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Brick And Mortar

What Is Brick And Mortar?

The term “brick-and-mortar” refers to a business that has at least one physical storefront for the sale of its products and services. Unlike virtual businesses, a brick-and-mortar shop serves its customers face-to-face, although it can also offer remote customer care services.

How Does A Brick-and-Mortar Work?

Brick-and-mortar stores work like any other physical storefront in the neighborhood. The owner builds or rents a physical space before branding it. Products and services are then put on display to welcome consumers to the shop. Other advertising media, such as TV and newspapers can also be used.

Customers then walk into the shop, view products, talk to sales representatives, and try some products, before eventually paying for them at the counter. Just like their virtual counterparts, these businesses also offer multiple payment options alongside cash, such as credit cards and mobile wallets.

Successful Brick-and-Mortar Store Examples

There are various examples of successful brick-and-mortar stores, based on their prevalent types, including:

  • Department Chains. This includes a physical brand that has multiple departments, all selling items related to a particular brand or them. A good example is the Apple Store where consumers can walk in to buy phones, PCs, or associated accessories.
  • Grocery Chains and Supermarkets. This category includes large retailers who sell everyday household consumables, food products, accessories, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. A good example is Walmart.
  • Drug Franchises. Some pharmacies might be forced to operate as brick-and-mortar outlets due to the kind of drugs that they sell, which might require physical interaction with the buyer to assess prescriptions or give dosage instructions.

Advantages Of A Brick And Mortar Store

A brick-and-mortar shop has various advantages compared to other business models, such as:

  • An unparalleled customer experience that cannot be found online as visitors interact with on-site sales representatives;
  • A higher level of consumer trust, thanks to the physical brand;
  • Greater potential for making big sales when strategically located;
  • Ideal for products that require inspections or demonstrations before purchase;
  • Efficient return policies.

Challenges Of A Brick And Mortar Store

Although this model of business has various benefits that online stores don’t offer, they come with drawbacks too. For instance, it can be challenging to run a physical business due to:

  • High renting, building, or leasing costs;
  • Costly business insurance;
  • More demanding in terms of advertisement;
  • High utility and employee costs;
  • Inventory and supply chain issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brick And Mortar

What is the return rate for brick-and-mortar stores?

The return rate for brick-and-mortar stores is about 9%, lower than that of online stores because buyers can inspect goods before paying for them. Moreover, sales representatives are usually on-site to answer all questions from the buyer.

How does eCommerce differ from brick-and-mortar stores regarding costs?

While brick-and-mortar stores require enormous resources to rent additional space or build extra shelves for display when expanding, eCommerce stores can easily be scaled through customized back-end CMS, allowing the store owner to add as many products as they wish.

Why are brick-and-mortar stores closing?

Businesses operating on this model are closing due to the rise of online shopping and the convenience it brings. The Covid-19 pandemic also paralyzed the vibrancy of some physical businesses.

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