Bricks vs Clicks? Why Not Maximise Your Profits By Integrating Bricks & Clicks?

The phrase 'bricks vs clicks' is fast becoming outdated. Read how focusing on 'bricks and clicks' — and integrating both to work for each other powerfully is a far smarter and profitable move.
0
min read
,
,
Retail Express

‘Bricks vs clicks’ has been a valid catchphrase for some years. But as we move into the post-pandemic world, it’s been replaced with a new, more relevant one. ‘Bricks and clicks’ is the winning formulation, and AUS/NZ retailers who fully embrace the idea are coming out on top. Why? Because sometimes, one plus one is much more than just two.  Read precisely how integrating bricks and clicks is so profitable and powerful. (It’s exciting stuff) And learn how you can transform your retail brand to thrive, not just survive, in today’s cut-throat economy. 

What you’ll learn:

  • Covid has changed the way we do retail: stats 
  • How Aussies & Kiwis now (really) like shopping online
  • Why it’s time to embrace bricks and clicks — and why it’s crucial to bring down the walls between off/online shopping
  • How bricks and clicks get discerning customers over the line — more proof 
  • The Halo Effect — statistical (and behavioural science) evidence of bricks & clicks benefits 
  • How to choose the best eCommerce POS (Point Of Sale) integration
  • You can book a free demo with one of our retail experts to see how you can maximise your sales online and in-store

Covid has changed the way we do retail:

Before we stress the importance of integrating bricks and clicks, let’s look at some quick facts. Covid-19 has changed the way we do retail. Aussies had spectacularly embraced the online terrain in 2020, with Australia Post reporting that sales have dramatically increased by 57% YOY. Customers from 4 out of 5 Australian households whipped out their iPhone or laptop and shopped online — that equated to almost 9 million people.

To put it another way, that means every month during 2020, approximately 1 million additional households shopped online compared to 2019.

One million additional households each month is a lot of households.

Indeed, as communities reopen, many anticipate a swing back to brick-and-mortar sales. And won’t it be nice to be out and about, reconnecting with humanoids again?

But, will it all go back to normal? It looks unlikely.

Aussies & Kiwis have liked shopping online

Statistics show that people have (really) liked shopping online during the pandemic. Inside Retail’s NZ edition says Covid-19 has almost doubled eCommerce sales*. And in their recent 2021 E-Commerce Industry Report, Australia Post announced: “Aussies intend to keep shopping online”. And they say a third of respondents indicate that they prefer to shop online now more than pre-pandemic days. Their intent to shop online post-pandemic is 28% higher, to be precise.

Covid-19 has made a lasting impact on Australian eCommerce.

Once we get a taste for technology, there’s often no going back. Remember when emails were hip and fancy? And iPhones were cool? Aussies everywhere have lapped up internet shopping. And their credit cards have proven it, racking up $50.46B in 2020 (again, a 57 % increase over 2019). It’s hard to imagine people will discard such a stellar convenience.

But falling in love with eCommerce doesn’t mean we have to burn the stores. It’s no longer about eCommerce versus bricks and mortar sales. 

Both have magnificent merit. But when we combine them, it’s gold.

Make the change to integrate bricks and clicks systems now, and you’ll future-proof your business against crippling lockdowns and enjoy multiple ongoing rewards.

Bricks & clicks: bring down the walls between off/online shopping

Current trends and statistics repeatedly drive the following advice — make it your mission to bring down the walls between offline and online shopping. Marry the two with a seamless omnichannel experience bolstered by outstanding POS (Point of Sale) software, so no barriers exist between your customers and the goods they want.

Right now, a handful of savvy retailers are embracing this change while others are being left behind. So make the change to integrate bricks and clicks systems, and you’ll future-proof your business against crippling lockdowns and reap multiple ongoing rewards:

  • Better customer experience: Offer bricks and clicks, and your customers can please themselves(e.g., shop online, in-store, Click and Collect). Plus, an integrated Ship from Store facility means a win-win for business and online customers. Retailers can ship from the most proximal store to the customer, saving on freight costs and delivering sooner.
  • Improve inventory availability: Allow all channels to leverage from the same inventory so you can maximise stock availability and increase sales. Alternatively, run your systems separately and you hold less stock in each channel. This means your channels (e.g., online, in-store) can run out of stock faster, making it harder to make a valuable sale.
  • Expand your range for maximal impact: Showcase some of your product range in your physical stores to entice new customers. Then, easily offer more of your range online, sans storage problems (they’ve discovered it, now they can choose more colours or sizes online).
  • Improved flexibility: Your customers can choose how to buy the product and return it if required. With less rigidity, there are fewer limitations.
  • Brand building & growth: More trust, more positive ‘word of mouth’ feedback, more ‘Halo Effect’ (see below). All these things are excellent for branding. Plus, you gain an increased ability to touch a large audience through multiple sales channels and marketing strategies.
  • Sophisticated marketing: With omnichannel marketing, you can leverage off intelligent retail marketing software to give your customers an exceptional brand experience, making them more loyal than ever. Marketing features include buyer behaviour reports, detailed customer profiles, segmented customer promotional groups, targeted emails and tiered loyalty programs. All these features help your business prosper both on and offline.
  • Experience-driven retail: This is where the real omnichannel magic happens. Forget “Have a nice day” —  savvy retailers are now going next-level by offering complete physical store experiences. Bridging the gap between online and in-store, these experience-driven retailers aim for complete connection. They capture customer data and also encourage social media activity, providing instalments for photo opportunities. They offer expert advice by hiring real experts or coaches. They provide entertainment, like live models in shop windows, live music and arts and crafts to keep kids occupied. Nike stores have treadmills with virtual reality screens and basketball hoops. Nike, in particular, is creating headlines with their approach.
Integrate orders and stock - bricks and clicks - with Retail Express POS

Bricks and clicks get more customers over the line

Customer expectations are growing. Shoppers sometimes want to do their research online and narrow their options. But research may not be enough to get them over the line. They want both the privacy of research and the real-life experience. 

Omnichannel bricks and clicks businesses make it possible to make a sale when online shopping isn’t quite enough. For example, do any of these purchasing frictions sound familiar?

• “I can’t touch or feel the product. What if it looks different in real life?”

• “I don’t want to wait for delivery. And what if they come while I’m out?”

• “It’s such a hassle to return items I don’t like.”

Sure, we can’t always please everyone. Sometimes there are good reasons for staying small. But if retailers who mean business want the best profit margins, they need to offer the best of both worlds.

The Halo Effect II focuses on quantifying the impact of omnichannel or bricks and clicks

The Halo effect: it’s science!

There’s nothing like statistics to back a good argument. A landmark study called The Halo Effect: How Bricks Impact Clicks, by the global trade association International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) has cleared much conjecture around retail best practices. They analysed over $43 M in consumer spending between 2016 and 2018. The results? Physical stores drive online sales. They boost branding, trust and a lot more. Plus, they proved that online purchases and in-store purchases are not separate events. They are one link in a chain of interconnected transactions.

When customers purchase at a brick and mortar store, they go on to make repeat purchases online. When customers shop online, they often make visits to that company’s physical retail store. We’re like bees, cross-pollinating from one to the other.

So what is the Halo Effect? Behavioural scientists call it a cognitive bias. It causes us to take our positive first impressions of a person and extend them to unrelated things. For example, a shopper has a positive customer experience with human beings in a department store. They hold onto this bias when next online or on social media.

Create a great customer experience and a great brand, and shoppers will come back for more.

Choose the best eCommerce POS integration

Make the smart move online and ensure you unify your bricks and clicks operations with an excellent POS system that supports your business as you grow. Run them separately, and you risk significant overheads, confusion and disappointed customers. It defeats the purpose and deprives you of the massive omnichannel benefits.

Retail Express POS software has integrations to all leading eCommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. Currently leading the ANZ retail space, it can deeply integrate all your stores and use clever algorithms to do the heavy lifting for you. And, it will help future-proof your retail business. Here are just a few of the profit-boosting joys that also improve your customers’ experience:

  • Get a single view of all online and in-store customers
  • Display live stock levels on your website — for both web orders and in-store pickup
  • Save time with automated stock replenishment
  • Leverage all your store stock online to maximise profits
  • Offer cross-channel gift cards to build better branding and loyalty
  • Ship from Store (with decentralised fulfilment) for faster, cheaper delivery
  • Offer instant Click and Collect for added convenience
  • Offer endless aisles and special orders to increase online sales
Get Deeply integrated POS software and see your entire bricks and clicks data in detail

IMPORTANT: Choose your POS software carefully. Make sure the product will do everything you need it to do — now and in the future. If you grow, your software needs to grow with you. Others may offer competitive start-up packages but fail when it comes to flexibility and function. Don’t be caught out. 

Retail Express offers a flexible and supportive omnichannel solution that provides an unbeatable balance of features, simplicity and affordability. And we make growing your business easy. Read more about this eCommerce POS system here.

Finally, make sure you’ll get the support you need. At Retail Express, we’re renowned for our outstanding customer service, not just during the onboarding process, but ongoing, real-time support. Each new client gets a personal Success Manager who will remotely guide them through their set-up and adoption process — every step of the way, so you’ll never be left high and dry. 

And this high level of support continues. Clients can always contact our Australian-based customer support team via phone or email, 24/7. Rest assured, we take pride in delivering the very best customer service possible. Our roots as an Australian retailer mean we know (first-hand) that the support you get is important as the software itself.

Compare online and in-store sales and see stock levels with Retail Express POS

Next steps

Reap the benefits of bricks and clicks integration. Book a free live demo with one of our retail experts today and learn how you can maximise your sales online and in-store.


References:

  • Australia Post: 2021 E-Commerce Industry Report

Inside Australian Online Shopping - eCommerce Industry Report 2021

  • Inside Retail NZ: Covid-19 Has Almost Doubled eCommerce Sales

https://insideretail.co.nz/2020/04/22/covid-19-has-almost-doubled-e-commerce-sales/

  • ICSC - The Halo Effect

https://www.icsc.com/thehaloeffectii

  • Future Stores: Nike's New Flagship Store is a Powerhouse of Experience-Driven Retail

https://futurestores.wbresearch.com/blog/nike-new-flagship-powerhouse-experience-driven-retail


Get the latest retail content in your inbox

Hot tips on inventory management, omni-channel, scaling store and more.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We hate spam too, we’ll only send you relevant content.

Watch our full free video series at Omni-Channel Leaders Academy

Discover the game-changing practices being used by leading retailers, in our library of short videos.

Highest Impact Marketing & Loyalty Campaigns
In-Store Experience Must-Do's to win more sales
ROI-driven eCommerce Plays to increase revenue
Critical Inventory and Fulfilment Strategies
Watch the FREE videos

Suggested reading