What are Brick and Mortar?
Brick and Mortar, abbreviated as B&M, is meant to refer to the physical existence of an enterprise or a business in a building or any other construction. A company that follows the brick and mortar model is said to possess or lease shops, factory units, storehouses, etc. for carrying out its business activities. Such companies indulge in face-to-face dealings with the customers, owing to their physical presence.
- In the case of e-commerce business, there is only an internet shop, and there is no way customers can physically visit the store, connect with the business staff in person, experience or feel the products and take their delivery as such.
- However, such e-commerce may have other non-public physical facilities such as storehouses for storing the products or head office for centralized operations. On the contrary, brick and mortar companies are those who deal with their customers through their physical presence in a building or other structure.
- They have a physical location in a building or other structure.
- Customers can have a face-to-face experience with the business by visiting the premises of such a business organization.
- The existence of brick and mortar businesses can be traced back to times when vendors used to set up their stalls in their locality to sell their produce. This business continued to remain highlighted in the 2010s. However, many shops, as well as services, such as grocery shops, fashion, and clothing accessories, and so on, went online and started to provide an online portal to the customers for shopping.
- The physical presence has played an essential role in customer experience to date since customers can personally visit the business location, connect with the staff, experience the quality of products, and take its delivery. It is in the 19th and the 20th century that mostly all large retailers established smaller brick and mortar presences.
Brick and Mortar Example
A classic example is that of a famous restaurant chain, McDonald’s’, which started its physical stores in small numbers and started to grow thereafter. Now, it has a worldwide presence with a large number of stores throughout the globe.
Why it’s Important?
Why is so that brick and mortar continue to hold importance even today? The main reason is that it provides the customers with a personal touch, since they have a chance to personally visit the stores, touch and feel the products, communicate with the staff with respect to their queries about the products, and thereafter take delivery after the payment. It provides a sense of security to the customers as against online shopping, in which there exist some chances of customer dissatisfaction and payment fraud.
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Brick and Mortar vs. Ecommerce
- Brick and mortar businesses have physical locations through which they deal with their customers. However, e-commerce businesses don’t necessarily have a physical store, and they sell their products and services through digital modes.
- E-commerce businesses are able to reach out to their customers through more than single-channel as they can interact with customers using SMS, emails, phones, as well as chatbots. On the other hand, brick and mortar businesses struggle to reach out to customers using more channels.
- Operating expenses are much less in the case of e-commerce stores as compared to that in brick and mortar stores, especially at the beginning.
- It provides customers with a personalized experience.
- Such businesses are said to be having much more credibility.
- It is much more useful for those businesses which intend to sell perishable items to the customers.
- There is still a large portion of the customer base who don’t feel comfortable with online shopping. Brick and Mortar businesses cater to the needs of such customers.
- It takes up a large investment and start-up cost to set up a brick and mortar store.
- There exists limitation with respect to geographical reach as only customers within the nearby areas will be able to visit.
- Nowadays, customers are busy with their lifestyles and have less time for physically visiting the store. E-commerce shops are a better alternative for such customers.
- Since the fixed costs associated with such businesses are high, the prices of the products that are sold by them are higher than those offered by an e-commerce store.
- Due to space and other limitations, these shops need to limit themselves to some products. On the other hand, eCommerce stores provide a range of options to their customers.
These businesses continue to remain important because of the fact that it provides customers with personal experience. Nowadays, such businesses try and establish different methods to reach out to larger audiences, as in the case of e-commerce.
This has been a guide to What is Brick and Mortar & its Meaning. Here we discuss the characteristics of brick and mortar, history, and why its important along with examples, benefits, and drawbacks. You can learn more about from the following articles –