Brick-and-mortar retail establishments still have a bright future, and there is little doubt that they will change in the future. Retailers must keep up with technological advancements and develop meaningful relationships with their consumers if they want to remain relevant. We have shifted almost everything online, from how we socialize to how we read the news. The same goes for shopping.
An improvement in the customer experience is often desired. Online buying has grown tremendously. And there are no immediate plans for a slowdown. Because of this, most businesses today operate webshops in addition to physical storefronts.
What is Brick-and-Mortar Retail Store?
A Brick-and-mortar store is a place of commerce where proprietors exhibit their goods in front of a real storefront. Then, customers go to the store to look around, interact with salespeople, try on or test products, and make purchases. Grocery businesses (like Whole Foods), specialized stores (like CVS), and department stores (like Macy's) are an example of brick-and-mortar retail stores. Despite the advent of eCommerce over the past decade, physical and mortar stores continue to be an unquestionably effective business model for retailers. According to data, physical retail still outsells online shopping; in 2021, the ratio was about 4:1.
Types of Brick-and-mortar Retail Stores
Although brick-and-mortar store has had their business models drastically altered by the rise of eCommerce, brands would still prefer to have their own physical stores. Here are a few instances of typical physical retailers.
1. Department Stores
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In the middle of the nineteenth century, brick-and-mortar department stores offering a large variety of retail goods gained popularity in the United States. Department shops offer everything, including cosmetics, men's and women's garments, accessories, and occasionally home goods and luxury items, instead of focusing on just one category of clothing, accessories, or luxury items. Department shops now frequently run both an online and a physical store, giving them a wider audience and enabling them to compete with major internet merchants.
2. Retail Clothing Stores
Traditionally, clothing stores are brick-and-mortar retail establishments where customers can try on products to determine their fit and size before making a purchase.
3. Specialty Shops
These shops provide a wide range of goods that are all grouped into one general category. A brick-and-mortar store includes things like florists, bookshops, and furniture stores.
4. Grocery Stores
Traditional supermarkets have physical locations. Even when consumers opt to have their groceries delivered, those items frequently come from a physical store where other consumers also choose and buy their own food.
5. Convenience Stores
These local brick-and-mortar retail shops sell a variety of necessities like newspapers, snacks, over-the-counter medicines, and personal care products. They provide customers with the ease of buying a selection of unrelated things they require for immediate usage.
6. Stores in the service sector
Organizations that follow a service-based business model are particularly well-suited to brick-and-mortar locations. These include eateries, gas stations, beauty parlors, and vehicle repair facilities. Because they provide a service that requires face to face interaction, many of these sectors cannot transition to eCommerce.
Benefits of Brick-and-mortar Retail
Here are the key factors that continue to influence consumers' reliance on - and preference for - brick-and-mortar stores among the several irreplaceable aspects of the in-store shopping experience that cannot be recreated online.
- Many things are still something the modern consumer wants to touch and see before purchasing. Customers become less reluctant and more deliberate in their purchasing selections when this is permitted.
- Why do in-person customers prefer the personalized assistance provided by staff? Direct assistance generates more income and provides more opportunities to upsell or cross-sell.
- Compared to online shopping, a brick-and-mortar store often run more efficiently. Comparatively, 21% of online cart abandonment can be attributed to unsatisfactory checkout procedures.
- Customers who shop in physical stores buy a product and immediately take it home. Because online buyers must wait for the product to be delivered, eCommerce's next-day delivery is a top priority.
- Shipping and fulfillment expenses for brick-and-mortar retail stores are significantly cheaper. A product is essentially out of your control once sold.
- Your audience can receive cutting-edge, branded experiences from a brick-and-mortar establishment. Live encounters are frequently impossible to reproduce online. In contrast, you may make the digital experiences associated with your brand come to life in your physical store. Or provide a POS kiosk with the internet store.
How to Make Your Brick-and-mortar Retail Store Stand Out
In addition to utilizing mobile technology, there are unique techniques to make your physical store stand out from the competition, such as:
1. Invite Customers to Events
Eventbrite published a nice piece on how Bad Pickle Tees, a maker of t-shirts and tote bags, used their website to promote their events. They connected their Eventbrite listing so that anyone viewing a product page could see the dates of the events they were attending and reserve a place. Customers might want to consider your goods in person, and holding an event is a great way to do that. Individuals must also submit their phone number and email address when registering for the event in order for us to market to them in the future.
2. Click and Collect
According to Econsultancy, 44% of people are likely to buy a product if they can pick it up in person at their own convenience. Deliveries frequently occur during regular business hours, and the recipient might not be home. You may have the chance to speak with the consumer directly and upsell or suggest other products for the business.
3. Exclusive In-store Discounts
Most customers get better prices for things online rather than in a brick-and-mortar retail store. Offering a lower price in-store isn't necessarily a bad idea, though. Since you aren't paying for shipping or for an employee to pack and deliver the item, you can afford to give your customers a better value in a person. Send out an email announcing a special in-store offer. For people to find the store closest to them, you may build a "Store locator" if you have the technological know-how.
4. Sync Your Online and Offline Sales
Although it may seem counterintuitive at this point, it can also be a good idea to sync the prices you see between your online and offline stores. For instance, you could cause an issue and possibly damage a customer relationship if you refuse to price match an internet price that someone finds in your store. It's crucial to build consistency and openness throughout your company.
5. Make Sure Your Customers Feel Safe in Your Store
Despite the fact that restrictions have been lifted in England and relaxed throughout the rest of the UK, many customers will remain concerned about shopping. They need to feel safe shopping with you and that you have appropriate health and safety measures in place, so make sure you and your team are mindful of social distancing and hygiene measures. Allow customers to know they are safe in your store by using your website, social media, email marketing, text messaging, or your own business app, if you have one.
6. Turning Customers into Fans
It can be easy to send a generic email campaign or provide a generic loyalty card, but consider how you can personalize it for the customer. Use your CRM system to keep track of their interests so that you can target them accordingly.
7. Guest Speakers
Not all events need to be flash sales to draw crowds. Can authors, local celebrities, or guest speakers that specialize in your market visit your store? Depending on your target market, collaborating with an author for a book signing could be a wonderful place to start.
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The pop-up retail market is now worth over $10 million. They are seen as incredibly exclusive, which is why they have generated such a buzz. To generate attention, you might consider launching a new line of products during a pop-up event.
9. Reward Salespeople
Human interaction is a physical business's main advantage over an online store. You can add faces to the brand you are building with the help of your brick-and-mortar retail store. Young people are drawn to your business by its origin story and desire to invest in it and its goods. It is crucial that you inform your personnel about how you came to be, where you are and what your objective is. Over time, you can reward your sales personnel for exceptional work with commissions and gift cards.
10. Technology is Your Friend
As consumers become more tech-savvy year after year, it is crucial to be on the cutting edge of retail technology. These can include, but are not limited to, what we've already touched on:
11. Digital Screens
Install them in your store. This can show the most recent deals, let users browse items, check stock availability, or make a help request.
12. Smartphone Discounts
When clients make purchases, phone numbers are collected in order to send them discounts and coupons on their cell phones.
13. Point of Sale
Use iPad POS at the point of sale to enable your workers to bring the till to the customer. As a result, your customers can buy the merchandise without waiting in line and get a digital receipt right away.
A beacon is a tiny, low-powered Bluetooth transmitter that sends messages based on proximity from people. If your brick-and-mortar retail store has an app, you can send marketing messages to Bluetooth-enabled devices to target them. 80–90% of Android users, according to beaconstac, only use an app once before removing it. Using this technology, you may encourage users to return to the app and take advantage of your offers.
Brick-and-mortar Retail Store Examples
Let's look at some actual instances to thoroughly comprehend how a physical and mortar store performs and operates. Here is an example of brick-and-mortar retail companies.
German shoe store Wildling debuted its first physical showroom last year. To display real-time stock availability, manage inventory, and track orders, it uses Shopify POS, which is fully integrated with its eCommerce platform. Since implementing this setup for its first physical store, Wildling has seen a 50% increase in the number of first-time customers.
Successful online shop Beauty Heroes sought to establish its first physical location. A single point-of-sale (POS) system combined online and offline channels. Its initial physical store opening was a success. The Beauty Heroes team reconciled client data from both channels, saving hours and obtaining important information for analysis and retargeting.
To get their consumer packaged goods in front of foot traffic, a rising number of direct-to-consumer (DTC) firms are collaborating with brick-and-mortar retailers. One place where this is done is at Neighborhood Goods. It presently carries various CPG brands in its brick-and-mortar store in Austin, including BeHave, Just Water, and Chop Chop. Later this year, there are plans to expand it to new areas.
We can confidently assert that brick-and-mortar retail will continue to exist. Brick-and-mortar store owners must carefully consider the location, how they would handle their goods, and how they can guarantee client safety while shopping after a pandemic.
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