When asked what is Click and Mortar I say, “it’s where a business that still has a physical presence (meaning location) that serves the community or region and utilzes the web to drive traffic, connect, communicate and offer goods and services to people.
Click = The Web.
Mortar = The Physical Business – retail, service, distribution and manufacturing.
Combine the two together and what do you get? Nothing! Unless you develop a plan and implement the plan.
As I’ve written about in past posts…I coined the phrase click and mortar in either 96′ or 97′ and used it when describing to others what we were doing at that time in our business, which I refer to today as The Tiny Store.
Back in the 90’s ‘the click’ was a static web presence that enabled our small business to expand and grow over a 6 year period.
You know what our simple plan for using the Internet back in the 1990’s?
It was this – create an online catalog so our prospects and customers could see all that we offered. This way we didn’t have to mail physical catalogs and brochures to those in Alaska and Eastern Washington.
In the beginning it was never about ‘driving traffic’ and increasing page rank, because the web was so new and so were we.
Now I caught on really quick and we did develop ways to capture, cultivate and communicate with the people who found us through the old search engines – Yahoo!, Alta Vista, Webcrawler and Lycos.
And we did have a huge advantage being first to the party and adding a ton of content to our site. We also utilized email, the phone and ye ole’ fax to get the job done. Had I had access to an email auto-responder, life would have been quite a bit different, but that wasn’t the case, so I dealt with the slew of email that crowded my inbox every week.
Auto-responders were just getting started and quite honestly I didn’t know they existed. My bad for not researching and looking into it.
The click for us was a great lead generating tool. The only problem was that the leads came from all over the world and we just really wanted to serve Washington and Alaska.
For some small businesses they still don’t understand how to use the click to drive business to the mortar.
Today’s web offers so many ways to drive traffic and you can target your market and be as creative as you want to. It’s a marketer and biz dev person’s dream, yet so many miss the boat and go another year without doing anything. Or they just add a couple of social media buttons thinking that this is what everyone else is doing and we need to be doing what they are doing.
I say that you do what’s best for your small business. Use the click so it benefits your company! Use the click so it does what you want it to do for your small business.
What is click and mortar? A smart way to do business combining the online with the offline.
If you are a retailer, service business, distributor or manufacturer and desire to develop and grow your business using the click so it can help your mortar based business; then get on over to SmallBiz Mechanix and waste not a moment more.