It seems the retail business is always finding a new buzzword. “Customer experience” is now commonplace, and”omnichannel” has become a lifestyle for retailers. The latest? “Bricks-and-clicks.”
So, what does bricks-and-clicks mean–and, more importantly, why should you care? It might be the difference between blowing your competition away and shutting your doors permanently.
Which are bricks-and-clicks?
Bricks-and-clicks companies exist both online and in person. Basically, customers can store via”bricks” — the brick-and-mortar shop — and”clicks,” that is some type of ecommerce component. Oftentimes, customers shop with a merchant both via clicks and bricks, which is where the term”bricks-and-clicks” comes from.
Regardless of the separate stations, these companies operate as one thing, often complementing one another in strategic and intentional ways. Coincidentally, omnichannel and bricks-and-clicks basically mean the same thing.
Why is it important to be a bricks-and-clicks retailer?
Consumers have been moving away from a linear route to buy more annually. And as technology presents more ways to do our shopping, retail companies have to adapt if they would like to keep relevant.
It is no longer enough to simply be present in person. In the U.S., 2020 has seen the very first dip in in-store earnings in a little while, accounting for an estimated $4.89 trillion, compared to $5.47 trillion the year before. However, in-store purchases continue to be predicted to be almost three-quarters of 2020’s total retail sales.
Buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) and ship-from-store every account for 6 percent of total retail sales. And ecommerce sales continue to grow–amounting to an estimated $3.74 trillion in 2020. In 2019, over three-quarters of Canadian vacation shoppers who visited a shop had also researched the buy on the internet or through a mobile app.
The longest-standing brick-and-mortar businesses are embracing ecommerce tactics.
And it is more important now than ever before, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting every customer throughout the planet. It has created a sense of urgency, and quickly changing governmental guidelines are forcing retailers to be nimble in their operations and business models. Curbside pickup, no-contact shipping, and expedited transport have been the norm in the present economy.
Despite online’s expansion, traditional retail is not going anywhere anytime soon. In Canada, 60 percent of 2019’s holiday shoppers purchased offline. The primary reason is so they can see the merchandise in-person for themselves even after extensive online research. This makes them feel more confident in the purchaseprice.
Clients also benefit from added advantage when a company goes bricks-and-clicks. They have more fulfillment options, and can go to the shop on their program — or not at all. Essentially, you meet clients where they are at, and anytime you can decrease friction in the buyer travel is a triumph for your bottom line.
For retailers, online adds another layer of advice where you can find out more about your clients. It is typically easier to monitor user behavior online in contrast to in-store (though technology is advancing this daily ), so that you may learn things you were not able to before. Plus, if you become aware of a great deal of internet traffic from a particular geographic location, this may signify a retail expansion using a new shop .
How to Be a bricks-and-clicks retailer
Choose your station (s)
The offline station is much more evident, but there are a number of online channels to choose from, each with its own set of factors:
- Online shop: Perhaps the most obvious choice, you can start your very own branded online shop . There are several platforms that do so, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce, amongst others. You may even construct a companion mobile app to permit customers to store more easily from their telephones.
- Social networking: Social networking is much more than an engagement and awareness-building instrument –Facebook, Instagram, and other social networking platforms are currently offering built-in trade features. By 2017 to 2018, the quantity of retailers using social trade jumped from 17% to 33 percent .
- Third-party marketplaces: Instead of or in addition to your online shop, you may even list your products on ecommerce marketplaces. The benefit here is that they have a loyal customer base, so it is a fantastic brand awareness strategy. Marketplaces to consider include Amazon, eBay, Houzz, Walmart, Etsy, Google Express, Alibaba, and much more.
- Comparison shopping engines: These platforms operate similarly to third party marketplaces, except that the customer experience is more focused on direct product comparisons. You can get your products on these websites via Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, and Bing Shopping Campaigns.
When deciding on the channels you wish to use, consider your customers and the way they shop online. If you are serving a Gen Z crowd, social media might be the thing to do. But in case you’ve got a small email list and are seeking to attract new clients from throughout the country, you may want to take into account a third-party market or comparison shopping engine.
Setup your backend operations
As soon as you’ve selected which route (s) makes sense for your bricks-and-clicks growth, it is time to establish the logistics. For starters, it is absolutely crucial that your technician stack work together to create a truly unified trade enterprise. Maybe the biggest part here is the stock management.
If you are selling both online and on site, you run the risk of selling the exact same merchandise to somebody in-store and to somebody else online at precisely the exact same time. How do you decide that really receives the item? These stockouts cause costly problems for retailers, as they not only lose the purchase in the moment, but they might also make shoppers look elsewhere and become loyal clients with one of your competition.
And consumers are becoming savvier. They know tech can enable retailers of all sizes, so they are demanding better experiences. In actuality, 71 percent of customers wish to have the ability to check a store’s stock levels online.
Boost your online sales channels
It’s not sufficient to simply launch or record on an ecommerce platform. You will want promotion and retail advertising about it to make sure both new and present customers know about it.
There are a few ways to allow your existing customers understand:
- Social networking
- In-store communications and signage
- Direct mail
And to appeal to new customers, you might want to explore the following:
- Influencer Promoting
- Paid electronic advertising
Examine the customer experience
Bricks-and-clicks give retailers deeper insights into their customers than an internet – or offline-only business model. Digital and in-store data create a thorough research the consumer experience as it happens in real life–not only in silos.
Integrating your site with your store’s POS system is a simple way to find the insights you want to have a thriving retail business, today and into the future.
Tips for becoming a successful bricks-and-clicks merchant
To make it as a bricks-and-clicks merchant, there are a few tips you will want to Remember:
- Ensure you are approaching it from a really omnichannel perspective. Bricks-and-clicks isn’t only about having an ecommerce website and brick-and-mortar store — these stations will need to be closely linked. Your client only sees one brand, and it is your responsibility to synonymize all touchpoints with consistent branding and adventures.
- Mind your technician stack setup. Your POS and ecommerce website have to be integrated so that you can avoid logistical issues in your company. When setting up your internet parts, be sure that you have a POS like Vend set up –it has to have the ability to play well with your online sales channels.
- Serve your clients. Bricks-and-clicks is all about meeting consumer demands and requirements. It needs to be easy for customers to store, change, and move between different stations.
Moving ahead with bricks-and-clicks retail
Before you launch into your ecommerce travel, it is important to make sure your brick-and-mortar locations are equipped with the technology and tools required to create a truly unified trade experience. A strong POS like Vend has a lot of ecommerce integrations, which makes it simple to run your online and offline companies seamlessly.
►►► ConnectPOS is a cloud-based POS software compatible with multiple platforms including Magento, Shopify & Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.
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