Ecommerce vs. Brick and Mortar

Nizar Zgheib

It is the century's debate. Which is better physical or online store? Let's break it down in this blog

Ecommerce vs. Brick and Mortar

With the increase of connectivity and the easiness of direct linking between people, businesses started shifting their presence from a real “brick and mortar” store to an online platform where they can sell their products. Many do adopt both stores, but we are here to assess and give clear data so every merchant could understand which option is better for the business.

Brick and Mortar stores

Let’s cover the obvious; brick and mortar stores are real stores in the real world where you go, inspect the products first hand, interact with the merchant, and, most of the times, take the product with you if you happen to purchase it.

This method has been the main and only way of buying/selling a product or service since the emergence of society. Nevertheless, after the powerful surge of the internet, people increasingly started to trade online which drastically affected brick and mortar stores.

Pros of brick-and-mortar stores

  • Despite the outstanding rise of ecommerce, physical stores still are the most popular shopping system by far.
  • This shopping experience allows both the customer and the merchant to build trust between the two of them since there is direct face to face contact.
  • It gives the merchant access to passing trade by attracting nearby potential customers.

Cons of brick-and-mortar stores

  • They require a costly setup and continuous upgrade especially if there is competition in the same area.
  • They come with big running costs (electricity, water, internet, rent, etc...)
  • The physical site can also be a disadvantage depending on the location.
  • Any day, a competitor might start a new business right next to yours which can affect your returns.

Online stores

Online stores are platforms, websites, or applications through which merchants can sell their products, get paid, and deliver their orders using various shipping methods and integrations.

Since the internet connects the entire globe, it’s only natural that it becomes an idea place to conduct business. People are shifting towards it rapidly despite the disadvantages in logistics that people complain from.

Pros of Online stores

  • Way lower startup costs when compared to brick-and-mortar.
  • Shopping is so much more convenient since it can be done from home or virtually anywhere.
  • Schedule convenience is best with online stores since most people can’t find the time to go out and shop regularly.
  • You can track the customer’s experience on your store which guides you in the best direction to grow your business and profit more.
  • You can easily reach a much wider audience which increases the number of your potential customers.


Cons of Online stores

  • It costs more to drive customers to your store since it depends solely on advertising and marketing.
  • It brings no significant or meaningful interaction between the merchant and the customers which makes it harder to build trust.\

Choosing between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce is a challenge but becomes easier when you assess who your target audience is, what is at your disposal from assets and skills, and what is the best method to reach the maximum amount of customers. They both have their advantages and disadvantages but we’re already in the age of the internet and we keep on heading towards more online businesses and less physical stores because selling is customer driven, and more people are choosing convenience over everything that brick-and-mortar is offering.

Join the discussion!

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