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Bricks And Clicks Business Strategy

Updated on January 17, 2015

Bricks and Clicks Business

'Bricks and Clicks' is a growing business model which is a combination of the offline(Bricks) and online (Clicks) presences of a company. The emergence of mobile internet has made this business strategy very popular because it allows you to shop online using mobile internet whenever you have free time, and you don't even need a computer.

Online retailers are finding this business strategy very effective and easy in expanding their business. That is why a rising number of retailers are setting up shops offline. However it is worth noticing that this strategy is not as easy as putting up a physical store and having a website, but each component must complement the other, for this model to be successful.


Here are some guidelines to execute a 'Bricks and Clicks' business successfully.

1- Use data of one presence for the selling of other

Data related to sales of products on one side of this business helps you not only optimize that business side but also make decisions for the other one. For example, if you observe that the sales and traffic for a commodity is increasing and greater than others, then it is wise to promote it offline also to the Bricks and Mortar shoppers. This way one business side will add value to the other one.

The other important thing is social media websites data such as Facebook likes. Most of the people are now a days connected to social media and what’s trending on these sites can help in merchandising and some effective marketing. For example, Nordstorm uses Pinterest to help decide the products to be displayed in its stores.

Consider similarly your brick-and-mortar business. Just note the most liked, viewed, sold and demanded items from the customers of you shop and pinned online items and then use this information to make decisions regarding inventory, product display and more.

You can use online data to improve your website and use analytic tools like people counters etc. to understand you offline customers' behavior and compare it with the online data and may be you will find some patterns which will help you improve your business.

You can also check for shoppers' common questions about the availability of a particular commodity and it is probable that your online customers have the same questions an concerns about that product and then certainly you can increase it's promotion and sales. You can also take customer queries online and from them, you can analyze their demands.

2- Link The Bricks And The Clicks

Bridging the gap between the Bricks and the Clicks by allowing your customers and physical-store staff to access their online account information also proves profitable for the business. This can increase the number of customers you have, both online and offline as it is a general psychology of the people to go to same shop in which they have an accessible online account. Doing so can improve marketing experiences and sales.

Take Burberry for instance, the fashion retailer provides its store associates with iPads so that they can check into shoppers’ account data, purchase history, balance left etc. while they’re shopping inside the store. The facility enables them to make more relevant recommendations about the products or even make purchase for a customer if any particular product is not in stock.

Similarly, the cosmetics retailer, Sephora, is doing it through its mobile app, through which users can view and manage their account data— including previous orders, wish lists, rewards etc. — using their smartphones. This also helps them use the app when inside the store, in finding the items they require.

3- Smartphone Beacons

Beacons are devices enabled with Bluetooth which let brick-and-mortar retailers send customized recommendations and offers to their customers via their smartphones — depending upon where the shoppers are present in the store. For instance, if a customer is in the footwear department, the retailer can use its smartphone beacons to send a coupon for shoes, to the customer.

Bricks-and-clicks business can also use this technology for sending tailored offers to shoppers depending on their online behavior. For instance, Macy’s, keeps record of the items which customers liked (social media) on its website and then it uses this record to send alerts to the customers whenever they are in a Macy’s branch which carries those products.

These smartphone beacons are quite an effective strategy to improve the sales from your shop. Apart from being informing devices, these also attract the shoppers as the customers don't have to enquire about different schemes and offers related to different commodities and also, they don't have to remember the products they have to buy.

4- Integrate The Inventories

Integrating both online and offline inventories is another very good strategy you can come up with. In this service you can allow the shoppers to buy the product online and they can pick it up from a local service station or retail branch. This becomes effective particularly with the customers who do not want to pay delivery charges and like to wait for days for their item to be delivered.This scheme will allow them to quickly collect their products and they don't even have to pay delivery charges.

You can also use your Brick and Mortar inventory to fill the online inventory which has gone out of stock. For example Oasis, an apparel retailer, follows it. When an item gets out of stock from it's online inventory, it conducts a search for that product in it's brick and mortar shops and if found, Oasis will ship it to it's online inventory. Note that this is a two way service. If any item is not available in it's physical store, an associate of the same retailer can order the product online for the shopper and ship it.

Hence we came across some of the best tips for operating Bricks And Clicks business model.


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