The business of retail is changing every day. The departure from the brick-and-mortar stores was followed by the dominance of the digital commerce. And now there has arrived another new but evolving business model known as ‘click-and-mortar’.
Referring to an integrated retail model that mingles both – the conventional offline and the modern online operations – this model allows customers to browse and shop from a website and lets them shop for the same products at a physical store.
The model has gained popularity with several names like omnichannel, phygital (physical & digital), and most recently as ‘click-and-mortar’. Also trending as ‘bricks and clicks’, this model is attracting a lot of businesses due to its flexible and convenient offerings.
Can this work for a small business?
Before indulging in the details, let us put it straight ‘Yes it can work wonders for a small business.’
Now, Let us see how.
As a modern business owner, you have set up a website & an online store, and have optimized it for mobile viewing. The customers can place the orders for the products and your business can efficiently ship it to the desired location. Now that’s impressive but is plain e-commerce.
The click-and-mortar model will take your business model a step ahead.
If you are a shop owner, you can provide a WiFi-service in your store and make the customers view entire line of products while they shop at your store. This omnichannel approach will enable digital cataloguing and save the time and effort of understanding the taste of the customers.
The browsing pattern of customers can be utilized ethically to gather the customer data. This data may help in designing marketing campaigns and when inducting new products.
The people coming to the physical stores can also increase the traffic on the websites. The increased traffic will reduce the spending on the digital marketing efforts.
Can click-and-mortar benefit customers?
Any successful business model has to benefit both the seller and the customer.
While the old businesses are integrating online medium into their business models, the new online-only retailers are eyeing to set up a physical storefronts to let their customers totally experience their products.
A brick-and-mortar facility is essential for a line of products like shoes and clothes where customers may want to physically interact with the product. It acts as a trial-space for customers who want to try on a size before making the final purchase online.
Customers also prefer to try the other big ticket items by testing, touching and seeing the products before ordering them online.
Why is Bricks and Clicks getting popular?
– Lower Labor Costs
While brick and mortar stores need to hire staff to attend the customers, click and mortar business allows automating some of its customer service operations. It needs less staff to manage an integrated business than a conventional physical shop.
– More repeat customers
An integrated model offers the bonus to keep getting loyal customers. This system eases the consumers’ skepticism related to online buying.
– Manage inventory
Online viewing may help in easy analytics for the business. If something is faring well on the website, it’s a sound idea to stock up the inventory at the physical store as well.
– Wider access to market
This business gives a larger market reach to any small business. The physical stores are obviously confined to a specific location, but the online medium opens the goods and services of a business to an expansive customer base.
– Additional benefits
Online selling can help a small business to put forward additional services by accumulating relevant information through emails and social media interactions. This can help in devising valuable loyalty programs to benefit customers.