It's a business model used by merchants to operate both an online store and a physical retail outlet. In other terms, the retailers give their customers both an online and offline channel to do their shopping. If we look that the current trends, it's justifiable to say that the e-commerce industry is tremendously gaining traction. On the other hand, it has been a must priority for most retailers to have physical premises. This explains why most retailers take steps to sync the two together.
Making your store visible via a website is quite useful in a number of ways. And here's the most puzzling question. Is a Brick and Click store worth it? This actively rides on the customers' behavior. You need to look at their shopping preferences. A much bigger pointer to be put into consideration is the retailer's niche.
Not long ago, small retailers were troubled by their giant counterparts. It's undeniable how the likes of Walmart and Amazon take the bigger share of the cake. Many thanks to the prevalence of 3rd party E-commerce platforms which sort of try to neutralize the imbalance. As it stands, a physical store owner can now make the most out of the online space.
And here's how.
What the e-commerce platforms do is let you customize a beautiful online store which gives you a golden opportunity to sell your products in multiple places. In actual fact, a business owner gains access to social media, online marketplaces, web, mobile, as well as pop-up shops.
In spite of that, there's a crowd of customers who prefer making a purchase from a physical shop across the streets in the neighborhood or even inside a mall. Taking note of the two prospects, it's pretty much essential to have a Brick and Click store in check. And it doesn't end here.
There's more to it.
How to run a Brick and Click business
Retailers need appropriate data from their e-commerce sites and the physical stores, to have a glimpse of the customers' trends. Fortunately, mainstream online sales channels seem to be automated and straightforward. All you need to do is get acquainted with tools such as Google Trends and Google Analytics to gain accurate insights.
To be precise, Google Trends helps the store owners to have an appraisal of all geographical locations where the demand comes from. It shows you the most popular searched items in real-time. It visibly enlightens one on a specific niche in terms of its performance across different regions. It swings into action whenever a user wants to calculate the interest of a certain product over a stipulated period of time.
As far as monitoring my target audience is concerned, Google Analytics steps in to keep a good track of all the demographics. In other words, you see all the customers' actions anytime they visit your online store. It easily integrates with your website via a unique tracking ID. Google analytics, is beyond question, a tool which gives Bricks and Clicks store owners, tricks on how to speed up the conversion rates and lower the bounce rates.
That aside, there's a huge potential on the social media platforms. For instance, Facebook campaigns, are a proven strategy which store owners use, to drive traffic and reach out to new audiences. It's a means to optimize their e-commerce sites.
One of the most primary segments in such a business model is processing payments. How do avoid all sorts of discrepancies? Good question. A retailer needs to work with a comprehensive Point of Sale system. One which simplifies the checkout process and handles all inventory reports in a proficient manner.
To enhance the shopping experience, you need to purchase a sturdy card reader which accepts all major credit cards and integrates with the Point of Sale system. After all, we can't ignore the number of customers who prefer using advanced payment methods such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Such a tipping point is significant enough to incorporate in my Brick and Click store. To a greater extent, there's is much need to set in place a POS which generates several staff accounts. No man is an island. So definitely, you might need to delegate some work. It's less complicated if you do it via an automated system which gives prompt notifications whenever a task is completed. Also, one which gives restricted access to some information such as payment transactions.
A hybrid of both offline and online sales system is always part of the equation. As a matter of fact, they supplement each other to serve the needs of your Bricks and Clicks store better. Technically, an offline POS system doesn't sync with other devices. More reason to have an online POS in place.
Why do some consumers prefer physical stores?
Arguably, there are lots of dynamics which influence the customer behavior to choose the nearest mall, over shopping online via their mobile devices. On the flipside, we have millennials who are tech-savvy and exhibit higher online-shopping habits. Well, that's not to say all of them have the patience to wait for the order to get delivered.
This unfolds one weighty reason as to why an e-commerce merchant needs to set up a shop somewhere close to the market demand. If a customer experiences any persistent delays with the delivery, they'll definitely opt out of online shopping. As a result, they end up going for the physical store.
And that's not all.
A retailer needs to know the uppermost element which controls the customers' preferences between an in-store and online shopping. Customarily, going to shop at the mall has been a lifestyle for most consumers. A shopper wants to see and touch the goods before making a purchase. Besides that, they might want to make comparisons with other brands in the retailer's shop. Importantly, you need to take note of those customers who have had a bad experience with online shopping.
Commons scenarios are either, the goods purchased were faulty and didn't match the product description, or maybe they were not delivered at all. Nevertheless, a buyer has an option to file for a chargeback but at the same time, it's a tedious process which is quite frustrating.
Almost always, the final decision to make a purchase relies on a customer's attitude. Others view making a purchase online as a risky venture. Interesting enough, Brick and Click store tends to kill two birds with one stone. A retailer needs to come to terms with the fact a consumer prefers to shop expensive products such as electronics from an established in-store. Not forgetting the proximity to the customer's location.
To be forthright, a merchant needs to use intelligent techniques while handling customers' orders. Whichever products you're dealing with, it's always in your best interest to meticulously handle the inventory part of the business with a high level of accuracy. By so doing, it's gainful to integrate both the online and offline inventory. In a modest way, a Brick and Click store resolves both ends.
In regards to inventory, a retailer can offer a click-and-collect service to the buyers. In order to make this strategy feasible, a merchant gets to list a product on the website, indicate that it's in stock, and let the customers pick the item from the store at their own convenient time.
It's quite obvious that a retailer needs to reconcile all inventory reports. To that end, you get to keep a good track of items sold via the online channel and those purchased from the in-store. That is to say, it's sensible to sync all the inventory in one place so as to easily handle both online and offline transactions from a single point.
And the best part?
There are legit platforms in the market to do all the tasks for you. All things considered, it's wise to integrate your e-commerce store with all your physical stores. Over and above that, you need to have comprehensive sales reports for all orders you ship to your customers from the inventory in your physical store.
Notably, a Brick and Click business setup is a tremendous strategy to make both ends meet. You need not worry about consumers' shopping preferences. The next logical plan to get things going by studying how your customers choose to purchase goods. With this in mind, you have an upper hand since you know how to drive traffic in the right direction.
To all late bloomers, it's time to go Brick and Click. No other way around it. Besides, this is a super creative means to give the customers a convenient way to experience both the traditional retail service and online shopping. As a further matter, it tends to capture both the traditional and online audience. And for any traditional retailer, think of it as a means to make the most out of the online market.
Most importantly, it's an alternative plan to build your business' credibility. Customers seem to gain more confidence towards a retailer if they have a physical presence.