Are you interested in opening a business but aren’t sure if you should go all in with an online ecommerce model or a brick and mortar one? Why not get the best of both worlds with a click and mortar business?
Click and Mortar Businesses Defined
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.
Here’s a word from B2b2c Solutions about how the migration from pure brick and mortar to click and mortar can enhance your business:
How Click and Mortar Businesses Work
Click and Mortar commerce enriches the shopping experience by offering more flexibility, service, and convenience. For example, if you’re selling widgets, you would start by setting up an online store optimized for mobile use. This digital presence complements your physical store, marrying the rise of e-commerce with the benefits of a physical location.
Retailers provide in-store Wi-Fi, allowing customers to browse different offers while shopping in-store. This omnichannel approach benefits both the retailer and the small business owner, as it enables the collection of valuable customer data to refine marketing strategies and product offerings.
Integrating Online and Physical Retail: Enhancing Customer Experience
A key reason for integrating online and physical retail is to significantly enhance the customer experience. This is particularly crucial for items like clothing and other big-ticket items, where physical interaction is a valuable part of the shopping process. The online presence serves not just as a marketplace but also as an enticement, drawing customers into the physical store. Here, they have the opportunity to test, touch, and see the products firsthand before making a purchase decision. This bricks and clicks approach ensures that the online website and physical store complement each other, providing a seamless and enriched shopping experience for customers.
Other Reasons Businesses Use Click and Mortar Business Models
- Enhancing Customer Experience with Integrated Retail: A key goal of click and mortar businesses is to improve the customer experience by combining online accessibility with the personal experience of in-store shopping. Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses are increasingly integrating online stores, while online-only retailers are setting up physical stores to diversify how customers interact with their products. Renowned companies such as Amazon and BaubleBar exemplify this successful integration.
- Expanding Market Access and Brand Presence: Operating both online and offline expands market reach beyond the physical limitations of traditional stores, increasing brand visibility and trust. Customers appreciate the ability to interact with products physically, which enhances their confidence in the brand.
- Operational Efficiencies and Innovative Marketing: This model offers flexibility in inventory management and operational efficiencies. Enhanced analytics inform stocking decisions in physical stores. Additionally, it enables the launch of innovative marketing campaigns that bridge online and offline experiences.
- Technological Integration for Personalized Shopping: Integrating mobile technology facilitates a personalized shopping journey. Customers can access their online accounts and wish lists through smartphones while in-store, improving their shopping experience.
- Adapting to Business Continuity and Customer Service: This model offers resilience, allowing operations to shift online if needed. It also streamlines customer support, offering multiple communication channels.
- Lower Labor Costs and Quicker Customer Loyalty: Transitioning to a click and mortar model can reduce labor costs by automating customer service functions. This dual-channel approach fosters customer loyalty through convenient in-store experiences and online purchases and returns.
- Additional Services and Enhanced Analytics: Selling online and in-store enables offering additional services and insights into buying behavior. Website analytics can inform product stocking in physical stores.
- Integration of Mobile and Physical Shopping: Allowing customers to access their online accounts through smartphones in physical stores bridges the shopping experience gap, enabling informed buying decisions.
Understanding Different Business Models: Click and Mortar, Online-Only, and Brick and Mortar
To help you decide which business model might be right for you, let’s compare click and mortar businesses with online-only and brick-and-mortar stores. The following table breaks down the main features of each model, making it easier to see their differences and advantages:
Table: Comparing Business Models
|What We’re Looking At
|Click and Mortar
|Brick and Mortar
|Global and local
|Integrated online and offline experience
|Convenient online shopping
|Personal in-store service
|Flexible, both online and in-store
|Mainly in the store
|Omnichannel, leveraging both online and offline strategies
|Focused on digital marketing
|Relies on traditional and local marketing
|Comprehensive, from both online and in-store interactions
|Predominantly from online activities
|Primarily from physical customer interactions
|High, adaptable to various market conditions
|Medium, influenced by online market trends
|Lower, more affected by physical store limitations
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