The brick and mortar business model is a traditional street side business that sells goods and services directly to customers in an offline storefront. It is a very different type of business than the e-commerce stores that rely on the internet.
While the online world has made it easier for consumers to purchase products and services, there are many advantages to the brick and mortar business model. One benefit is the personal touch. When consumers visit brick and mortar stores, they can speak with store employees, try on clothing or sample a new product, all of which improve the customer experience. Another benefit is that when they buy a product, they get to take it home right away.
As technology and the digital economy continue to grow, retailers are finding that they must reshape their business models to stay competitive. For example, Walmart has recently invested over $11 billion in its stores to increase the customer experience. Some big box retailers are also expanding their e-commerce sites. But despite all of the changes, the brick and mortar business model is not going anywhere. Having a physical location is crucial to building a good reputation and providing the kind of customer service that consumers are looking for.
Those who are interested in opening a brick and mortar store should first determine which of the various selling strategies will work best for them. Some may choose to operate as a virtual company with a website, while others may want to use a combination of the two. A successful brick and mortar store will have both a website and a storefront, and will utilize both types of media to promote itself.
Brick and mortar companies that have an internet presence are able to benefit from lower operating costs, allowing them to compete with virtual companies. The downside is that customers may be wary of making payments using credit cards online.
Another disadvantage is the high fixed cost of owning or leasing a brick and mortar store. This includes the cost of paying utility expenses, acquiring building leases, and hiring staff. However, some brick and mortar retailers have managed to keep their overheads down through effective marketing, and by reducing the number of stores they own.
A study by the State of Brick and Mortar Retail Report found that shoppers are disappointed in their physical retail experience. More than 70 percent of respondents said they had a negative experience. Despite this, the study found that consumers are more confident in buying a product at a brick and mortar store than they are online. This confidence is largely attributed to the ability to physically try on a product before buying it.
Brick and mortar businesses are not likely to go away, but the industry needs to find ways to keep its competitive edge. The report identifies some of the most notable improvements that brick and mortar retailers are making to enhance the customer experience, and gives a blueprint to help retailers avoid disappointing consumers in the future.