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Website vs. Bricks and Mortar Stores

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As a business owner, regardless of industry or targeted client base, anyone would agree on the benefits of having a physical shop front or office. If this shop front is well staffed, well maintained and in a good location, then clearly foot traffic will come into the store, giving your staff the opportunity to make sales and/or generate leads. The better the location, the greater the volume of foot traffic. The better your staff, the more sales and leads (not to mention the quality of these) will be achieved. All fairly simple stuff isn’t it?

Firstly, lets look at the shop itself. If it’s inviting, uncluttered, stock is well presented and competitively priced- your customer is going to be enticed into spending time there, and will often head straight for the section of the store that stocks what they are interested in. This makes the sales staff’s job infinitely easier! As the customer will feel comfortable, and is easily able to find what they are looking for the salespersons job is simply to say “Hi”, answer any questions the customer may have, qualify the value of what the customer is looking for, and enable the customer in processing the transaction. I am sure that you can think of several major retailers that have mastered this – and its definitely something to think about next time you go grocery shopping or buy a new electrical item.

Then, there’s the other side of the coin…  That cluttered store with stock randomly placed everywhere, price tags hidden away, disinterested sales staff… I am sure you see where I am heading from here. You will only buy from these stores out of necessity – because no one else has the item you need, and you need it NOW. A point of fact, there is no major retailer on the face of the earth that operates under this business model.

Secondly, lets look at location. For this, we will assume that you have the perfect store – great stock, staff, prices, you name it! It’s a store that anyone will happily spend time in, find a bargain, tell their friends. Now place that store in the following locations:
a) Prime real estate in the CBD (you have made it);
b) In a major mall (the sky is the limit);
c) in a suburban mall (this store is on its way!);
d) in a quiet suburban backstreet, but still in a large city (there is hope yet, I mean we all have to start somewhere, and word of mouth and hard work will see changes);
e) A small country town (growth is limited to local traffic only) and;
f) The extreme… the middle of the desert (if you get a sale here, its pure circumstance alone).

So, why am I asking this on the SponsoredLinX blog? The parallels are simple.

Your website has the potential to be THE flagship store for your business, at a fraction of the cost. A bricks and mortar store, just to lease, outfit and staff for a year will cost upwards of $200,000, and this is thinking small. To buy into a well-known franchise, the initial outlay is in the millions. Then we have a website… there are cheap options to get us started, but to get a fully functional eCommerce website with all the bells and whistles, tailored to suit your vision the worst case scenario is an initial outlay of $15,000 to $20,000. Less than 1/10th of the outlay for a store that’s open 24/7, and has the potential to be accessed by everyone in Australia? Yes please! Now lets look at its location. Adwords enables us to get that store out almost instantly to a massive audience- the only limit as to the foot traffic attainable is set by the daily budget VS the keywords you wish to appear for. Lets work with a moderate budget of $100 a day for a year- $36,500 spent. Assuming a cost per click of $1, that is 36,500 people into your store in a year. From here, the maths are dependent on your industry, value of product and conversion rate (and that is where we come in!) however the point I am making here is pretty clear. The sky is the limit at a fraction of the cost of a bricks and mortar store.

This leads me to SEO – let’s fast forward a year. We have had 36,500 people through to your site. We have learnt what keywords lead to sales, what keywords lead to enquiries and what keywords are a waste of time. We are now able to quantify their value. This is where SEO comes in… why continue to pay day in day out for your converting keywords knowing that our budget is limiting their reach and exposure? Why not begin the long term strategy of getting these keywords to appear 24 hours a day, forever after? It is all just food for thought, but it’s why we are here. If you are an existing client of SponsoredLinX, or just reading this article by chance – I strongly recommend that you call us on 1300 859 600 to discuss your vision for your business, and start the process of having a store in every home in the country!