Although the birth of e-commerce stores raised valid concerns about a retail apocalypse, brick-and-mortar stores have shown that they continue to be the preferred buying channel for customers.
So, while people continue to add things to their digital shopping carts, there will continue to be a demand for physical store locations for the following reasons.
1. Experiences Elevate Brands
People want to get out of their homes and to have the opportunity to socialize. Brick and mortar stores invite individuals, friends, and families to step away from their screens and into an actual shop. Physical store locations also have the ability to enhance the in-person experience by incorporating tastings, demos, or live music and entertainment.
“Community-building in the digital sphere isn’t going to cut it anymore—people need real-life connections.”
– Brett Hyman, President of NVE Experience Agency
Herein lies a critical differentiator: brick and mortar stores have a higher probability of creating brand loyalty. People tend to remember the way something makes them feel instead of the object itself. Offline stores have more in-person interaction with customers, which means more potential to evoke positive associations with a product or service.
2. People Trust What They Can See
A business that has a physical location automatically increases its customer’s trust. Consumers tend to associate the presence of an actual store with legitimacy. A brick and mortar store gives shoppers the ability to see the inventory firsthand and to speak with employees in person. The latter is not to be undervalued, especially when we live in a society where having a conversation with a robot or choosing from a pre-recorded menu of options is the norm. Customers need to know there are people (in a physical store) to assist them with any difficulties, returns, or unmet expectations.
3. Convenience Isn’t Just About Clicks
Putting items in your shopping cart and clicking the purchase now button is easy and fast, but there is still a wait time to receive the products. So although Amazon Prime’s 2-day shipping is impressive, it can’t beat the instant gratification of a brick and mortar store. Customers go in, buy and leave with their purchase in hand. They also have the benefit of knowing exactly what they’re getting because having an actual store allows them to touch, try on or test out a product before making a final decision. Having the option to click is nice, but in the world of retail it’s not everything.
4. Offline is a less crowded space.
Online-only retailers are constantly competing for attention. Small businesses end up paying loads of money on Amazon and Google just to be noticed amidst the sea of competition. Many companies spend countless hours strategizing ways to make their brand visible and relevant. Variables such as social media influencers across multiple platforms can easily put a wrench into a business’s marketing efforts.
“Even if I am predisposed to shop online, I see bricks-and-mortar as part of marketing.”
– Natalie Massenet
The physical presence of a brick and mortar location can be the key to closing a sale. It’s still important to have an online presence to support the company’s physical retail store. Utilizing social media or having a listing on Yelp can make a big difference in the success of a brick and mortar location.
Finding the right real estate for your brick and mortar store is extremely important. We know that, which is why tBp has taken every detail into consideration when designing our micro-retail spaces.
We will also implement our own marketing strategies to ensure there is foot traffic and excitement surrounding tBp and our tenants. You will be surrounded by fellow retailers whose products and services complement yours, giving customers more reasons to come back time and time again.