This is in the context of the Internet.

While writing about two distinct things, I always find it difficult to explain in short. I'll have to extend my sentence to convey my message. Is there any short way to do it? That's my question.

The opposite to online is offline

Whether online or offline, marketing is an important thing to boost your business.

This is clear. But if I'm talking about something that is on the ground and not on the internet, how do I say it?

Whether you have an online store or a ground store, marketing is important thing to boost your business.

A ground store means the owner has a physical store, just down the downtown. What are the options for that?

A ground store? (I did not like it)
A virtual store? (Looks more on the internet than ground)
A physical store? (It is good but in contrast of imagined store and a physical store)
A real store? (Does it mean the Internet store is not real?)

Any good suggestions?


4 Answers 4


To emphasize the contrast between the operations through online stores and ones with physical stores, buildings, or facilities, you can use the term brick-and-mortar (also written: brick and mortar, bricks and mortar, B&M).

a brick-and-mortar business is a traditional business that does not operate on the Internet

According to Wikipedia,

More specifically, in the jargon of e-commerce businesses, brick-and-mortar businesses are companies that have a physical presence and offer face-to-face customer experiences. This term is usually used to contrast with a transitory business or an internet-only presence, such as an online shop, which have no physical presence for shoppers to visit and buy from directly, though such online businesses normally have non-public physical facilities from which they either run business operations, and/or warehousing for mass physical product storage and distribution.

So, based on your example sentence, one possible rewrite is,

Whether you have an online or a brick-and-mortar store, marketing is an important tool to boost your business.


Nice to avoid the commonest cliches when possible. Being a bit creative:

"Whether your store is online or on Main Street, marketing is an important way to boost your business."


"Bricks and mortar" could be the term you are looking for as opposed to "online" (also referred to as bricks and click).


"Bricks-and-mortar" applies to businesses (or other entities) housed in buildings, but it doesn't work well for some other things that can take place online or not.

Meeting people and being friends happens online and "in real life", or sometimes "in the world". People watch sports or a concert online or "in person". Another term, sometimes used to distinguish courses or seminars presented at a specific time and place from those offered online, is "local".

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