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Recommendation

Benefits of Brick & Mortar

by Cynthia Fazekas

Cupping tea with customers

Often brick and mortar teashop owners worry about the proliferation of online tea businesses as threat to their business. Online shopping certainly offers convenience but it cannot replace the human factor. Brick and mortar stores offer much that can’t be replicated online. For example, in-person service, human interaction, sensory experience of taste and smell and even a bit of theater do not translate well online, but are essential elements of a well-run shop.

Even though our culture has swung towards the impersonal and cloistral standard of the digital age, lonely souls still gravitate towards experiences that they cannot get via virtual presence. What does the tea smell like? What are the personalities of the people who sell it? What can they tell me about the product during real, human, en vivo interactions?

Relationships are forged through these exchanges and when favorable can leave an indelible connection between customer and seller. Plus, it is really hard to cup tea online. When visiting a shop in person, most teashops offer brewed samples and some will even cup with their clients. This kind of service goes a long way to encourage customer revisits.

A well-educated staff can impart knowledge in a way that makes a deeper, longer lasting impact on the tea shopper. Being able to visit, interact with the leaves and brews and engage in a shared passion with you and your staff gives B&M shops a viable edge.