In today’s market there are many selections for the consumer. Not only do you have your traditional retail outlets but also now a person can shop form the comfort of their own home on the Internet. Most every company has some sort of Internet site; some just with corporate information but most sell their product directly on the Internet. There are two types of Internet retailers, Click and Brick, which is a company that has both Internet and Retail stores, and Click and Click, which is a retailer that sells solely on the Internet. Both types of companies can be very successful and the following is a compare and contrast of both.
An example of a Click and Brick company is Hat World. Hat World is a retail outlet that specializes in sports headwear. They are the largest mall chain in the United States with 420 stores. Hat World grew to these numbers in less than 10 years so it can be said that they are a successful retail company. However the retail stores were only scratching the surface of the business that Hat World had waiting for them on the Internet. Hat World.com has been another overwhelming success for Hat World’s business. Now customers can shop for their favorite sports team’s hat without even leaving the comfort of their own home or they can stop by Hat World at their favorite mall. Hat World can sell their product at any time of the day to many more customers than their 420 stores can reach. Their online shopping also adds another dimension and that is the ability to return items purchased online to the retail store in the mall. The convenience of shopping at Hat World is outstanding. It seems that Hat World could possibly move to a complete on-line retailer and save the expenses of operating a retail facility. However, they could lose not only the convenience factor but also the recognition of millions of Americans walking past your store on a daily basis. It would be very hard to get that kind of exposure in an on-line community. Sports and fashion is very popular in today’s market and Hat World captures not only the shoppers at the mall but also the on-line consumers. They have effectively marketed themselves as the only place to buy the hat you want and they have made it easy to shop.
An example of a Click and Click company is Fogdog.com. Fogdog.com is an on-line sports retailer. Fogdog.com sells everything from sporting good to sports apparel. They pretty much are an on-line sporting goods store. They only sell their products on the Internet. This is a benefit to the company because they don’t have the expense of operating many retail locations and make sure they are properly staffed and supplied. Fogdog ships all purchases to their customers out of a central warehouse. Fogdog extends all of its shipping charges on to the customer. Fogdog’s prices are comparable to any traditional sporting goods store when you factor in the shipping charges. So what are the benefits of shopping at Fogdog, first is the convenience of shopping from your own home at any time you want. Second is the selection, since all of their products come out of one huge location the availability of the product is good. There are many negatives of a company like Fogdog as well. For instance, if you wanted to buy a golf club you would have the pleasure of taking a few practice swings before you made your decision. You would have to drive to the mall and try one out then go back home and buy it from fogdog. Might as well just buy it at the mall. Another drawback is, if you did buy that golf club and it wasn’t quite the one you were looking for you would have to package it all back up and send it back to fogdog for a return instead of returning it to a closer location. Fogdog has both positive and negative aspects and in certain locations where a sport goods store is not accessible not it is with a computer and a telephone line.
Click and Brick companies and Click and Click companies have many positive and negative characteristics. Many people in today’s marketplace are starting to use the Internet as their main vehicle for shopping but as shopping malls and retail outlets continue to pop up it is apparent that consumers want to touch and feel their products. In the competitive retail world it makes sense to reach consumers as many ways as possible.
Perreault, W. D., Jr. & McCarthy, E. J. (1999). Basic marketing: A global-managerial approach (13th ed.) [University of Phoenix Special Edition Series]. Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.