Brick-and-click store, also known as “click and mortar shop” and “clicks and bricks”, is a combination of the physical retail location and an online shop. This model unifies two sales channels, which can help businesses grow their customer base faster, as well as giving existing customers more opportunities to make purchases.
With the development of ecommerce, many traditional brick and mortar retailers have been reconsidering their business models and strategies. For example, companies like Walmart, Target, and Whole Foods, which were originally a chain of brick and mortar stores, now have an online store, where customers can order goods to be delivered or picked up at one of the physical locations.
Smaller enterprises can benefit from the brick-and-click business model as well. Usually, small businesses start with opening an online store and offer goods through an ecommerce experience. After a business gains a sufficient number of regular customers it can open a physical store and offer customers to buy products from there.
Principles of brick-and-click store
No matter if the business is big or small, there several principles that are relevant to every brick-and-click store. They include:
- Improved customer experience. Having both online and physical stores, clients can buy products in the way they want. For example, they can order a product online and have it delivered to the physical location or see the product in-person and then buy it online.
- Flexibility of operations. Brick-and-click model allows customers to choose how they want to purchase the product and how it will be delivered to them. And what’s good for both clients and sellers is that physical operations, such as returns can be operated with ease by making a return to the physical store, while the communication can be maintained online.
- Brand building and growth. When a business inherits a brick-and-click model it can reach out to a larger audience with a help of multiple sales channels and marketing strategies.
Advantages and disadvantages of brick-and-click store
There are pros and cons of following the brick-and-click model:
- Better customer experience. Brick-and-click stores allow retailers to create a variety of choices for their customers and make the process of shopping more enjoyable.
- Business improvement. With a help of web analytics tools, merchants can see the popularity of their products and services, while feedbacks from physical store’s visitors allow them to improve their online presence.
- More customers. Physical stores can bring more customers from a local community and online stores can extend the customer base to global consumers.
- Long onboarding. Brick and mortar stores require more time to adapt their stores for ecommerce, and vice versa ecommerce stores need to get acquainted with the principle of physical stores.
- Additional costs. Running both physical and online shops requires bigger investments, such as staff salary and website management.
- Increased time investment. To implement and manage a store following a brick-and-click model requires more time due to the inventory management across two channels and general differences between online and offline experiences.
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