Online businesses see no need to open physical store

Online businesses see no need to open physical store
Syahwal Nizam Hj Rani, owner of Macam-macam Sale Brunei at the Ramadhan Expo.
PHOTO: Brunei Times/ANN

Entrepreneurs are forgoing the idea of setting up a physical store as more consumers prefer the convenience of shopping online and collecting the items at a suitable place or having it delivered to them.

The current trend of shopping via social media channels has become increasingly popular, said Syahwal Nizam Hj Yani, owner of social media-based business Macam-macam Sale Brunei.

In an interview with The Brunei Times, Syahwal said that he is able to save costs now that he no longer has a physical store and operates mainly through social media channels like Instagram and Facebook as well as participating in exhibitions.

"I decided to do away with the shop since I realised that most people were still buying through Instagram and the shop had merely become a storage unit. I figured I'd spend money in getting more products to offer customers rather than paying monthly rent for that space" he said.

He also said that he usually shares the cost of renting booths in exhibitions by collaborating with other online businesses.

"Apart from advertising through social media, exhibitions can help a lot in getting our name out there. Because online shops generally do not have a huge capital to start out with, it would be better for a few online shops to share booths at an exhibition and this is what I do to save costs" he said.

Azlina Ismail, owner of Ronasutra Brunei, has also decided to make do without a physical store.

Being in the makeup business where customers would usually demand to see the products in person for them to try before purchasing, Ronasutra Brunei sets itself apart by only selling their makeup products online.

"I believe online is the way to go now, in a few years we'll probably see less and less physical stores. People prefer to shop in the convenience of their homes and we take advantage of that," said Azlina Ismail, owner of Ronasutra Brunei.

Similarly, Dk Nor'asnita Pg Hj Kamaruddin, owner of 'Peek Ur Baby' which specialises in nursing covers', is confident that her business does not need a physical store.

"At this point, I don't think I need a store because my customers always know where to find me."

She said that even after four years of her online shop being established, she does not feel the need to open a store as of yet.

She added: "I'm easily contacted through Facebook and Instagram and so far I've received very good business through these channels."

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