What Does Click-and-Mortar Mean?

Click-and-mortar is a form of electronic commerce in which customers shop over the Internet on electronic retailers’ websites, but are also able to physically visit the retailer’s brick-and-mortar store. Click-and-mortar shopping provides customers with the efficiency of online transactions, as well as the face-to-face interaction of retail stores.


Click-and-mortar is also known as DOTBAM, or dot-com brick-and-mortar.

Techopedia Explains Click-and-Mortar

Click-and-mortar is a play on brick-and-mortar, where mortar refers to the bonding material used to lay bricks.

Companies that exclusively sell their merchandise online are not considered click-and-mortar stores; and the same can be said for companies that don’t have websites to advertise their merchandise. Sometimes consumers must visit a physical store if the product they desire is no longer in stock online. Similarly, a customer may check a retailer’s click-and-mortar store if an item is sold out at the brick-and-mortar store.

The term is a remnant of the dotcom bubble when it was actually unique for a company to have both an online and offline presence. Nowadays, it’s more of a shock for a company to not have some synchronization between the physical stores and their online storefront.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…