As a business owner I have spent much of the last 12 months working on creating an online presence for my business and I have recently invested in e-commerce so that I can sell both online, and through my high street shop. As more and more businesses close around my, I am curious as to whether having a physical property in this digital age, is actually worthwhile.

It’s ironic really, just 2 years ago I was chatting to the guys at Woodgrange Solicitors about helping me acquire some more commercial property, and now here I am considering getting rid of it altogether. If you are in a similar situation, here is how I’m thinking about whether the internet is really the future.

The Appeal of The Internet

It is worth considering first what reasons there are for taking your business entirely online. Each year for the last 5 years, the amount of consumers who are taking their business to the internet has risen and it looks set to continue to do so. The appeal of the internet for shoppers is that they can buy their goods and services from their laptops, their tablets or even from their mobile phone. Users can view products with more comfort and buy what they need without even needing to leave the house, not to mention the wider range of choice which they will have.

The Appeal of Physical Property

Despite the appeal of the internet, there are still a great many people who like to go out and find their products and services on the high street. These people enjoy the human interaction, they like to be able to physically see, try on and touch what it is that they are buying. In all honesty I really cannot see the desire to physically go out and buy your goods to change too dramatically and I believe that the people who are shopping online, are also going out to the high street for what they need.

The Opportunity to do Both

There is absolutely nothing to say that you must pick between taking your business online or keeping it in the high street and despite the fact that the internet does seem to be taking over, a successful business owner will look for all ways of making money. This is the approach that I have decided to adopt and I plan to gradually place more an more focus on the online side of the business as the years go on.

What the Future Looks Like

All indications that we have look like the internet and automation will continue to take over and the foot fall on the high street will dramatically reduce. It is for this reason that business owners, or at least owners of commercial property on the high street, should be looking for other uses for the properties. Selling your property now does not make any sense and there is still a great deal of business to be done on the high street, it is however worth making some plans for the future, and the change that is coming.