Despite the rapid development of online trade, many people still prefer walking around shopping centers. After all, on the shelves, an item could be touched, sniffed and visually evaluated for its value. Just imagine what difficulties you will encounter when trying to decide on buying a yacht or a car on your computer at home. Of course, many of us first research options on the Internet, but in the end, we visit a dealer center to test the selected product. In addition, an experienced salesperson may provide more accurate information than search engines.
Products requiring personal presence also include groceries, personal hygiene goods, household utensils, clothing and, of course, real estate. Companies that work through physical trading space and fundamentally ignore the online regime are today known as “brick-and-mortar”. But they also do not stand still, developing new creative approaches in the struggle for their buyers.
Brick-and-Mortar Marketing Definition
The “brick-and-mortar” marketing means a tactic of serving consumers face to face, often through retail trade. When describing this type of marketing strategies, experts use phrases, usually associated with materials for building a store or a shopping center.
Brick-and-mortar business differs from other techniques by it focuses on the advantages of buying in an outlet. Undoubtedly, online shopping is comfortable and convenient, but nothing will replace the atmosphere and immediate receipt of goods from the hands of the seller. I.e., retailers focus not only on quality or service but also attributes such as personal communication with employees and an ability to try the proposed item. They are trying to turn your store into a place that customers are happy to visit.
Before traditional business there are similar tasks, first of all, drawing up a portrait of the target audience. So, experts should explore a demographic component of a certain area, near the store. Their goal is to learn the feelings, thoughts, incomes, and home of potential customers. The next step of your team involves defining the competition and evaluating the physical location of the outlet.
Clients should easily find your store, not wandering around the slums in its search. The uniqueness of the position is clarified through a qualitative interpretation of demographic sections. They are also at the heart of the promotion campaign. Brick and mortar strategies also include holding promotions. They could be regular, for example, take place every weekend, or cover a certain period of time, say, on the eve of New Year's holidays or the opening of the swimming season. Such tools contribute to creation and expansion of the client base. After completing the minimum plan, specialists are required to collect data on its effectiveness through opinion polls and, if necessary, adjust it.
Purpose of Brick-and-Mortar Marketing
The objective for brick-and-mortar players is to create a broad awareness of their company. Let's look at strategies to attract buyers.
- Brick-and-mortar location. Marketing places are used to identify businesses among competitors using signage, showcases, billboards, sales announcements or special promotions. Some companies also put into operation other physical sources, such as catalogs or leaflets, which are delivered from apartment to apartment in each quarter.
Such tools attract the attention of passers-by and increase the traffic of potential users. Of course, today the preference is given to advertising on radio stations, in newspapers or on television. Nevertheless, an activity of a shopping tent could provide a greater flow of investment and the recognition of your products in the city. But remember that the first impression is the strongest and the longest. Therefore, gray building, boring signs and dirty form of sellers will scare off buyers.
The neighborhood strategy for brick-and-mortar companies may take several forms. For instance, many firms send news about proposals to certain areas with a high density of residence of the necessary social group. Often entrepreneurs seek to enlist the support of local communities that are trusted, or of neighboring companies, to jointly conduct activities and minimize costs.
Also invest time and resources in training employees of quality service, both products, and customers themselves. Your staff should be represented by highly qualified specialists, and not by random passers-by. Sincerity and desire to help a buyer will have a positive effect on the store image.
- Information channels. Do not forget about online resources. It's about geo-tracking, such search engines as Google Places, Yelp or Yahoo. The latter stimulate interest to you outside the territorially designated area, significantly expanding the scope of business. Use electronic newsletters. Thus, you will create a system of communication between you and people interested in purchasing the company's products. For great impact, make quality content that is really interesting and useful for your target group so that in the future your messages do not fall into the category of spam.
Social networks could also become a key component of brick-and-mortar marketing. On their pages, marketing personnel may post interesting news or announce thematic contests. For maximum efficiency, you need to locate citizens through a keyword search, for example, the name of a district or city. Postal codes are also suitable for these purposes. Social media will serve as a tool for informing users and conducting surveys.
- Database creation. Without it, it is impossible to achieve personalized communications with the client, and therefore, the promotion of the goods. According to research, the probability of selling to a regular customer is 60-70%, whereas the range of opportunities for a new one varies from 5 to 20%. The availability of a database allows you to instantly connect with existing buyers and increase the amount of profit. But remember that the sale does not complete the marketing campaign. Long-term prosperity is connected with turning clients into defenders of your brand. Encourage them to write reviews, share impressions and attract new customers.
The Disadvantages of Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
Despite all benefits of traditional business, you should not console yourself with the thought that Internet marketing is not able to make a strong competition. The reality is that most consumers collect initial information about your goods through search engines or social networks before crossing the store threshold. Some customers even take video reviews of the product and place them in the Internet space. It will be fortunately, if such a large-scale advertising is a positive one.
The shortcoming of brick-and-mortar marketing is also its cost. Renting commercial space is quite expensive for business owners. In addition, many of them may be bound by a binding contract, even if the company is liquidated. Add to this the payment of salaries to employees, medical care, and services for the maintenance of goods, so your expenses will increase several times.
Brick-and-mortar companies usually need large cash investments to get started, for example, buying a franchise. Significant costs also include utilities, payment of property taxes and inventory. And all this is before profit. It is worth remembering the limited client base. If the firm is engaged in servicing only local residents, then we are talking about justified risk. But if you are set to global scales, a fixed location significantly reduces your chances in the world arena.
Thus, in the world of information technologies, traditional brick-and-mortar marketing could be a viable option for start-up entrepreneurs. They offer the creation of autonomous structures located in large shopping complexes and facilitating interpersonal communication. Nevertheless, even traditions should keep pace with the times, rather than ignore new digital opportunities for business expansion.