Best Practices

Click ‘N’ Bricks

Mike Whitty over at Salesperson Inc. shares his view of the 3 different types of basic shoppers and their thought process.

The Click ‘N’ Order vs Click ‘N’ Brick vs Brick ‘N’ Mortar Customer

Mike Whitty

For the longest time, customers purchased items in one of two ways: either by walking into a store or mail ordering from a catalog. Well, in many cases, the store is still there, but the mail order catalog is slowly being replaced by the Internet. It’s less costly and can be updated more frequently by providing this information on the web, then having our poor mail carriers lug these heavy catalogs around, and reproduce them with the high cost of printing and stamps.

So, to help you understand where your customer future lies in relationship to the Internet, I’ve placed customers into three main categories, and attempted to provide a description of each.

Click ‘N’ Order Customers

Click ‘N’ Order customers usually purchase items based on price, information, and service. A dealership appealing to Click ‘N’ Order customers usually needs to provide all three or be so superior in one facet, like offering special
internet pricing, that they don’t mind less concentration on the other two factors. In reality, many people don’t expect to necessarily save money by shopping online, especially by the time shipping costs are factored into the
final price. They do expect value-added sellers, and they love buying from the comforts of their home. For example, automotive dealerships that have online parts and accessory pages on their websites provide a great deal of information, selection, and customer service through their website and this can appeal to many Click ‘N’ Order customers. Click ‘N’ Order customers expect their online experience to be fast and extensive, painless, with more options than Brick ‘N’ Mortar. If there are any problems with their online experience, they can immediately click away to another website. In a few words, Click ‘N’ Order customers expect speed, flexibility, and options; they are generally very savvy shoppers. Plus, they just have a lot of fun buying things in their pajamas and having them delivered directly to their front door in just a matter of days.

Click ‘N’ Brick Customers

The Click ‘N’ Brick customer is on the way to becoming a Click ‘N’ Order customer, but hasn’t reached the point of feeling comfortable doing financial transactions online. Though they find the Internet exciting and spend a lot of time surfing the web, they feel that putting a credit card online is unsafe. But they do love doing a lot of research to determine what and where to buy. The Click ‘N’ Brick customer will gather all the information on the RV of choice, print it out, and take it right to the dealership to begin the buying and negotiating process. It’s this fact alone that makes the Click ‘N’ Brick customer feel more special than the Brick ‘N’ Mortar Customer when they come into your dealership. They just know more and feel they have the upper hand when it comes to buying a new vehicle. It used to be that salespeople hated to see these customers come into the dealership (like with their Consumer Reports) since they were more knowledgeable with facts and figures than the typical Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer. Sometimes they may even know more about the features of the vehicle and its competition than the salesperson (which isn’t a good thing!)

Brick ‘N’ Mortar Customer

Brick ‘N’ Mortar customers are a slightly different breed. They may not know how to search the internet, or may not even have a computer yet. If they do have a computer, they’re afraid to use it. They can and will take more time enjoying the “shopping experience.” A Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer is not as likely to leave an RV Dealership because there are a lot of customers in the showroom, as an Internet customer will click off your site if they don’t like the experience. A Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer at ABC dealer can’t search 10 other dealerships in 10 other states just to verify that ABC dealer has the lowest price while they are in the showroom. Once a Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer receives personalized attention, it is likely they will come back to the same place again. Brick ‘N’ Mortar customers like to “touch and feel” and are more likely to pick up parts and accessories they didn’t originally intend to purchase when they left home.

The descriptions for each might not be totally accurate with every customer, but I think you can see that there are differences with each, and they each have their own idea on how to shop. Since you already have a process in place for the Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer, it’s time to begin concentrating on the other two for increasing your future Internet sales. – Mike Whitty

Thanks for your article Mike.

Mike Whitty is President and Owner of Salesperson Inc.

Your can contact Mike at
or (800) 453-2787

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.