The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Small Businesses; Online vs. Brick and Mortar

Small businesses are an important part of the economy and the retail industry. There are some towns and cities that rely solely on small businesses. But online sales have started taking over the retail industry, and the small businesses are starting to see the decline in sales. There are people that think small businesses are “going under,” but in reality, they aren’t doing as bad as people think. The coronavirus has put a damper on a lot of businesses around the country, but there are some little things that brick and mortar stores can do, that will help their small business make it through the storm.


Brick and Mortar

“Rumors of the death of brick and mortar retail are greatly exaggerated.” (Ward, 2019) Although online sales have started trending upward, the brick and mortar sectors have still been holding strong. When the virus hit, a lot of stores hit a road block and they are going to have to push a little harder now than they were before to make sure that their business stays open. The statistics have shown that the older the generation, the more they like to shop in stores, but with the elderly not being able to get out because of the virus, they have had a hard time getting people to come into their stores. A big plus that stores have had was that no one was able to get out for weeks and once they were allowed out, all people wanted to do was shop. That brought a lot of money to small businesses around the country. There are a few reasons why people still choose to shop in stores. One of the main reasons is that they don’t want to deal with the returns and the shipping costs. Shopping in stores also gives them more of a positive experience. When shopping online, you may not have the best experience and may have trouble getting or finding what you want. Those reasons alone are why brick and mortar stores have stayed strong through the surge of online shopping and the virus that has hit hard.


Online Shopping

Online shopping has made a huge impact on the retail industry over the last few years. It has changed the industry quite a bit. A lot of the younger demographics chose to shop online because it is more convenient for them. With cell phones and the surge of social media, online shopping and younger generations have taken off. Customers like that it is easier to just shop with a click of a button and not have to go outside or go to the stores. They do lose out on the experience of customer service and if it is something that they don’t want, they have to deal with the issue of returning the product. The coronavirus has really helped online shopping stay ahead of brick and mortar stores, but will online shopping really outlast the small businesses?


Brick and Mortar; How to Bring Shoppers Back

Although online shopping has taken over, it doesn’t mean the small businesses are out and down for the count. What do they need to do? That is simple, start attracting customers on their social media. Small businesses don’t have much of a presence online whether that is on social media, or a website. They may not have the money to create a big website, but creating a Facebook page may bring the customers back to your store that you need. “According to Forbes, only about 28 percent of small businesses make their sales through the internet.” (Ward, 2019) In order for small businesses to make a name and bring back customers to brick and mortar stores, they need to up their online presence. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are three great platforms that all small businesses should have. Social media marketing is such an important tool for businesses and is something that can be relatively cheap. Not losing a lot of money and bringing in more customers is something that needs to happen in order for small businesses to stay successful. The coronavirus has hit a lot of small businesses hard and made things difficult for the owners to stay above water. Now is the best time to start that social media campaign to bring more customers to you. People are willing and able to help small businesses and this is the perfect opportunity to start.



Ward, S. (2018, December 6). Brick and Mortar Stores vs Online Retail Sites. The Balance Small Business; The Balance.

Category: Social Media Marketing 201