Before we dive deep into the future of brick and mortar retail, it is very important to explain a little bit more about this topic and why it is good for you to know the basic things, if you are planning on opening your own business.
What is the general opinion of brick and mortar stores?
A few years ago, a lot of analysts were saying that the end of brick and mortar stores is near, primarily because of the rise of the internet and e-commerce. They were considered old-fashioned and a lot of business owners were afraid that there is going to be a massive closing of these physical stores.
The truth is, a great number of customers would rather go into a brick and mortar store, then to buy something online. The main reason why this is a fact is simply that they prefer to physically view and touch the product before they decide to buy it. This is known as a sensory experience. Also, for a lot of people, it is very important to communicate with sales associates than with virtual shop assistants.
We can say that it is true that people like to check out products online and it is much easier for them and of course, time-saving. The truth is, they prefer to make a research and get the information online, but when it comes down to the buying decision, they will probably go and visit the physical location – a brick and mortar store.
What are the main differences between brick and mortar stores and e-commerce stores?
A lot of people categorize wrongly brick and mortar stores and e-commerce stores, so that is why it is of great matter to know the differences between the two of them.
The first thing you need to know is that a brick and mortar store is basically a store that must have a physical location somewhere (at least one), unlike e-commerce store, which doesn’t have a physical location and the products are being sold through a virtual shopping cart and then they are shipped to the customer.
When it comes down to the payment of the goods, at a brick and mortar store the most common way is to pay via cash or card. Of course, e-commerce stores can’t accept cash, but it is important to say that over the years with the evolution of the technology, both sides are flexible and they offer more choices about the process of the payment transaction.
Pros & Cons of Brick and Mortar stores
- Location, location, location.
One of the best advantages of brick and mortar stores is, of course, their physical location. Location is everything when it comes to retail and if you have the right one, then you are on the right track of becoming a successful brand. Brick and mortar stores are built in a way to attract people with their storefronts, so always make sure to have a unique look so people will naturally walk into your shop.
- Amazing customer experience
When it comes down to customer experience, there is no question that a website can’t compete with brick and mortar stores. So, one of the most important things is to create a brand that will give much more to your customers than just a good shopping opportunity. You need to provide an ultimate “brand experience” and express your brand creatively because at the end of the day it will bring you more clients and it will for sure be beneficial for your store.
- Legitimacy and longevity
We are all pretty aware of the fact that customers feel more secure spending their money in brick and mortar stores than online. This is the additional legitimacy that storefronts bring for the clients because a lot of the clients are finding difficult to enter credit card digits onto a website that they are not sure about. Face-to-face interaction with the staff ads to the value of brick and mortar stores – friendly, communicative people is a big plus if you want your customers to come back again.
- Greater risk involved
Opening a brick and mortar store is financially riskier than starting an online store. Both – startup costs and general operational costs are much higher and if the things don’t go as planned, there is a bigger potential loss. The expenses such as rent, employees, taxes, etc. can be a big problem if your brand doesn’t bring you enough incomes.
- Store inflexibility
Most brick and mortar stores are not open 24/7 and this is a big issue for customers that want to shop at any day and at any time. Being present at the store and devote yourself to your starting brand is important if you want faster success.
Pros & Cons of E-commerce stores
- Lower costs
Starting an E-commerce store is a much cheaper investment than an actual storefront. You can start running your business and start selling much faster and with less capital investment. Also, if you don’t have the time or finances to start your website at the beginning you can always sell from other E-commerce sites.
- The inborn comfort of E-commerce
There is nothing better than having a cup of coffee and shopping relaxed from the comfort of your home. The ability to browse and check out hundreds of different items without putting a lot of effort into it makes E-commerce the first choice for a lot of shoppers. Plus, the product can be delivered straight to your home in a very short period and that is why a lot of customers choose to skip the crowd into brick and mortar stores.
- Less legitimacy and trust
E-commerce stores are having a difficult time when it comes to building meaningful relationships with their clients because of the lack of personal interaction. So, if you are having an online store, you need to try harder to get the attention of your customers and gain their trust. You have to allow them to know as much about your store and your products, so they don’t feel like you are some kind of scam.
- Nobody knows you
On one hand, it is much easier to kick off an online store than a brick and mortar store, but the problem is that nobody is walking by organically and checking out your shop. That is why you’ll need to invest more resources and time in advertising, so the customers can get to know better your brand and your products. You’ll need to invest in SEO, social media management and content marketing if you want to spread the word faster.
What is the future of brick and mortar retail?
It is extremely important that you create a mobile website for your brand. A lot of researches have shown that potential customers are willing to stop by your brick and mortar store if they have previously seen an offer on the internet.
The idea is to provide them with a unique online experience, while they are on to go because it increases the chances that they will visit your store if they are nearby. Because, if they come around on some good offer, promotion, or discount, while they are checking their phone, they will not miss the opportunity to get a good deal and they will check out your store.
Of course, there are so many platforms you can use if you want to reach out to a bigger audience and to advertise better your products or services. One of them is Qpick, a great advertising solution that will allow you to advertise through multiple channels based on location and customer needs. This platform includes a lot of great features: Multichannel AD Distribution, Customer Management, Cross Channel Analytics, Creative Studio, etc. You no longer need to print flyers when you can advertise more effectively, pushing digital flyers through this platform.