Let’s Get Physical: What Smart Startup Founders Need to Know About the Power of Physical Retail

Selling online is easy. Really, really easy.

If you run in entrepreneurial circles online, you’ve probably seen a ton of jokes and memes about drop-shipping. Like affiliate marketing a few years ago, it’s the latest hot new trend among wantrepreneurs.

Why? Well, it’s easy. The barrier to entry is super low. You can make a Shopify site, snag some AliExpress products or cheap T-shirt designs for Printful, and get the ball rolling, for just a couple hundred bucks.

Online retail has made business ownership accessible for tons of people who might not have become entrepreneurs otherwise. That’s amazing, and a great thing.

But, the ease and accessibility of online retail can sometimes mislead more experienced entrepreneurs into ignoring physical retail. Actual brick and mortar stores, with shelves full of actual products, are in no way a thing of the past.

In fact, many consumers actually prefer to shop in person. In fact, even with the popularity of online shopping, it’s still just 10% of total retail sales, even today.

That means that if you only sell online, you could be missing out on as much as 90% of your potential market. It’s not as simple to get into for a novice as online retail, but there’s a lot of money in actual, physical, brick and mortar store ownership. And for many online sellers, it could be the vital next step into expanding their business and magnifying their profits.

Branding is Everything — And Physical Retail Can Make That Happen

Building a brand is important. Let’s get real — unless you’re selling some very niche bespoke item, your customers could probably technically shop somewhere else.

Especially for some kinds of products, like clothing or home decor, a strong brand can be instrumental in your success.

Can you build a brand online? Yes, of course. But expanding into brick and mortar retail can do wonders for your ability to craft a strong, well-defined brand that your customers love and feel loyal to.

There’s a long history of research into planning and creating physical spaces that are more than just a store but are a total brand experience.

There’s a lot of power in that. Even a shelf or aisle in an existing store — whether it’s Walmart, Saks, or something in between — is a place for your brand to make an impact on people.

Making Physical Retail Accessible

One of the biggest issues with physical retail, even for successful online sellers, is the barrier to entry. It can be overwhelming.

There are a lot of steps involved:

  • Approaching retailers for the products you manufacture or source abroad.
  • Leasing retail space.
  • Getting shelf access in existing stores.
  • Working out margins and commissions with brick and mortar sellers.
  • Adhering to retailers’ requirements for things like purchase orders and return policies.

It’s time-consuming, and can be expensive. 

That’s why we’re doing something different. We’re helping startups who sell online to expand into brick and mortar by offering Retail as a Service.

We offer:

  • A super quick 10-day onboarding process. (On your own, getting in with physical retailers can take months.)
  • No exclusivity, you are free to sell everywhere
  • No exit fees, you can decide when to enter and when to exit
  • Zero commission to us, you keep all the margin.
  • No long-term clauses that keep you stuck with a service you don’t like
  • We market your product inside and outside our stores
  • Provide reports along with customer feedback for your product
  • We help you find a distributor in case you want to expand in the region
  • All of the above for a monthly fee that’s flat, stable, and doesn’t come with any hidden extra charges.

Our Solution Bar offers a dedicated retail space, giving you full control over the experience, and access to staff that can engage with customers, demo your products, and capture on-the-ground feedback from customers on how your products are doing!

Why You Should Consider Dubai

Wait, Dubai? You might be scratching your head a little bit, but Dubai — and the UAE as a whole — comprise a massive, growing market where products can and are thriving in.

Why Dubai?

Dubai is a massive global melting pot, a vibrant city with a thriving economy where people from over 120 different nationalities live, vacation, and shop. It’s also a great testing ground for products, helping you explore their marketability before expanding into other nations like the US, India, or South Africa.

Making Physical Retail Attainable

Our goal is to make physical retail more attainable and affordable than ever before for product manufacturers and e-commerce entrepreneurs that have, until now, been selling exclusively online.

For more information, feel free to reach us out at any time to learn more about what Retail As A Service in Dubai can do for you. This is how Retail should be and we are doing it now. Be part of it.

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