Online shopping and ecommerce are redefining spending habits at an unprecedented rate. This report on ecommerce global statistics highlights the explosive growth ecommerce has undergone since 2014. This trillion-dollar upward trendline indicates that we’re bound to see more and more online businesses come to the forefront as online-based selling streams grow.
Living in an ever-evolving economic climate means upcoming businesses – including online-only enterprises – will be looking for unique ways to grow their brands and their bottom lines. One way for a business to boost revenue is by keeping overheads low. Office space for ecommerce and online businesses is a hot topic – is it necessary for the growth of a business? Virtual storefronts are both everywhere and nowhere, delivering innovative new products to your front door without so much as a physical doorstep at the business you’re buying from.
Understanding the unique appeal of a virtual office for your ecommerce business opens up a world of possibility for burgeoning brands. Aside from the drastically lower cost of a virtual address compared to a traditional office space, the flexibility this alternative provides is a major drawcard for start-ups.
We’ve rounded up the tangible ways an intangible office can benefit your ecommerce brand, and some surprising ways that ‘going virtual’ could bolster your growth in ways you’d never imagine.
The bottom line: it’s what all business owners focus on. Whether you’re going through a period of rapid growth, or you’re simply looking for ways to maximise your revenue by cutting down unnecessary costs – a virtual office will undoubtedly provide you with the low-cost, fixed overhead structure you’re looking for. A traditional office space can set you back hundreds – if not thousands of pounds per month. In the case of ecommerce brands, this cost is often necessitated by the need to hold stock and conduct business through a business address. When you compare the cost of a commercial or temporary storage facility paired with the monthly cost of a virtual address, you’ll notice that no matter how you spin the numbers – the latter option is astoundingly more affordable.
New business comes with risk – and reducing that risk is one the trademarks of enterprises that faced the challenge head-on with creative solutions – and won. Starting costs are a major consideration. Opting for a virtual office means there are no upfront costs – or any other costs hidden down the line for that matter. No deposit, fixed monthly rental costs and value-added services such as secure mail holding, and telephone answering could well be the ‘magic’ risk-reducers your brand needs during a typically volatile time. A virtual office also drastically lowers the risk of personal loss in an unfortunate case of insolvency – and business owners would agree that preparing for the worst is a strategy too few consider.
Brand establishment is a huge benefit of running a successful ecommerce enterprise through a virtual office. Business owners need to consider the impact of using their personal details (including telephone numbers and home addresses) to affront their professional brand. While it might seem manageable at first, as your business grows you may quickly tire of the blurred work-life balance that comes with divulging personal details to customers. The best way to separate these two major aspects of your life is to provide a professional, established virtual office address and local telephone number to your clients, customers, and prospects. When you conduct your business through a virtual office, you will be provided with a local telephone number (or a national 033 number, depending on your preference) – as well as a virtual address that your contacts can use to correspond with you. Not only will this alleviate late-night work calls in your personal time, but it will also boost your brand identity. None of your customers need ever know your address is purely virtual!
Room for growth
Virtual HQ offers on-site meeting rooms that are available to rent on an hourly or daily basis. During a quiet month where there’s no need for face to face visits, you can rest assured you’re not wasting valuable revenue to have access to a meeting room that you don’t need. Through months where your diary is bustling with meetings, you can rent a fully equipped room at the fraction of a cost and still make a great impression on your customers – all without cutting your profits!
Another way a virtual office can accommodate your brand’s growth is through the various city-centre locations we offer, including in London, Manchester, Cardiff and Leeds. As your brand breaks into new markets, you can have a virtual presence literally anywhere without the commitment or cost of a physical office space.
The argument for storage space
Many will argue that ecommerce brands require a physical office location to store their stock. Over the years, many home-based business owners have realised that they have all the space they need within their own homes to securely store their inventory. City-centre homes won’t necessarily have this luxury – and have found alternative ways to house their products rather than opt for long-term, inflexible, and often very costly traditional offices. Using an off-site storage facility is often the most cost-effective option after personal home storage. Various commercial storage units and temporary storage units are offered at affordable rates that – when compared to the price of a physical office – can be astounding. Even with this additional storage cost, the comparison between a traditional physical office cost versus a virtual office paired with outsourced storage can be the differentiating factor between profits or simply breaking even.
These are some of the most substantial benefits you stand to gain when using a virtual office for your ecommerce brand. If you’re ready to boost your profits, lower your risks and open up worlds of growth – get in touch with us today to chat about our UK-wide virtual office solutions. Realise your potential – and your ROI, today. Reach out to our team on 0330 107 5154 and let us help get you on the map.