There is no doubt that stores need to develop and advance in tandem with the changing retail landscape. Worldwide retail sales fell by 3% in 2020 as a result of the pandemic, while online sales exceeded projections. Statista predicts that online retail will continue to take a larger share of the retail industry as time goes on. It is predicted that by the end of this year, online shopping will account for nearly 22% of all retail sales. There is no doubt that moving all or part of your business online is something you need to investigate in the future, what with the pandemic still being with us and the widespread availability of the internet in more and more regions of the world.
For this reason, having an online storefront is no longer a nice-to-have for offline retailers who want to stay competitive in today’s market. Having a physical location where customers can pick up their orders from an online store can be very useful, as it allows you to forego the use of couriers while simultaneously generating revenue from delivery fees charged to customers. If you’re curious as to how you can accomplish this, read on to learn about the click-and-mortar retailing model.
Explain the concept of a brick-and-mortar store.
Let’s start with the basics and determine what exactly is meant by the term “click-and-mortar business.” A business with both online and offline operations that takes an omnichannel strategy is called a click-and-mortar operation. These primarily include an online store and one or more brick-and-mortar locations. It’s a win-win for your customers because they can place an order online and pick it up at a physical location. This will provide them with the face-to-face service many are still seeking while also giving them the freedom to shop around online and make a purchase whenever it is most convenient for them.
For what reasons would it be smart to combine online and offline sales channels?
Consequently, your expenses may decrease.
Establishing a combined online and offline presence can help you save money on operational expenses like payroll, transportation, and storage. Running a traditional storefront requires a sizable workforce to meet the needs of customers and guide them through the buying process. A click-and-mortar business, on the other hand, only needs a small number of people to be physically present at any given time. The rest of the company’s operations will take place online, where they can save money on overhead and take advantage of a wide range of automation tools.
When starting with an online store and eventually opening a physical one, the same logic applies. Having a brick-and-mortar location can boost foot traffic to your online shop and reduce your advertising expenditures. It will also assist you in boosting brand awareness and customer participation. Customers can stop by these locations to get a feel for the product before making a purchase online. Businesses frequently have Internet kiosks set up in their showrooms so that customers can place orders for products without leaving the premises.
Expand your audience.
However, if you only have brick-and-mortar stores, you can only reach customers in the immediate vicinity. In contrast, opening up shop on the web opens you up to a potentially massive, even global customer base. In addition, your customers will have 24/7 access to your product catalog, product details, and purchase options without ever having to set foot in a store. People who discover your wares online but would rather give them a try or see them in person before making a purchase can still do so by going to your physical location.
Expand the types of assistance you provide.
Having a brick-and-mortar location and an online storefront allows you to provide more options to your clientele. When you run a brick-and-mortar store, customers can stop by your store and get to know your brand in person before making a purchase online. If you can get them interested in your brand, you have a better chance of selling to them in person or on your website, which they can access whenever they want. If you run an online and offline store, you can give your customers the option of returning their purchases in whichever way is most convenient for them. Many people will be relieved to find a variety of choices, allowing them to pick the one that’s most practical for them.
Improve your understanding of your clientele.
Having an online store in addition to a physical one allows you to gather much more information about your customers than you would while they are browsing or making purchases in your physical store. In a brick-and-mortar store with an online component, you can track your customers’ preferences and interests to better tailor your offerings to them. Through this integrated approach, you can better understand your customers’ online and offline purchasing behaviors. Furthermore, useful information that can be used for targeted or retargeted advertising can be easily gathered through online advertising. In this way, you can send them follow-up promotions, shopper’s guides, and in-depth product info based on their expressed interests.
Tips for Merging Your Brick-and-Mortar and Virtual Shops
Knowing the potential gains from a click-and-mortar business setup, you may be curious as to how it operates in practice. What follows is a detailed breakdown of those measures, so that you know exactly what to do.
Find a supplier that will back up your online and offline endeavors.
Finding the right supplier for your hybrid online and offline store can simplify your operations significantly. dropship-empire, for instance, could be your ideal supplier to work with if you plan on running both a physical storefront and an online store. By purchasing in bulk, you can ensure that your brick-and-mortar and virtual shelves are always stocked with the products that have proven to be most popular with your clientele. Meanwhile, if you don’t want to handle shipments yourself, you can easily convert your online shop into a dropshipping shop by incorporating the entire dropship-empire product catalog.
If you think dropshipping and the trends that will shape this industry in 2023 sound interesting and could work for your business, you may want to learn more about the practice.
Integrate your various sales channels into a single platform.
Integrating your sales systems in your online and offline stores is one of the most difficult aspects of starting a click-and-mortar business. If your systems aren’t sufficiently integrated, you run the risk of losing track of your inventory and inadvertently overselling. Because of this, it’s possible that having a single POS system that can handle both brick-and-mortar and virtual transactions is your best option.
Offer a variety of ways for people to fulfill their needs to be met.
One of the most important aspects of running a successful brick-and-mortar business is giving customers a variety of fulfillment choices. Customers should be able to choose between having an online purchase shipped to their home or having it ready for pick up at a physical location if they place an order. You should provide a range of delivery times and costs so that customers can choose the best option for them if they decide to go with the delivery option.
Install gadgets in your traditional shop
While previously the emphasis had been on providing the best possible in-store experience and the most information possible in the online sphere, there is now a growing awareness of the benefits of integrating digital technology into the in-store environment. Technology can be a huge asset in making your customers’ in-store purchases as easy as possible. Your customers will appreciate a variety of options that streamline and quicken the buying process. Digital signage, for instance, can help customers locate specific items in a physical store. The products your customers viewed in your showroom can be ordered online by installing ordering and contactless payment kiosks strategically placed throughout your store.
Look out for emerging media outlets.
Even if you have a click-and-mortar store, that doesn’t mean you’re using all the sales channels you could on the market. You can grow and pursue more opportunities in the online world than just an online store. The more channels you use to spread your brand, the more people you could potentially reach. So, once you have a successful click-and-mortar business, look into other channels like social media and online marketplaces.
Now that you know all the benefits of having a click-and-mortar business and have a guide on how to set it up, you have all the basic information you need to tap into a new market and start attracting a wider audience. You should keep an eye out for new trends and market leaders in both online and offline stores. This will help you figure out how you can better serve your customers and give them a unique experience by combining technology with traditional brick-and-mortar stores.