When choosing a business model, many companies lean towards an online business strategy as opposed to a purely "brick-and-mortar" business plan. While online business does have advantages, brick-and-mortar stores still have a substantial role in 21st century business. This business model actually has a few advantages over other types of business ventures.
One of the advantages of this type of business model is that it lends you some credibility. To get started with a brick-and-mortar business model, you typically have to invest a large amount of money in infrastructure. Customers and other businesses know this and it establishes your commitment to the market place. Anyone can get started with an online business for a few hundred dollars. Starting a brick-and-mortar business says that you are in it for the long haul.
If you are in a business that sells perishable food items such as a grocery store, having a brick-and-mortar location gives you an advantage. While some companies sell food online, having an actual store that people can visit gives you the edge in this market. Shipping fresh food is challenging and often leads to spoilage or damage to the food. When you have a brick-and-mortar location, it allows you to receive food and sell it in a timely manner so that it is fresh when it reaches the customer.
Multiple Payment Methods
Having a brick-and-mortar location also allows you to accept multiple payment methods from your customers. When you can increase the number of payment methods available, it increases the chances of getting a sale. For example, if you have an online business, you can typically only take payment by credit card, debit card or through a third-party payment processor like PayPal. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, it allows you to accept cash and checks as well.
Different Customer Base
Having a brick-and-mortar location allows you to gain a different customer base than what you get with an online store. There is still a consumer demographic that does not feel comfortable shopping online or using the Internet in general. For example, some elderly customers do not use the Internet and have no desire to do so. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, it can give you the chance to service these customers who would otherwise not be reached in the market place.