Simply put, a click and mortar business is an integrated model that combines both online and off-line operations. Retailers have a website here that customers can shop on but these same folks still have the option of buying products in a brick-and-mortar store. The strategy involved is often called omnichannel.
One of the big bonuses is the fact that there’s an enhanced shopping experience with more flexibility, service and convenience.
How Click and Mortar Businesses Work
Here’s one scenario showing how a click and mortar model can work for your small business.
Say you’re selling widgets. One of the first things you’ll want to do is set up an online store. With a good website that’s also optimized for mobile, customers can order the products you’ve got for sale and have them shipped to their addresses or another designated location. That’s been the model for the rise in ecommerce.
How They Help Brick and Mortar Locations
A click and mortar business takes the whole model one step further. Some retailers and other shop owners have tweaked the original ecommerce model by providing WiFi in their stores that lets customers view different offers while they shop in a physical store. This kind of omnichannel approach also benefits the retailer or the small business owner.
Small business owners can collect customer data and tweak marketing campaigns and product offers based on the information they collect. One of the first things that you need to realize is a bricks and clicks business goes both ways as far as the benefits are concerned.
How They Improve Customer Experience
For example, some more traditional brick and mortar businesses are integrating online stores into their business model. On the other side of that coin, there are online only retailers that are setting up brick-and-mortar stores because they want to expand how their customers experience their products.
Amazon and BaubleBar are two examples of businesses following this trend
How They Enhance Online Only Stores
There are some big advantages to adding physical storefronts for small businesses that only previously had a web presence. They can increase the traffic they get on their websites while at the same time reducing the money they spend on digital marketing. In many different cases, the brick and mortar storefronts actually act as testing grounds for customers who want to try on or size shoes and clothes before making the final purchase online.
Big Reasons to Integrate Online and Physical Retail
One of the big reasons for integrating online and physical retail is to make the customer experience better. For example, people selling clothes or other big ticket items with online businesses want to provide possible customers with opportunities to test, touch and see the products before they order them. In this type of bricks and clicks business, the online website is used as an enticement to get people into the store where they can physically interact with the product.
Advantages of the Click and Mortar Model
Lower Labor Costs
There are some big advantages to this trend for small businesses. First and foremost are lower labor costs. Small business owners who operate brick and mortar locations need to hire people to serve their customers. Changing over to a click and mortar business means that you’ll be able to automate some of those customer service functions. You will need less staff to manage a bricks and clicks business compared to a brick and mortar only shop.
Better Customer Service
A bricks and clicks business has the added bonus of being able to get loyal customers quicker. Not only can folks try items out and return anything that’s damaged, having a brick-and-mortar and online system helps consumers who are a little skeptical about buying things on the Internet.
More Market Access
Operating a click and mortar business will give any small business owner a larger market reach. Brick-and-mortar stores are restricted to the physical location where they are located. Adding an online element opens up your goods and services to a much wider customer base.
Not only that, potential customers can access all of your product information and make decisions from the comfort of their own home with a bricks and clicks business.
Selling products online and in a brick-and-mortar store can help your small business to offer additional services since you can access information about buying behavior through emails and social media. Integrating delivery models and even adding things like loyalty programs can make a difference.
This click and mortar model has been around for some time. That said, there’s a few techniques that you should adopt if you’re thinking about traveling this business route.
For example, keeping an eye on the analytics that your website supplies can help you sell products in your off-line store. If something is doing well on your website, it’s probably a good idea to bulk up on the inventory in your physical location as well.
Integration of Mobile and Physical Shopping
Here’s another tip that can help you bridge the gap with a click and mortar business. By allowing customers access to their online accounts through their smart phones, you can help them to make buying decisions while they’re in your physical store. They should be able to access and view rewards and previous purchases as well as other items like wish lists.