5 Reasons to Add Retail Stores to the E-Commerce Mix

As the online space gets more crowded, many online brands are struggling to grab shoppers’ attention and drive their loyalty. The demand for retailers to be wherever their shoppers are is growing. 

Therefore, many online brands including Indochino and Bonobos are opening and expanding physical locations. If you are still debating why you should invest in brick-and-mortar and build a physical presence, consider the below benefits. 

1. Reach a new audience 

New physical locations help to generate brand excitement and allow brands reach a different group of customers that they, otherwise, may not be able to reach online.

Fact: The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper states that 40% of online shoppers agree that in-store shopping is still a major part of their routine.

2. Drive brand awareness and online sales 

Opening a physical store can be a strong tool to build brand awareness and is even good PR. They generate a huge lift in incremental shopping to the online store – the web traffic increases significantly when brands open a physical location.

Fact: When retailers open physical stores, the traffic to their e-commerce store increases dramatically, L2s report Death of Pureplay Retail reveals.

3. Increase revenue per shopper

It’s known that multichannel shoppers are more loyal and more profitable than those who only shop in a single channel. Customers may see something they like in the store and buy it online at a later date or see something online and decide to try it in the store. 

Fact: According to a 2015 study by IDC, multichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel.

4. Create unique shopping experiences 

Physical retail stores allow brands to create a live experience and tell full brand story beyond the digital experience. Customers can touch, feel and smell your product and immerse themselves in the unique experience you create for them. A physical space can be a destination and a place to host community events that help extend your brand identity and tell a story beyond the product.

We can create really special experiences online, but there’s nothing quite like walking into a physical space, a world we’ve created. To some extent these stores can be considered a form of marketing and customer acquisition.” - Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder, Warby Parker

Fact: Five years ago eyewear brand Warby Parker set out to provide consumers with designer glasses at affordable prices. They utilized a home try on program to build their customer base, which quickly grew into a cult following from word-of-mouth.

5. Double as a fullfilment center and create cross-selling and upselling opportunities 

Today’s customers demand that products are available to them when and where they want them. Adding retail locations allows online retailers to extend their fulfillment capabilities, drive store traffic and open up the opportunity to sell more products to customers when they are picking up items ordered online.

Fact: according a to UPS’s 2015 research Pulse of the Online Shopper, 45% of customers who click and collect end up buying extra products while picking up their order in store.

You’ve got options

Having a physical location doesn’t need to be break the bank. There are multiple creative ways brands and retailers can extend their physical presence with minimum investment.

Download the below whitepaper to explore more pros and cons of the five most popular models of physical stores along with best practices for each type.