The Pros and Cons: Brick and Mortar Stores vs Online Retail Sites

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E-Commerce shopping is growing at a rapid rate, while Brick and Mortar stores are still going strong. People always prefer the in-store shopping experience as it enables them to see and try out products. Here are some statistics to show you why brick and mortar stores are still enjoying a huge following;

Why brick and mortar stores are important

61% of consumers use brick and mortar stores compared to 31% who prefer online stores. One of the most significant advantages for brick and mortar is allowing users to test the product before buying. Customers are also able to receive the product immediately as compared to online stores. When online stores figure out a way to beat the one-day delivery, brick and mortar stores still hold the lead. Mothers also look at shopping as a social activity. Online stores cannot replace this experience.

Another statistic in favor of brick and mortar stores is how consumers spend their money. 40% of consumers will pay more than they had planned for while shopping in brick and mortar stores. Only 25% of consumers spend more than they had planned on online stores. A significant influencer is beautiful storefronts and a good point of purchase display. Customers will also prefer a social connection with store employees. Clients are after a well-executed presentation plus the ability to touch and hold products before buying.

Why online stores matter

For most brands, the online store route gives them a massive advantage over brick and mortar stores. Brands will not require expensive storefronts as cost-effective warehouses will be used to hold inventory. Brands that have multiple warehouses have an advantage in that they can ship products quickly. The convenience of shopping online is a considerable advantage as consumers select a product and buy it immediately. A mother can easily shop for goods when the kids are asleep or while she’s on the phone.

Most moms love shopping online as it allows them to find the best suitable prices for products. Online customers will find ways to save money by getting discounts or using coupons. You will find that 38% of online customers visit manufacturers hoping to find a coupon. Instead of visiting different stores, they can find the best prices across a wide array of websites.

Pros of Brick and mortar stores

Brand Legitimacy and longevity

Most people find it hard to enter credit card details onto a site you have never heard of before. With brick and mortar stores, there’s an air of legitimacy when it comes to making payments. Clients also want to try it before buying it, which makes brick and mortar stores a better option.

Customer experience

A website cannot compete with what brick and mortar stores offer in terms of customer experience. Brick and mortar stores make shopping more than a shopping opportunity. Most brands can express creativity by converting first-time clients into recurring customers.

Location

Location is vital, as passersby will drive or walk into the store. Finding a great place enables brick and mortar stores to establish long time brand awareness. People will always want to satisfy their curiosity. Clients will make sure to try out the brick and mortar store in their area.

Cons of Brick and Mortar stores

High startup costs

Starting a brick and mortar store is no easy task. Issues such as employees, tax, rent, and utilities can be a barrier when beginning a brick and mortar store. In case things don’t turn out as expected, you will face a huge problem getting out than an online store.

Permanency with the ever-changing landscape

Sometimes locations never seem to work as expected. A store can be sleek and mainstream and still not attract customers. No one has control of what goes on around the store as neighbors won’t rush in when you open shop.

Scheduling and availability

Being present in the store is a must and is not the same as the presence in the online world. Be prepared to commit yourself towards the success of a brick and mortar store.

Pros of Online Retail Stores

Low startup costs

An online store has minimal operational expenses as compared to their brick and mortar counterparts. You will never have to worry about rent and utilities. Owners can get online stores up and running within no time. Failure of a web store is not as life-changing as a brick and mortar collapse.

Innate convenience when shopping online

Online stores give customers the ability to shop during their own free time. And this is why online stores are appealing to most customers. People can even shop in the comfort of their pajamas!

Scheduling and flexibility

Online store owners can work from anywhere and at any time.  Nobody will care whether you are wearing yoga pants when operating your online store. As long as things are running smoothly, customers will always come back.

Cons of Online Retail Stores

Less legitimacy and consumer trust

Without any personal interaction, it is difficult to build a lasting customer relationship. With an online store, owners have to go the extra mile to assure customers. Online presence is vital, and if users don’t get to hear or see you, they move to the next store.

Nobody knows your existence

How do people know that your online retail store exists? You need to market your retail shop using SEO, Pay per click advertising as well as social media marketing. If you are good at social media, learn how to blog to increase your online presence.

Which store will customers choose?

For customers, both these stores come with their advantages and disadvantages. Online stores are rapidly growing, but physical stores will continue to be in demand. Brick and mortar stores need to evolve to be able to compete with online stores.

The biggest challenge for most brands is to incorporate a seamless way to enjoy in-store and online shopping. Customers all over the world demand a high level of service and dedication from stores. What defines an excellent on-site and online store is how well you market the products. Customer interaction is vital as it guarantees recurring customers.

Choosing between offline and online stores can be a bit challenging. The key is understanding what you want and how best to reach these products.

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