Since ecommerce entered the retail space, it’s undoubtedly had a detrimental effect on the performance of physical stores. Household brands such as Blockbuster and Woolworths crumbled, as web super-giants eBay and Amazon took complete control of the market.
But is there a way of using brick and mortar to complement an already established ecommerce brand? We’ve picked 3 talking points for consideration.
1. A store acts as a showroom
For many products, an online description isn’t enough to make a purchasing decision. If a potential customer is still searching for information and assessing their alternatives, being able to physically touch a product might just be the tie-breaker. With certain products free samples are great for getting around this problem, but a physical store adds that extra level of trust. Plus, your sales team can help to influence the purchase, which is a feature often missing when purchasing online.
2. Additional online brand awareness
Whilst moving from brick and mortar to ecommerce is almost a given in the current market, recently we’ve seen a shift in the pattern as many ecommerce-based retailers choose to expand into physical locations. This gives a fuller, more rounded customer experience by offering a full sensory experience. The most persuasive branding is born from sight, sound and touch – having a high street store allows brand to have all three.
3. Build a deeper trust
When ecommerce first stepped onto the scene, many people were hesitant to trust an online retailer. However people were fairly quick to adopt the new way of shopping, especially with the sheer volume of product reviews on the web. With this being said, trust can still be difficult to master as a brand. With a physical presence, brands have an added dimension and platform to engage with customers, build relationships and subsequently gain trust. Simply knowing that a retail location exists off on the web can be a deciding factor in some customers’ purchase decision. They know if anything goes wrong, they have a physical location to fall back on.
Striking a balance between ecommerce and brick and mortar isn’t easy, but when done correctly it can really bolster sales. The synergy between the two enhances a brand’s reputation, builds trust and provides another platform to sell your products. The future is bright for ecommerce, and not as dark for brick and mortar as some would lead you to believe.
This post was written in collaboration with Direct Wood Flooring. Specialising in all things wood flooring, the ecommerce business has seen exponential growth since its conception in 2012, and is now expanding from online into brick and mortar with 9 stores open already and many more to come. Their brand is being cemented as the number one wood and laminate flooring supplier through their physical locations, whilst their keen eye for trends such as herringbone parquet flooring drives trust in their online presence.