Brick and Mortar or e-Commerce?

My last post, Virtual Business, was a brief discussion of virtual business. Please read it if you need clarification of what virtual business is. This will be a discussion of the pros and cons of Brick and Mortar versus e-Commerce.

Why Brick and Mortar?

One reason some businesses are best as a brick and mortar operation is that the nature of the business requires a very hands on approach to helping a customer. Think clothing, although even that is changing and seeing an impact from e-Commerce. Of course, service businesses like landscaping, plumbers, electricians, etc. require a physical presence, although not necessarily a physical location where customers can shop. On the other hand, there is a tactile element to the purchase of some things. Some furniture simply will be unlikely to sell unless customers can touch and try it before purchase. Yet, even here, the on-hand stock may be limited. Some stores allow customers to see the products in various colors and even in a simulated room by using virtual technology. Yet still, there will likely always be a need for brick and mortar businesses.

brick and mortar business

Why e-Commerce?

There are numerous reasons to operate an e-commerce business.

  • A wider audience of customers
  • The cost of operating may be reduced as a result of fewer employees and less need for physical facilities
  • Changes to product mix, prices, advertising, etc. can be done quickly
  • It is easy for customers to browse through you product selection
  • The ability to up-sell and cross-sell is easy to accomplish
  • Products may be presented in multiple categories in order to help customers more easily find what they want
  • It is relatively easy to test ideas (advertisements, products, etc.)
  • It is not always necessary to stock everything as some items may be drop shipped (see The Long Tail to Grow You Business)

These are just a few of the advantages of e-Commerce. Each business needs to carefully evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of e-Commerce, but keep in mind that this is something that is likely here for the long run.


Are you keeping abreast of changes in the way business is conducted? If not, you may one day find your business struggling to catch up.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always your comments are welcomed.


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