The Evolution of A Sale and How Brick & Mortars Are Helping To Increase Revenue

As the retail sector continues to evolve, consumer‘s choice of shopping channels have become just as important as their choice of products.  When we follow these shopping choices it is usually not a linear path to a sale. In fact, brick and mortars adoption of the changing landscape creates a sale path that takes many turns from online to offline. Some of these loops we will discuss ahead, however the one thing we have learned is that to be a true Omnichannel operation where you are reaching consumers via multiple touch points, businesses must consider brick and mortar.

An ICSC industry insights report details how in-store shopping dominates among all generations; roughly two-thirds (65%) of Baby Boomers and three-fifths (60%) each of millennials and Generation X say most of their purchases are made in person. The ICSC report noted that  (50%) of the consumers surveyed say traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are doing a good job adjusting to new shopping preferences. These preferences include a personalized experience when shopping. A more personal approach is achieved through the blend of technology combined with online and offline touch points.

A simple add-on such as Nordstrom’s Reserve and Pay gives the consumer the ability to select clothes online and reserve the products in store. The reserve and pay program works via the Nordstrom app and the reservation does not require the consumer to provide credit card information for the reservation. The reservation is valid for up to two hours.

Another option that Nordstrom has also made available to their consumers is “store mode”. This means when a consumer is shopping via their app they can clearly see what is available at their preferred store location. They have the choice to purchase online or reserve to try on in-store.  Creating a seamless experience for consumers is the heart of Omni-channel.

For retailers that got their start online, stores become “stoppable billboards” a term used by Digiday as early as September of this year to describe what they found after a discussion with “direct to consumers”. The result? They increased their online sales via their brick and mortar stores. Brands such as Eloqui say that customers find having a physical store near them gives all the confidence they need to purchase online.

Shoppers want retailers and brands to meet them where they are without creating silos from offline to online. They are not concerned with buzz words such as Omnichannel; they just desire ease of use of technology that can be taken offline seamlessly.  As the President of CVS stated at the At NRF’s conference in Las Vegas, “Retail isn’t dead. Bad retail is dead.”  Personalization of sale is not an online offline strategy; that model is antiquated and will not survive the new retail market.

We do understand that not all online retailers can open a store to increase the touch points that consumers are looking for from their brand. However, hybrid solutions are available such as pop-up stores or temporary leases. These solutions are on the rise because the retail giants are creating this new normal for consumers. The brands that follow these market trends will inevitably see growth.