The pandemic gave online shopping a massive boost, but recent data suggests the sharp curve has begun to flatten.
Opinion coming out of the Online Retailer Conference in Sydney is that the supposed swing away from bricks and mortar is far from a reality, with almost 75% of retail transactions taking place in person. Yes, value and convenience is still the primary driver for online purchases, but still more customers are choosing to shop face to face. While this is good news for bricks and mortar stores, there is a catch.
Even if you create what you believe is the most compelling above the line advertising campaign, serving up an uninspiring in store offering that lacks any excitement about the products or your brand is a sure way to turn customers off a second visit.
This is why we’re seeing the more successful retailers turning their focus to their ‘below the line’ spend, transforming their stores into destinations, rather than mere shopping outlets.
In an environment of uncertainty and constant doom and gloom headlines predicting the next financial Armageddon, customers are yearning for emotion-inducing experiences that deliver a sense of joy and comfort, and this extends to the physical retail experience.
Bricks and mortars stores provide a sensory experience that simply cannot be matched online, and the challenge for retailers seeking to lure customers back to their stores is to create environments that stimulate the senses, be it via appealing store layout, engaging displays and interactive elements.
On a visit to a Coles ‘local’ store, we saw a local street artist brought in to add life and local personality in and around the store. The concept of conveying stories and narratives of the local areas through vibrant community-focused activations has the effect of giving this retail giant a local store feeling, which in turn engenders loyalty and a sense of trust amongst shoppers.
The retail store is a brand’s greatest asset, and by creating a stimulating environment that considers every touchpoint of the customer journey, you are opening the door to growing success.