Benefits of Brick-and-Mortar Retail: Are Physical Stores Better?
When it comes to shopping, consumers are getting more accustomed to ordering products online. Now, with same-day delivery and other convenient aspects of online shopping, retailers are taking a look at whether brick-and-mortar retail still serves its intended purpose.
Brick-and-mortar stores are ones that have a physical location, as opposed to simply existing online. Brick-and-mortar retail experiences exist across many different industries and store types, including banks, department stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, and more. Brick-and-mortar retail locations allow businesses to curate each customer’s experience, bringing in new sales opportunities with each visitor. Before writing off in-person retail and opting for online selling only, consider the major benefits of brick-and-mortar retail:
In-Person Product Testing
Giving customers the chance to try on clothing, smell new perfumes, and feel different products will appeal to their senses in ways that online shopping does not permit. There’s nothing like falling in love with the vibrant color of a blanket or the feel of a coffee mug in your hands, and unfortunately, online shopping only allows for that after a purchase has been made. Shopping in person is an experience that many people love; online browsing simply does not offer the same opportunities for truly connecting to an item prior to purchasing it.
Sure, chatbots and customer service agents are great resources when shopping online, but shoppers can circumvent those clunky processes and ask employees questions while in the store when visiting brick-and-mortar locations. Face-to-face interaction offers a seamless user experience, reduces customer frustration when a product does not meet expectations, and helps customers feel supported by the store itself.
Though the term “instant gratification” is often tossed around to tease those who do not have much patience, it’s also a very real human desire. People want to walk into a store, find the product they were looking for, and go home with it immediately. Being required to wait days or weeks for a delivery can be frustrating and time-consuming, so many customers will opt for an in-person experience instead.
Investing in brick-and-mortar retail locations is an efficient way to invest in building relationships with your customers. Employees that help customers find a dress to wear to a formal event, or offer home-décor advice will be remembered, and likely be one of the reasons customers return to the store. Building relationships in person is something humanity craves, so if retailers can continue those relationships, it’s worth the investment.
Ease of In-Person Sales
Simplicity in shopping offers respite to customers who have looked tirelessly for a certain product or are struggling to decide what they want. With many opportunities to drive in-person sales, retailers can secure revenue and grow their customer base, which is not supported in the same way through digital selling tactics.
Brand Identity Opportunity
Shopping is an experience, and a brand’s ability to cultivate a welcoming shopping environment will be remembered, for better or worse. With brick-and-mortar locations, retailers have more of a chance to build brand loyalty and help customers connect with their values, which is critical in the retail space.
Impulse Shopping is Real
Breaking down the human psyche is complex, but impulse shopping is a very real phenomenon. In fact, Americans spend $276 each month on what are considered “impulse purchases.” Though unplanned by the customers, impulse purchases are great for retailers. It’s much easier to catch a buyer’s attention in a brick-and-mortar location than it is in an online setting.
Upselling is Smoother
If your employees know that a certain product works great with another, you expect them to let the customer know. After all, it’s not common for customers to know that sort of information. However, with online shopping, there are no retail associates there to recommend additional, complementary products, making upselling extremely difficult.
Physical Displays Grab Customer’s Attention
A catchy store display is invaluable in the world of retail. If you can draw a customer’s eye to a certain product line or set of offerings, there’s a higher chance of them purchasing those products than if they never see them. Oftentimes, online catalogs on retail websites can feel overwhelming, making it difficult for customers to see all their options. Brick-and-mortar stores help ensure that specific products become the focal point of any shopping experience.
Running to the hardware store to grab a new doorknob is much more convenient than searching online, trying to find the right one, reading reviews to see if it’s the color it says it is, and ordering it. The convenience factor that comes with in-person shopping is truly unmatched.
Higher Rates of Customer Retention
With the ability to build brand awareness and slowly foster customer relationships, brick-and-mortar retail stores experience higher levels of customer retention. Online shopping feels so transactional that it can be hard to stand out as a memorable retailer, but with in-person interaction, retailers can ensure they are the preferred store for their customers.
Easy Return and Other Services
There’s nothing worse than ordering a bunch of clothes online, only to find out that none of them fit upon delivery. It can be frustrating to return clothes via mail, dampening the customer’s shopping experience. Physical store locations make returns a breeze. Retailers can also offer services such as maintenance or alterations much more seamlessly with a brick-and-mortar store.
How SPC Retail® Can Help Your Brick-and-Mortar Store
We’re experts in displays that offer versatility and ease in brick-and-mortar stores; our product list is extensive so you can easily find exactly what you’re looking for. We work with many different types of retailers to find the perfect solution for their needs. Visit our product section or reach out to our team today to get your questions answered! We look forward to equipping your brick-and-mortar store with everything you need to be successful.