Should You Move Your Online Store into a Brick and Mortar Location?
When online businesses became really popular and everyone took to shopping on the internet rather than spending time going to a physical storefront, experts thought that brick and mortar locations were doomed. But the truth is that the opposite is happening. Not only are many brick and mortar locations taking their businesses online to reach a broader audience, but online stores are making it a point to open up physical locations as well.
E-tail to Retail
It turns out, according to a recent survey, that young shoppers between the ages of 18 and 25 actually prefer going to a physical store and checking out the merchandise in person rather than ordering them online, especially when it comes to clothing and shoes which often need to be tried on before purchase to ensure a great fit. And this is especially important for shoppers who are looking to purchase luxury brand items.
To stay ahead of the game, online retailers, especially those who sell clothing and shoes, are now establishing physical storefronts in major cities in order to target a new customer base that prefers to see, touch, and try on items before making the decision to purchase them.
Getting Creative with Brick and Mortar Shops
Transitioning from an online store to a brick and mortar location requires some creativity, though, if you want to really stand out from the competition and attract as many customers as possible. A great example is Rapha, which is a company that started off as an online shop selling high quality cyclewear. When they decided to open up their first store, they made sure to make it a great place to just hang out as well as shop. You can visit their store to meet like-minded individuals, directly connect with managers, watch events on television, and sip some coffee while relaxing.
Taking your online store and transferring it to a brick and mortar storefront, therefore, may require a lot more than just finding a suitable location and decorating it accordingly. You may wish to have a little café inside or you may want to make it a place where you can establish direct relationships with your customers to keep them coming back.
Supplying to Department Stores
If you can’t afford to take your online business into the physical world just yet, you can try supplying already established retail locations, such as large department stores, with your products. A great example is Astley Clarke, which provides jewellery both online as well as through department stores. This can be the perfect way to get your brand in front of people and generate more sales and interest before opening up a location of your own.
What’s the Best Direction for Your Business?
As an online business owner, you have to remember that your business is unique and has unique needs. Before jumping on the bandwagon and investing a lot of your hard-earned profits in developing a physical store, really think about whether or not the products you offer are suited to a brick and mortar location. Is it really necessary to go in this direction or would you do better staying solely online? It’s entirely up to you.