With the stormy developments in the Internet in recent years, the number of physical stores (Bricks) has decreased significantly. However, for many customers it’s still important to feel, smell of try a product in real life. Precisely for this reason we see a growth in the number of entrepreneurs who run both a physical store and a web shop. But what challenges does that bring? Which channel do you pay the most attention to? And how do you successfully set up your Clicks & Bricks e-commerce strategy? You can read it all in this blog.
What is a Clicks & Bricks strategy?
A quick refresher: what is Clicks & Bricks? In a nutshell: a combination of the physical store (Bricks) and the online shop (Clicks). Retailers who use Clicks & Bricks give their customers the opportunity to shop both via an online and offline channel. This could be because they previously had a store and later decided to sell online as well. These ‘Bricks stores’ provide a valuable addition for the customer that web shops cannot offer. Think about viewing, feeling and possibly trying products in a physical store, as we mentioned above.
Covid-19: stores are moving more and more towards online
Looking at current trends, we can say that online web shops, or e-commerce, are the most popular in recent years. Online purchases happen more frequent than purchases in physical stores. This is – among other reasons – because of the convenience of it and the ever faster delivery times.
Since the arrival of Covid-19 this has only been developing more. Internet sales experienced unprecedented growth in the second quarter of 2020, according to research by CBS. But why are there still webshops that open a physical store in addition?
Clicks versus Bricks
As an entrepreneur, it is important to think from the customer’s perspective. Today, customers demand an excellent experience on the one hand and convenience on the other. Below you can read the advantages and differences between both Clicks and Bricks:
Advantages of online stores (Clicks)
Clicks have become wildly popular over the years, especially among start-ups. The main advantages of an online store:
- Low costs: although setting up an online shop requires the necessary investment, this does not weigh nearly as heavily as the costs you have in maintaining a physical store.
- Online is winning: especially in recent years, more purchases are made online than physically. In addition, the combination between the physical store and online is ideal. It reinforces each other and provides an increase in sales.
- Orientation: many people do prior research on desired products online. Think of product specifications and which provider is the most advantageous.
Advantages physical stores (Bricks)
Regarding Bricks: in our expectation, the physical store will always remain. We hear you think: “Does the physical store still have a function?” and “What function exactly?”. We think so, even though physical stores can hardly do without (the strengthening of) an online store. Certainly not when we look back at a period like COVID-19. Here are the main advantages of the physical store:
Assessing quality: Bricks serve as the place to judge quality of products.
Obtain advice: in addition, the physical store functions as an advice function, pick-up and service point.
No delivery time: another important advantage of Bricks that we don’t want to keep you from is not having to wait for your order. Despite the fact that retailers are shipping faster and faster these days. How nice is it that you can use your product immideately after checking out?
Besides thinking from the customer’s perspective, it is very important for entrepreneurs to be aware of the latest trends in the market. This allows you to quickly respond to changes in the market and to be aware of the importance of e-commerce. We have put five major trends in e-commerce 2021 for you in a row:
- Retail e-commerce will grow the next two years from $ 4.2 trillion to $ 6.5 trillion worldwide.
- B2B e-commerce will grow from $6.7 trillion in 2020 to $21 trillion in 2027.
- Personalization of user information will no longer be a trend in 2021, but the standard.
- Today, 40% of online purchases in the Netherlands are made via online marketplaces, such as Bol.com.
- 61% of Dutch online shoppers prefer online marketplaces to search engines such as Google.
Challenges in Clicks & Bricks and e-commerce
No doubt it comes as no surprise to you that the competition in e-commerce is extreme. Now that you know what Clicks & Bricks is about, what the benefits are and what role Covid-19 plays in it, we would like to tell you more about the challenges that stores experience that are also looking to move to online. Together with our e-commerce online marketing specialist Tom, we explain the main challenges and pain points, in the context of e-commerce.
Challenge 1: Where do I start and how do I beat the competition?
The biggest challenge entrepreneurs face who want to operate online is: “Where do I start and how do I beat my competitors?” Tom advises to first consider: what am I selling exactly and can I sell this online? Once this is decided, the next question is: “How do I start?”. And this is exactly where Endeavour comes in to help. We draw up a solid marketing plan, where profitability is key. In this way we ensure that every euro that goes in, also comes out.
Challenge 2: How do I make the right choices for my company?
After deciding whether your product is suitable for online sales, we come to the next point: how to make the right choice for my business, to start selling online? Tom explains that the next step is to perform a QuickScan. Tom: “We examine the company: what are you doing now, what is going well and what could be better? In addition, we research the competition online and determine where opportunities lie that we can seize.”
Challenge 3: How can I grow online?
Now that you know if your product is suitable for online sales and what opportunities there are relative to the competition, you naturally want to grow online. How do you make sure you catch up or stay ahead of the competition? And how do you make sure that you capture as much market share as possible with your business?
Challenge 4: How can I let my online store support my physical store?)
If you already have a physical store, it’s almost a no-brainer that you’ll get started selling online. One of the many examples is repeat purchases: if you sell razors with matching shaving cream, of course you want people to get the same shaving cream (your shaving cream) every time. They may not come to your store specifically to get it, but buy it from antoher brand when doing groceries. With free delivery you can stimulate people to buy this from you.
Challenge 5: How do I ensure that the competition does not overtake me?
At Endeavour we always map out the competition, but we also start from our own strengths. We translate this from the physical to the online world and map out our opportunities. In this way we ensure that at every stage of the customer journey we can be in touch with your target group and customers.
Want to know more about e-commerce for your business? You can read it in our previous blog: How to find the e-commerce marketing mix for your webshop?
Clicks & Bricks for you
Do you recognize the challenges of a Clicks & Bricks strategy? Then you’ve come to the right place. You know the physical store, we know the online world. Let’s sit around the table in a strategic session and figure out what we can mean for each other, discuss the possibilities and develop a customized plan.
Fill out the contact form below or contact our experts. We would love to tell you more in a personal conversation.
You may ask us anything
Or just stop by to say hi. We are thrilled to think about your challenges.
Let us contact you