Brick and mortar business model has ruled the world for a very long time. In fact, it is still a very common business model all over the globe. However, things started changing when the online or eCommerce business model started evolving. The online business model gained considerable importance during the 1990s.
At the dawn of the 21st century, online business models started becoming popular not only in the United States but everywhere in the world. People were more comfortable with online business models, as this option was time-saving and convenient. Still, a lot of people favored the brick and model business model.
A consumer always seeks convenience, and a lot of people found their convenience in online shopping. This prompted many brick and mortar stores to cater to online options for their customers. Customers for a business are just like oxygen for life. That is why a lot of businesses started following a “blended” approach to satisfy their customers. This is how Click and mortar business model evolved.
As of now, click and mortar has become one of the most important business models. It won’t be wrong to say that it is the need of the hour.
Click and Mortar – Defined
Click and mortar or “clicks and bricks” or “click and collect” is a business model that is a combined form of two business models. That said, it is a blend of brick and mortar and online business models. Businesses who follow click and mortar business models use online and physical platforms to cater to their customers. Currently, almost all big companies have physical stores and online presence to make sure they can meet their customers’ needs.
How Does Click and Mortar Business Model Work
Now, click and mortar is an integration of both online and physical business models. In online shopping, a customer just buys a product online, and the company delivers the product at the customer’s doorstep. On the other hand, brick and mortar stores offer in-store purchasing options.
Click and mortar, however, works differently. In this type of business, the customers select or buy a product online and then pick up his/her product from any retail franchise of the company or have it delivered at their doorstep. Companies who follow click and mortar store have their mobile apps or websites where all their products are available. The customer just has to buy online and then pick up the product later.
There are several variations of click and mortar business such as showrooming. It is a business practice where customers examine products in brick and mortar stores but buy those products later through online channels of the same company. This may look a bit awkward, but this model offers discounts to the customers.
Showrooming is also a great way to win your customer’s trust. That said, a lot of people don’t feel satisfied with online purchasing because they fear the final product may have compromised quality. Showrooming allows people to physically examine the product and then buy it online.
Advantages of Click and Mortar
As click and mortar is a combination of two approaches, it offers some amazing benefits such as:
Improved After-Sale Service
Click and mortar allows people to shop online and then get their products later from the company’s franchise or have them delivered at their doorsteps. This not only gives them convenience, but they can also get after-sale services in physical stores.
Access to a wider market
Another advantage of this business model for customers is that they have access to a wider range of options. They can choose their product, pay for it, and pick it up later. Or they can examine a product physically and then buy it later (showrooming).
Click, and mortar is a time-saving option for customers. They can buy the product online and then pick it up later at their convenience. This way, they can physically examine their product and pick it up at their convenience.
Click, and mortar is a great option to build customer’s trust. Click and mortar businesses allow customers to physically examine the product, and they buy it later.
Disadvantages of Click and Mortar
Click and mortar may have offered a lot of convenience to customers, but it has to face the following challenges/disadvantages.
Channel Conflict/Difficulty in transition
It is not easy to implement and maintain. Companies who follow online or brick and mortar find the transition quite difficult. Moreover, it is difficult to maintain a balance, i.e., maintaining the original mode of business and the new one.
If a brick and mortar store converts to click and mortar, then it will have to bear the extra cost. That said, the business will have to create a new website or an app. It will also need regular maintenance as well. This process and maintenance are costly.
One of the biggest challenges with online platforms is that customers’ privacy and credentials are always at risk. Hackers can mislead customers and get their personal information such as credit card numbers, contact numbers, etc.
Examples of Click and Mortar Business Model
Click and mortar business model is getting common in the retail business. Here are some practical examples.
Walmart, one of the biggest retail businesses in the United States, is following the click and mortar option. You can purchase any item online and then pick it later as per your convenience.
A multinational consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy Co. Inc is an American company that was founded in 1966 with a different name. Best Buy is also another example of the click and mortar business model.
Founded in 1901, Nordstrom, inc is a luxury departmental store chain in the United States. The company deals in different departments such as fragrances, cosmetics, accessories, jewelry, handbags, footwear, clothing, home furnishing, etc.
Click & Mortar V/S Brick & Mortar
|Click and Mortar||Brick and Mortar|
|customers buy products online and then pick them up later from the company’s retail franchises. Or they can ask the company to deliver the product.||Customers can only buy the product from the company’s retail store directly.|
|The click and Collect business model accepts digital modes of payment such as bank transfer or credit cards.||In this business model, you can pay in cash or use digital payment methods as well.|
|It allows customers to have their products delivered at their doorstep.||The typical brick-and-mortar does not offer home delivery services.|
Legislation for Click and Mortar Companies
Click and mortar may be a beneficial business model for consumers, but it can be tricky for businesses because the legislations about this business offer more benefits to consumers.
For instance, in the UK, according to Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000, a consumer who has bought a product from a click-and-mortar business can return the product and get a refund within 14 days of purchase.
Similarly, in the United States, customers have the upper hand because of the “3-day” rule. According to the rule, a customer can return a product purchased from the web (online) platform within three days.
Therefore, the click and mortar business model significantly favors consumers. But, it does not mean it is harmful to businesses. There are some disadvantages for companies, but it is highly favored by the customers.