While online retail is rapidly growing today, many online retailers who have established their start online are now turning a different direction. They are now all ready to set up brick and mortar store. The main reason successful online retailers make this change is because their customers wanted to see and feel whatever they buy, and buy with first-hand advice from experts.
It is based on what they sell online that online stores follow this concept. For example books and electronics which can be easily described to consumers are better suited for online sales. However, some businesses like apparel businesses don’t move so quickly online as most of their customers are used to buying specific brands of shirts, jeans or shoes.
They have a tough time looking online as they don’t know how the new product may fit them. Thus such apparel businesses prefer using an OmniChannel strategy where mobile, web and physical retail are together used to reach customers.
Other businesses like digital companies selling vision-correction products look at this approach as a multidimensional approach as it helps reach customers around the world. These businesses consider their retail stores to be learning labs. When they set up their retail construction of brick and mortar store, the company gets an opportunity to test things, gather feedback and find out what and how people shop for their products viz. glasses.
These businesses state that the biggest challenge their customers have lies in finding the right fitting eyeglasses as they have to take off their glasses to try on new frames. They thus need a friend’s or professional’s feedback.
Their customers generally use cellphones to take selfies, and decide how they look with different frames. This concept has influenced both a virtual try-on feature and the start of monitors in stores so that customers can see how they look in different frames after putting their glasses back on.
While this customer research proves priceless, some online businesses don’t plan to open brick and mortar stores. This is because they have plans of reaching perhaps a billion customers, which is difficult to achieve in physical retail wherein they’d have to open tens of thousands of stores.
Both channels drive traffic to each other
Though there is a massive growth in online sales in Canada (click here for stats), ecommerce constitutes a small percentage of retail sales in Canada. The move about $40 billion a month which offline retail is worth here is more than what online retailers earn in a year.
However individual retailers don’t consider these two streams to be competitive. They in fact experience a boost in their businesses after they set up brick and mortar store. Though most of their revenue may come in-store, they don’t close their online store as there’s still more business there than when they’d opened.
They say that the two channels drive traffic to each other as customers browse online and later come to their store to try something on. Sometimes they may see something in-store and buy it after reaching home.
Individual retailers consider physical stores not only as a means to generate sales, but also a means of building relationships with their customers and creating their brand esthetic. They feel that the traditional aspect of introducing women and creating an environment for them in their own space will never go away. In fact, that’s the main reason to open the store as in person is always better for reasons like that!