Differences between an Offline and Online Small Business - hwinfotech

These days, many new businesses are being set up due to the availability of various platforms through which they can reach customers. Online and offline businesses both come with their advantages and pitfalls. An online business is a business that makes money by selling products exclusively online and an offline business is one that sells its products physically. If you are about to start an online small business and an offline small business you need to know the key differences between them. Below is the difference between online and offline in points.

Online Business

An online business sells its products only through the internet by shipping them to the customers’ homes.

Below are the various advantages and disadvantages of an online business:

Open 24/7

An online business never sleeps. Many surveys have shown that people mostly browse products on online shopping portals during night time when most of the physical shops are closed. The products of an online business are always up for sale.

Less Capital

An online business requires way less capital to set up than an offline business. You will also save costs of hiring employees as all the shopping is done digitally. All you have to pay is the fees for setting up and regularly maintaining the website.

More Opportunities for Growth

Online business automatically offers your business a worldwide audience thus giving you a global reach. All you need to do to grow your business is to offer delivery services to new areas. You can increase your customer base quite easily.

Difficult to Gain Reputation

Due to the cutthroat competition in the e-commerce sphere, you need to be at the top of your game to gain customers’ trust and build a reputation for your business. You’ll need to include customer testimonials and reviews and high-quality pictures of your products. It is much more difficult to persuade customers to buy your products in an online business than an offline one.

Offline Business

An offline business has a physical location where the various products are displayed for customers to choose and purchase from.

Below are the various advantages and disadvantages of offline business:

Customer Persuasion is Easier

It is much easier to sell a product by interacting face-to-face. Many people still like to physically see and check a product before making a purchase. You can also persuade a customer to buy a product in an offline setting as there is no interaction in an e-commerce business.

Hours are Limited

Compared to an online business, an offline business can function only during its working hours. This decreases the amount of potential revenue that could be collected by that business.

Expensive to Set Up

Setting up an offline business can be expensive. You’ll have to pay fixed costs such as rent, electricity, etc to set up a running business. You will also need to spend money on employee salaries. Therefore, you’ll need more capital to set up an offline business than an online business.


Whether you want to set up an offline small business or an online small business, you need to consider the aforementioned factors. You also need to know the difference between online and offline customers. Your decision should depend on the amount of capital you can invest and the type of products/services you plan on providing.


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