It’s an online world out there. Amazon.com has just come off a record-breaking holiday season. According to the e-commerce behemoth, small and midsize businesses profited like never before: More than 50 percent of items sold came from the “little guys.”
With these stats in mind, is there any point to a brick-and-mortar shop anymore? Should you even bother with the headache of securing a lease and stocking your physical shelves? Can your small business on Main Street ever begin to compete with online juggernauts?
While there is no definitive answer and every business is different, there still are some big benefits to having a brick-and-mortar business.
See, Try, Touch and Test
Congratulations! Your in-laws surprised you and your spouse with a Caribbean cruise. (We’re only slightly jealous.) It departs next week, and you’re in the market for swim trunks, a bikini and other assorted warm-weather gear ASAP.
Amazon has everything you need, of course. Amazon has everything anyoneneeds. But if the clothes you order don’t fit, you’re out of luck — there’s not enough time to return them and get a replacement before you set sail.
A brick-and-mortar store, however, has everything you need in stock. Try it on. Test it out. Preen in the dressing room mirror, confident in your decision. The ability to see, try, touch and test products in-store is a huge draw for brick and mortar locations.
A Friendly Greeting
Chatbots and other assorted AI assistants are great, but there’s nothing like a friendly face when you walk into a store.
“Hi, how are you? Is there anything we can help you find?” It’s a level of personalized service that no online store can provide, no matter how hard they try. From the first hello to the last goodbye, physical shops staffed with real, live humans will always outdo glorified robots, no matter how intelligent the androids may become.
The Community Benefits
When your small business has a brick-and-mortar location, the entire community benefits. Instead of being an island in a sea of online companies, you’re firmly rooted in your own neighborhood.
Looking to partner up with another small business to share advertising costs? Look no further than the shop next door. Want to sponsor the local Little League or Pop Warner team? Those kids will look adorable with your business’s name on the back of their tiny jerseys. If nothing else, you can be proud that the taxes you pay are going back into your community to make it a better place for everyone!
Easier (Cheaper) Advertising
When you have an online business, you’re effectively marketing to the masses. Pay-per-click ads, social media boosts and the like can all take a big chunk out of your bottom line with no guaranteed results.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, however, you can practice hyperlocal marketing. Print up flyers and hang them on light posts, take out an inexpensive display ad in your hometown paper, sign up for local Groupon deals, etc. Sure, you may still want to do some traditional online marketing, too — but your target market will be just outside your front door.
Brick-and-Mortar, Online or Both — Mischa Communications Is Here!
Despite the online world we live in, 62 percent of shoppers still prefer to kick the proverbial tires before they make a purchase, and 49 percent shop locally because they don’t want to wait for the item to be shipped.
While you absolutely shouldn’t shutter your online shop, a brick-and-mortar location can help you capitalize on the best of both worlds!
Whether you’re locked into a lease or taking your products and services to the World Wide Web, Mischa Communications can help you bring in new business. Reach out today and tell us about your small business needs.