Brick and Mortar to Online - Should you make the jump?

Brick and Mortar to Online - Should you make the jump?

Deskera Content Team
Deskera Content Team
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

No one in 2021 is not aware of the impact of digital technology in our everyday lives. Retail and brick and mortar stores are moving online, and we are in the age of a big e-commerce boom. With the impact of Covid-19, we can not afford to ignore the fact that our essentials of everyday life have gone online.

If you are considering going into a retail business, you should carefully make this decision to go online or Brick & Motor. When considering whether to go online or go with brick-and-mortar, you'll need to consider factors such as:

  • How you will build customer relationships for your business
  • The amount of time and money and the kind of employees you will  dedicate to hiring for your business
  • The cost you are willing to pay for overhead
  • The expense of shipping

Understanding all these factors and others will help you make the best choice for your business's future.  But without demand from customers, our efforts will go to waste.  Let us read further to understand our customers thought processes during purchases to meet their needs and make the right decisions.

Brick and Motor
Photo by Heidi Fin / Unsplash

Why Customers Purchase Online

Aside from being able to compare product specifications and browse reviews, online shopping has several other advantages:

  • We can shop anytime from the comfort of home
  • Online shopping allows us to compare pricing and items and find the best possible deals
  • you can cut down a lot on transport and parking costs
  • Time-saving as in-store shopping is usually hugely time-consuming
  • Save money as many products online are available at a cheaper rate
  • All products available in one platform instead of multiple stores
  • Easy availability of hard to find items are much easier to source online and we can find it by simply searching on google
  • Global products that are not available in local stores can be found online
  • Free shipping is usually available from online vendors, and hence your items will be delivered to your doorstep in a few days
Online Shopping
Photo by Laura Chouette / Unsplash

Why Some Customers Prefer Brick-and-Mortar Shopping

  • You can interact with an item before buying. You can try on the clothes physically and check items for quality etc before buying
  • Goods and items can be obtained immediately rather than waiting for shipping
  • You can speak directly to a sales representative and get further information and advice about products or services
  • International shipping costs can be avoided
  • The complexity and trouble of returning unwanted items can be avoided
  • Easier and faster to return or replace a defective or unwanted product or exchange an item in-store e than shipping back to an online retailer
  • The experience of shopping and human interactions. Many people enjoy shopping often with spouses or friends in conjunction with other activities such as dining, having coffee, et

There is no doubt that it must adapt to offer online shopping options for the modern retail industry to thrive in the current market environment. Considering everything together, the argument that E-Commerce will end brick and mortar stores is extremely unlikely at the moment.

Photo by freestocks / Unsplash

A lot of leading corporations have transitioned to e-commerce. The top retailers in the USA, like Walmart, Target, and IKEA, have benefited from e-commerce revenue in the last decade. This, in turn, has eventually contributed to their steadily growing annual profit margins over the previous several years. E-commerce has been so successful for most of these companies that they have recently initiated business plans centered around their online market.

IKEA utilizes the outlet model for retail stores: remote and limited locations but at unbeatable low prices for the high-quality products. Walmart, however, has approached its digital success with caution and is actively seeking to reduce it. This is due to the high costs associated with shipping.

Whereas, Target has devoted significant funding to remodeling its brick and mortar stores to improve the overall customer experience and thus hoping to lure customers back to the traditional shopping experience.

Widespread Transition to E-Commerce

The transition to e-commerce has trickled down to companies of all profit margins and across all industries. For companies to survive, they must pair with a reliable shipping partner to ensure streamlined and no-hassle experiences for their customer.

Many mid-level retailers have widened their audience base by offering shipping services worldwide. Since digital technology is affordable and easier to implement, a significant number of small businesses have leaped to provide sales online. A range of e-commerce platforms help build a stand-alone online store, plus many good marketplaces like Lazada, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, has also helped ease this transition to retailers of all makes and sizes.

Shopping online
Photo by Charles Deluvio / Unsplash

Limitations on the E-Commerce Revolution

Though digital retail is clearly making strong waves to be considered an inevitable progression of the industry, brick and mortar are far from being replaced. Online shopping usually caters to convenience and accessibility, it does not replace the in-person experience of trying on or sampling items before purchase. Consumers are not likely to take a risk on buying certain items online to avoid the hassle of returning deliveries through the mail.

Woman shopping
Photo by freestocks / Unsplash

To draw in customers, many brick and mortar stores have learned to play to their strengths by holding in-store exclusive sales or client appreciation events or exclusive VIP member sales. The physical act of shopping is considered a leisure or recreational activity that many consumers prefer to online channels. Many consumers also shop traditionally when they need to do last-minute shopping or need items immediately and are unable to wait for days for the delivery to arrive.

Outliers to E-Commerce

An interesting faction of the retail world that has managed to maintain high-profit margins without an online presence. These are the budget-driven stores or low-cost retailers like Dollar Tree, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx. These stores very low e-commerce revenue; however, they have still experienced increased foot traffic in the last several years. However, their unaffected status is likely an exception and not the rule due to their constantly irregular inventory compared to the stores.

The e-commerce model is almost impossible for these stores since they do not utilize standardized stocking protocols. This is because their merchandise is acquired from numerous rotating vendors that change daily.

Dollar Store
Photo by Imants Kaziļuns / Unsplash

Can Small Business Take Advantage of going into E-commerce?

For small retail businesses, deciding whether or not to spend the time and effort to expand into online sales is less clear.

Most people tend to search for businesses and products on the internet. All businesses should always need to have an online presence even if it is just a Facebook page or just a simple website containing the address and contact information.

Setting up a Facebook page or,or selling through a third party is relatively simple and serve as inexpensive ways to get your business into online sales.

Social Media Facebook
Photo by William Iven / Unsplash

You should always remember that the best way to compete with online stores is by building a long-term relationships with your customers. You can do this is by providing excellent customer service and providing good support.

All customers enjoy a sense of familiarity and belonging. They love to be addressed by their first names. Customers enjoy friendly interaction with sales staff, receiving personalized service, and feeling that their needs are being met.

For example, a good salesperson in a clothing store can be extremely helpful to a customer by providing advice on appearance, sizing, mixing and matching articles of clothing, assistance with fitting, care, maintenance, etc. This will ensure that your customers will keep coming back to you.

Without customer assistance or trying on an item in advance, the only choice for an online clothes shopper is ordering an item and hoping that it fits and is suitable; otherwise, they would have to send it back.

Will eCommerce stores continue to grow?

The answer to that is: yes, eCommerce will continue to grow.

It is well known that most millennials preferring to make purchases online. It shows that in the future, consumers will conduct the vast majority of their shopping and buying will happen through eCommerce platforms. What does it mean for brick and mortar stores then?

Even though online shopping is expected to grow quite a bit this year, it does not mean that physical storefronts will disappear altogether.

Many of the brick and mortar stores make good use of retail trends by including multi-channel selling. Business can be conducted not only in person but can also be expanded to buy directly through their website. Using social media platforms through bigger eCommerce marketplaces such as Amazon, Shopify, Etsy, eBay etc your business can combine the best of both worlds!

Amazon Go
Photo by Simon Bak / Unsplash

Key Takeaways

  • Brick and mortar is now available online, and we are in the age of a big e-commerce boom due to COVID-19
  • Many leading corporations have transitioned to e-commerce
  • Most companies have initiated business plans centered around their online market
  • Many good marketplaces like Lazada, eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, help businesses ease this transition to retailers online
  • Online shopping usually caters to convenience and accessibility, it does not replace the in-person experience of trying on or sampling items before purchase
  • Small business find it harder to transition to online but with help of facebook and shopify its more possible now

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