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By Brennan Heyde
The future of retail is all about omnichannel. Here’s how to stay competitive with a bricks and clicks retail model.
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A successful bricks-and-clicks retailer!
The difference between a brick-and-click and pure online business model is the existence of a physical, brick-and-mortar store. This model, sometimes called “click-and-mortar”, has become increasingly popular over the last few years. Many brick-and-mortar retailers have found great success in ecommerce and a fair number of digitally native brands are breaking into the physical world.
In this article, we discuss what a brick and clicks retail ecommerce model means for your business and share strategies for making it successful.
What is a Bricks and Clicks (Click and Mortar) Business?
A bricks and clicks (also known as clicks and mortar) business is one that sells through both online and physical channels. These merchants leverage their online storefront and their physical store real estate to create a seamless and convenient shopping experience. In today’s commercial landscape, a successful bricks and clicks retailer uses their online and offline stores in tandem, with each supporting the other in a single strategy.
Since inventory, order details, and customer information are communicated between website and physical stores, another thing to consider is cybersecurity. Click and mortar merchants need a strong ecommerce security infrastructure to protect company data and customer information from hackers and cyber-attacks. This is critical for building trust, loyalty, and long-term customer relationships.
Today, shoppers expect a seamless buying experience on whatever channel is most convenient. Major retailers have developed online channels to complement their physical store channels, enabling shoppers to buy online and either have their item shipped to them or choose to pick it up at a store location. Sellers who leverage a click and mortar model are better positioned to increase their market reach by reaching customers where they are and enabling them to shop seamlessly between channels. The convenience of online shopping and of physical stores gives customers the ability to browse at their own leisure while also testing and picking up products in person.
A click and mortar model also allows businesses to eliminate friction from the shopping experience and provide an overall better customer experience. These businesses can establish a competitive advantage over other businesses that offer just one model. A hybrid physical and digital business model can lead to higher conversions and revenue.
Here are six traits of a highly successful bricks and clicks business model and how to leverage this model for your business.
Online shopping can be convenient and exciting, but it often fails to satisfy a customer’s desire for instant gratification. While visiting a store fills this need, it usually comes with the hassle and inconvenience of physically searching for products and standing in lines. With online ordering and in-store pickup, customers don’t have to choose between convenience and instant gratification. Retail giants like Target have begun using this advantage of the bricks-and-clicks model to great success, leveraging their real-world presence to compete with Amazon.
Customers who have become accustomed to the selection offered by online shopping can find the limitations of brick-and-mortar stores disappointing. Retailers with limited physical space can expand their selection by supplementing the in-store experience with tablets, scannable QR codes, or even self-service kiosks connected to their online store.
If upsetting customers was an Olympic sport, inventory inconsistency would be a regular Michael Phelps. No one wants to waste a trip to the store for a sold-out product that the website says is in stock. To prevent overselling and customer dissatisfaction, bricks-and-clicks retailers need to keep their inventory synced, up-to-date, and consistent across all stores, online and off.
Bricks-and-clicks models have a huge advantage over both pure ecommerce and brick-and-mortar stores when it comes to handling customer returns. When items purchased in a physical store can be returned online and vice versa, customers have the freedom to choose the most convenient option. This means happy customers and happy customers mean positive reviews, endorsements, and return purchases.
For many customers, one of the most compelling aspects of brick-and-mortar shopping is the ability to thoroughly examine and become familiar with products prior to making a purchase. To engage these customers online, retailers should recreate this experience on their site with digital showrooms and detailed product views.
Convenience and cost are often named as one of the primary reasons consumers choose online shopping vs in store shopping. Click-and-mortar retailers looking to drive more business to their physical locations can use cost-centric thinking to their advantage. A recent survey has found that consumers expect lower prices and discounts on in-store purchases. Those surveyed reported that promotions, coupons, and lower prices are among the top factors that compel them to patronize brick-and-mortar stores as opposed to online ones.
Ready to start dominating click-and-mortar retail? Check out our whitepaper, The Resilient Retailer’s Survival Guide.
This blog was published on February 19, 2019 and updated on October 27, 2021.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.