COMMENTARY

How brick-and-mortar retailers can benefit from shoppers' e-commerce habits

Aug. 18, 2017

Photo: iStock.com

The growth in e-commerce does not mean the death of bricks and mortar retail.

While it is certainly true that e-commerce is growing quickly, brick-and-mortar sales still account for most total retail revenue. Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows in-store retail sales were more than 11 times greater than e-commerce sales ($4.459 billion vs. $389 billion) in 2016.

Of course, that doesn't mean that bricks-and-mortar retailers can ignore the impact of e-commerce on the way consumers shop. In-store and online shopping habits have become increasingly intertwined and are particularly impacted by mobile devices and their influence on our lives.

Today's consumers use their phones to research potential purchases, often in micro-moments, such as while standing in line or sitting in a waiting room. However, the ease of research does not necessarily lead to more on-line sales. Retailers report that 82 percent of customers conduct research online, but more than 90 percent of all retail sales are made in a physical store.

This is good news for bricks-and-mortar retailers, if they can create a seamless omnichannel experience for their customers. Here are three ways omnichannel experiences can be accomplished:

1 - Make sure displays are branded

Recognize that consumers do online research, even while in the store. Shoppers will be trying to find what they see online. If merchandise is shown in a way that duplicates what is seen online items can be easily recognized.

2 - Make sure displays convey important information

If your website provides size, product features or benefits, displays also need to share that same information. This will give the shopper confidence the item found in store is the same one that was selected online.

3 - Look to incorporate technology into brick-and-mortar experience

Interactive kiosks can facilitate multimedia immersive experiences, help shoppers find items in other locations, or improve wayfinding at large retailers. When in-store kiosks are well designed and match  branding perfectly, they can become a seamless facilitator of an enhanced customer experience.

Brick-and-mortar retailing is far from dead. However, it is important that retailers recognize technology will become an increasingly important part of the in-store experience. Retailers that embrace opportunities to integrate shoppers' new habits will become the success stories of the future.

This blog was contributed by Frank Mayer and Associates.


Topics: Customer Experience, Digital Merchandising, Display Technology, In-Store Media, Marketing, Merchandising, Omnichannel / Multichannel, Online Retailing, Shopper Marketing, Technology

Companies: Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.


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