Brick and mortar refers to the physical presence of a business and the term is used to refer who possesses or leases retail stores. It sounds an odd article in technology website. But if you think about increasing pressure to have mobile applications, marking on Google maps to have website for tradition businesses, the matter become obvious. It is fact that many customers expect Internet presence of a Brick-and-Mortar site. Many articles discuss the difference between eCommerce and brick-and- mortar retail. Some, while well intention-ed, come across a bit on the dramatic side. For instance, one of the most popular phrases you will encounter is “retail apocalypse”, as if eCommerce was one of the four horsemen. But the truth of the matter is that the retail markets, online and physical, are evolving. Still, that does not mean the two are diametrically opposed. Below are a few attributes brick-and- mortar and eCommerce stores have in common.
Best experience for your customers — whether in the real world or online. Both Want to Keep Customers Happy.
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Both Brick-and-Mortar and e-Commerce Stores Want to Keep Shoppers Safe
Whether your checkout counter is physical or exists in cyberspace, it is a target for hackers. Cyber criminals live to steal your customer’s credit card numbers and personal information. This can take place at a corrupted point-of-sale terminal or by cracking online accounts. To combat this threat, you need to encrypt consumer payment data by leveraging powerful enterprise eCommerce solutions online or switching to an EMV chip reader for physical stores.
They Both Need Brand Identity
If you want to see your retail company thrive, work diligently to establish a brand identity. This helps you do two things. It creates a persona with which shoppers can identify your brand and its offerings. It also helps differentiate your store from other companies selling similar products. Here’s an example:
Let’s say you sell kitchenware, either in person or online. So, what? A lot of stores sell kitchenware. But what if your online store sells “kitchenware for the modern mom” or “handcrafted cutting boards for grill masters everywhere.” Take a moment to figure out to whom you are selling, then develop a message, logo, design, etc. to match.
Both Benefit from Good Design & Streamlined Customer Experiences
It’s also important to develop a streamlined customer experience. For eCommerce sites, that might mean an easy to use checkout page, free from distractions. Otherwise, you may see high levels of cart abandonment as shoppers get frustrated and close the page. Physical retailers, on the other hand, will need to ensure their clothes are folded neatly and hung in an organized manner. Nothing looks sloppier than a pile of unsorted clothes on the floor of your brick-and-mortar shop. Similarly, it’s important to spruce up your venue from time to time with new designs, colors and promos to keep things lively and fresh.
They Both Have Limitations
It’s vital to understand that physical and online retailers both have limitations. For instance, eCommerce sites are unable to allow customers to try on clothes before they buy them. This means e-store vendors will likely process a lot of returns, through no fault of their own. Conversely, brick-and-mortars can only handle customer orders during business hours, which means they might see less sales than an eCommerce site selling the same goods 24/7/365.
Retail businesses on both sides understand customer satisfaction is key to their success. That’s why physical shops employ sales clerks to help customers try on clothes or find similar items. These employees also handle complaints to provide solutions quickly and easily. Brick and mortar is not on the way out, we must remember that over 90 percent of all retail sales in any country still take place in a physical store. Face-to-face customer service can be a big factor for increasing sales.
The goal is the same in eCommerce, but the method is different. Instead of answering customer complaints face to face, vendors have to quell consumer concerns over social media. This can be tricky, since complaints and responses are often public. To remedy this situation, e-store owners should communicate quickly and courteously over direct messages, email or on-site chat boxes.
These are just a few examples of what brick-and-mortar and eCommerce stores have in common. But they demonstrate an important point. Neither player is king of the world and neither player is disappearing any time soon. So, forget the media hype and concentrate instead on delivering the best experience to the customer in either way. Mobile eCommerce gives your potential customers access to your listing anytime and anywhere.