In a time where fashion is fast paced and ever changing, is there still a place for brick and mortar stores? More and more online retailers are asking themselves this question and finding that, yes, by having a physical store in conjunction with a great website and mobile app, they are becoming more omnichannel and reaching even more customers than ever before. Why not cover all the bases? “The benefits that physical spaces provide make up three of the top reasons why online retailers are setting up shop, including: multisensory consumer experiences, better logistics and consumer service offerings and strong, lasting brand relationships.”
The majority of customers prefer to shop in-store. Seventy eight percent, in fact, and according to data gathered by Tech Crunch, these shoppers also spend six times more in a physical store than they do online. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that ninety four percent of retail sales were conducted in an actual store, while just six percent occurred in online stores.
People want to have sensory interactions with products before they buy them, especially when making large investments. They want to touch and feel the product before purchasing. Customers might go home and still make the actual purchase online, but have done the right research in store to make the purchase. This is why retailers like Warby Parker and BaubleBar are opening up brick and mortar stores and seeing many benefits from doing so. Big hitter Amazon is also following in their foot steps by opening their very first physical store front in New York City. This is the first of its kind in the twenty years that Amazon has been established.
So for the future of fashion, we will still be seeing more gorgeous brick and mortar stores, but will also be seeing retailers working to engage customers at all levels, in store and online. “We have seen that the omni-channel customer shops more frequently and spends 3.5 times more than other shopper types – and that, I believe, is the path that we will see retail continue to head down.” Today’s customers are evolving along with the fashion world, so fashion retailers will constantly be playing catch-up and will be looking for new ways to do so.