Debitoor Dictionary

Accounting terms explained simply

Over 300 Articles for Founders and Entrepreneurs

  1. Click and mortar
  2. Credit card
  3. Sales
  4. Card reader

Brick and mortar - What is brick and mortar?

Brick and mortar refers to the actual physical location of a shop or business that offers products or services for sale directly to customers

Accept payments easily in your brick and mortar store as well as online with a payment solution like SumUp. Import and manage your transactions with a click in Debitoor.

‘Brick and mortar’ applies to the traditional types of stores that have a physical space,like a shop on a high street for example or even your local grocery store. This is in comparison to businesses that have an online-only presence and don’t have any physical locations.

Advantages of a brick and mortar business

Brick and mortar stores were long preferred by customers, as they could interact with the product they potentially wished to purchase in person. They could also receive help from store staff in the event that they had specific questions about a product.

Many stores also provide a designed shopping experience, making it a pleasurable activity to physically travel to the store to purchase a product. Music, displays, scents, and more, are all carefully considered in how they affect the customer. A customer who has a positive experience is more likely to become a repeat customer.

Although online stores and services are abundant, there are still a percentage of people who do not trust security online when it comes to their credit card details and prefer to make their purchases in person.

The decline of brick and mortar businesses?

The rapid growth and reach of the internet brought an equally explosive number of new businesses looking to profit from this type of business model. These online-only stores are known as e-commerce businesses.

One of the major factors in the success of online businesses is that there are significantly lower overhead costs as compared to brick and mortar businesses. This allows the business to have lower operating costs and thus potentially higher profits.

The shopping mall’s demise

The rise of these businesses seemed to directly impact some of the traditional brick and mortar businesses. For example, once a symbol of consumerism, shopping malls began to see a decline in patronage.

In the US especially, the shopping mall came into prominence in the 1950s and the model spread around the world. Today, it’s not uncommon to drive by a shopping mall, now half empty or even abandoned by retailers and with plans for redevelopment.

With trends like this, it’s easy to see how the assumption was made that the rise of e-commerce spelled the end for brick and mortar. However, this has proven not to be the case.

Online shopping, in-person purchasing

Contrary to the predictions based on the almost instantaneous success of online businesses, brick and mortar shops are still, in fact, thriving. While there are of course behemoths like Amazon that are undeniably popular and successful, physical stores still sell 10x that sold online in the US.

One trend that is often seen is that a customer will shop for a product online, but then find a physical shop where it’s being sold where they will then make the purchase after seeing it in person.

However, the opposite occurs as well - a customer will see a product in person in a brick and mortar shop, but then search online for a deal and make their purchase there.

The future of brick and mortar businesses

There are conflicting thoughts on the future of brick and mortar businesses. Some business are not able to transition to an online-only presence. For example, online grocery shopping has had varying levels of success in different markets. Many attribute this to the fact that people generally like to examine their apples and bananas before they select them, and don’t trust the same discerning judgement if ordered online.

The fact of the matter is that most businesses see the advantage of the interaction between online and offline sales and are moving towards ‘click and mortar’, meaning they have both a physical store and online store, taking advantage of both markets.

Brick and mortar businesses and Debitoor

If you have a brick and mortar business, or even a click and mortar business, it’s still essential to track your income and expenses. Accepting in-person payments from customers with a card reader that syncs directly with your accounting software makes this process fast and incredibly efficient.

Debitoor offers payment solutions such as SumUp that offer a card reader for your brick and mortar sales, as well as an online payment option for your webshop if you’re building your e-commerce presence.