What is 'Click And Mortar'

Click and mortar is a type of business model that includes both online and offline operations, which typically include a website and a physical store. A click-and-mortar company can offer customers the benefits of fast online transactions or traditional face-to-face service. This model is also referred to as clicks and bricks.

BREAKING DOWN 'Click And Mortar'

An increasing number of big brand retail stores, such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Nordstrom follow the click-and-mortar business model. Also referred to as an omnichannel strategy, the merging of online and offline channels provides customers with an enhanced shopping experience with more choices, greater flexibility, more convenience and more services. Retailers benefit from improved customer relations and more customer transactions. Due to their ability to spend millions of dollars on click ads with search engines, their promotions tend to show up higher in product search results.

From Bricks to Clicks

Nearly 70% of shoppers use the internet at some stage of the shopping process to research, compare or purchase. Recognizing the lost opportunity, major retailers have developed online channels to complement their physical store channels. In most cases, customers may shop through the store’s website, make the purchase online, and either have it shipped or pick it up at a store location. Some retailers utilize customer data and in-store Wi-Fi to connect with customers while they shop to make special offers or guide them to areas of interest. Shoppers of high-end merchandise, such as designer clothing, jewelry or flat-screen televisions tend to use the physical location to touch and feel the products before going home and ordering online. Click-and-mortar retailers benefit from having customers browse while in the store. They also benefit by having physical drop locations for products ordered online by customers who don’t want to wait for shipping. Ship-to-store ordering reduces shipping costs and increases traffic at the physical stores.

From Clicks to Bricks

Pure online retailers are finding that, by adding physical storefronts, they can increase traffic on their websites while reducing their digital marketing expenses. In many cases, the storefronts work as showrooms for customers who want try out products or size their clothes or shoes before purchasing online. The stores typically have web kiosks that allow shoppers to place orders right in the store. The practice has captured a segment of shoppers who are not confident about buying certain types of products from online-only brands. The presence of physical storefronts also helps to build brand recognition.

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