In this blog post, we will go into the specific details involved in selling online and selling in person


What are the Benefits of Selling In-person Instead of Online?

Selling in-person has some pretty large advantages. There are several advantages to meeting with someone one on one and in-person. It is more about building rapport and trust, making it much easier to create a relationship when you are meeting with someone in-person.

The key element of sales is Emotional Intelligence. When you’re with someone in person, it’s easy to tell when the customers are getting distracted. frustrated, disinterested, or upset. If you’re meeting with people in-person, you can easily respond to all of these emotions, ask them questions, and adjust your conversation based on the buyer's responses. You can’t do this with online sales.

You’ll have people’s attention in-person but when they’re browsing the internet, they may have many other tabs open on their web browser. While you want to keep your in-person meetings exciting and engaging, you don’t need to hook people in within the first few seconds as you do online.

What Are the Benefits of Selling Online?

Selling online is incredibly scalable. While you can hire more salespeople, this requires new training, managing employees, and making sure the employees are making you more money than they are costing you.

If you find just the right sales copy, your online ad, sales funnel, or webpage can drive business and leads for years into the future.

As an entrepreneur, selling online gives you a lot of readily available opportunities, from live webinars to social media handles like Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. You have multiples options for you to easily connect with many people and sell your products.

Disadvantages of Selling In-person?

It is time-consuming: You have a limited amount of time and resources. Meeting with people in-person often will mean driving across town, finding parking, and money on coffee or lunch. You’ll need to deal with complex scheduling and cancellations. Preparing for your meeting, commuting, doing the meeting, and sending a follow-up email can easily be 3 hours of your time.

High-Cost Implication: Hiring sales representatives means training and managing people. Depending on their commission structure, they could be costing you more money than they’re making you. You’ll also need to find, hire, train, and fire sales representatives.

Customer Relationship Management: There can be some strained moments of customer awkwardness or discomfort when selling in person. But when the person is shopping via your eCommerce store and they lose interest, they’ll simply leave. Potential customers can become rude, hostile, or aggressive on occasion. Going to the meeting after a meeting can be emotionally draining.


Disadvantages of Selling Online?

Distraction: People tend to be distracted when they are online. Ads, social media platforms, and a variety of websites are competing for their attention.

More than half of users spend less than 15 seconds on a website. Can you imagine if you met with someone and they left if you didn’t impress them within 15 seconds?

Impress Your customer with Amazing Storefronts

Fraud Scare: A US Government survey found out that half of Americans are reluctant to shop online. People may be nervous you’ll steal their credit card info (or take their money and deliver nothing). Even on online sales, it can still be useful to have one-to-one interactions. This could be a chatbot, a “contact us” form, or even a phone number people can call. If you are pitching a service on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Pinterest, you can have people leave comments or send messages on that platform.

If you are selling through established websites like Amazon, eBay, Shopify, and Etsy this will take away some of the risk (especially if you have great seller ratings). Having the option to pay through Credible payment platforms makes people less nervous than simply having a place to fill out credit card information.

Protect Your Customer, Protect your Sales


Lower Conversion Rates:  A much lower percentage of people will decide to do business with you online. The median conversion rate for landing pages (percent of people who take your desired action such as making a purchase or messaging your business). The median is 1 out of 50 people. And this is for a landing page that’s designed specifically for taking the one action. The conversion rate for blog posts or a general website is often even lower.

Improve Your Conversion Rate

Selling Online vs In-person for Local Service-Based Businesses

Google my business page
A Google My Business page is a great way to generate more business
Should local service-based businesses do more of their selling online or in-person? Getting started, it’s easier to generate your first sales by connecting with people in-person. It’s not a good idea to rely exclusively on online sales when you’re just getting started.

An important element of online sales is testimonials and reviews. If you have no customers, it’s challenging to generate sales.

As local businesses gain customers, it’s important to introduce online sales. Otherwise, you’ll be reliant on networking, in-person meetings, or word of mouth. Often, people get busy and then they don’t have time to network and meet with people. Suddenly sales off.

A Google My Business Page and Yelp Page can give business owners new leads, even when they’re not actively spending time on these channels. Paid ads can bring leads on an ongoing basis without extra effort.

Incorporating online sales (or lead capturing) is a key step for gaining a consistent flow of customers. It also helps attract just the right people. Growing a small business isn’t only about gaining more customers. It’s about attracting the right customers who are willing to pay more, are easier to work with, and who appreciate your business.



Should I Do In-person Selling as an Online Retailer?

Even if most of your sales happen online, there may be opportunities to improve your store's general revenue whenever and wherever you are simply by taking those orders on behalf of your customers. You can also hand out coupons or do giveaways at events to help drive more awareness of your brand and more sales. Just because most of your sales happen online doesn’t mean 100% of the selling happens online too. Some online retailers are adding up in-person selling to their marketing strategy, why shouldn't you.


Successful Businesses Use Both Online and In-Person Selling
Successful selling and marketing aren’t solely online or in-person. It’s a combination of the two. In-person selling is ideal for larger sales and starting a business early on. Effective online selling and lead capture help businesses scale, grow, and gain a steady flow of customers. Whether you have a local business, a retail shop, or selling a service, there are opportunities to gain customers through in-person meetings and events as well as online.

Online selling requires building more trust. A much smaller percentage of people will choose to make online purchases. which is why it is important to use a Platform that offers a combination of online selling and in-person selling is the ideal strategy.


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