In the era of digitalization, the global market is currently populated by hundreds of thousands of online outlets worldwide. More particularly, the world of e-commerce has become somewhat of a battleground where brands battle it out for the most clicks and digital transactions through competing with other brands. The sales for global e-commerce are expected to have a global reach of a total of $5.5 trillion by the end of 2022 as per Shopify. What’s more, as the e-commerce sector becomes increasingly lucrative, this number is expected to keep growing over the next few years.
Although the world of e-commerce is thriving, it seems that the potential of traditional brick-and-mortar outlets has been underestimated. As a matter of fact, there has been a resurgence of physical outlets. Research shows that brick-and-mortar retail is growing 50% faster in Europe and Canada than in the USA. Hence, a lot of businesses are adopting both channels by implementing a unified strategy.
What is a Brick-and-Click?
Brick-and-Click is a business model that operates by combining both the brick-and-mortar locations of a store with an online channel also known as ‘the click’ to form a single business strategy as explained by Fundera. Though there is nothing wrong with simply running just a physical store or an online business, the amalgamation of brick-and-click essentially allows small to medium businesses to take full advantage of both unique selling channels. Most importantly, this gives your business the opportunity to offer customers more options to shop whilst also increasing the business’s brand reach and overall profitability.
Unified shopping experience
One major and unique advantage of brick-and-click businesses is that they are able to offer customers the best of both worlds. Rather than simply just offering customers a single channel preference, this strategy provides a unified shopping experience. This approach offers a greater value to both the customer and the business.
Though a former online-only company, the e-commerce giant Amazon has also stepped into the physical world. In 2020 alone Amazon is said to have had over 500 physical locations, the strategy behind the world’s largest online retailer expanding its business by introducing more brick-and-mortar locations is to create an omnichannel experience. Most significantly, it highlights the importance of having both an online and physical presence.
Flexibility of operations
Flexibility is one of the major benefits of this business model as it allows your customers to choose a preference that best suits them from purchasing products online or picking them up in-store. This may also involve orders being delivered either for home delivery or collection if a customer wants to save money on delivery costs.
Walmart is a well-recognized brand in the offline retail world that is adapting its business model to operate in the digital space. The multinational corporation is now investing in new innovative technologies that help make the customer experience more enjoyable. For example, Walmart now operates an online grocery shop that also offers same-day pick-up. Advancements such as this not only maintain the company’s strong position in traditional retail but also gains a stronghold in e-commerce.
Brand growth and awareness
For many businesses brand growth and awareness is the ultimate goal. Providing a more inclusive and diverse customer experience puts your business in a much better position to increase its profits and achieve business growth. This can especially be done by integrating relevant marketing strategies and advertising.
The iGaming company William Hill is one of the very few PayPal casinos out there that operate as a brick-and-click on an international level. Though it majorly operates as an online casino in the US, UK, and other places, it also offers brick-and-mortar betting shops in the UK. The implementation of a brick-and-click model does not only increase William Hill’s brand awareness in the digital space but also increases brand reach.
On the whole, it’s becoming increasingly evident that the brick-and-click business model is a double advantage for your business in the digital age. Not only will your business benefit from brand growth and awareness online but also with the combination of a physical location, your customers will truly benefit from a unified shopping experience.