Brick and Mortar Stores: Strategies for Digital Natives

Digital-native companies have been in an enviable position over the last couple of years. They’ve been ahead of the curve on many e-commerce and online shopping trends where the traditional brick and mortar stores have struggled.

However, many digital natives are butting their heads against a plateau with rising customer acquisition costs. For example, the cost per click for paid search ads increased by 15 per cent between Q2 and Q3 of 2021. Meanwhile, in roughly the same time period, Instagram’s advertising reach dropped by approximately 20 per cent.

To find more customers, digital natives are increasingly partnering with those same traditional brick and mortar stores. However, this transition isn’t a simple one. Here are some quick pointers for digital natives to consider when moving their brand into brick and mortar stores.

Product Placement

In-store retailers may not be placing your product effectively on your behalf. This is crucial because if consumers can’t see your product, they’re likely not going out of their way to buy it. For example, three-quarters of grocery shoppers make their purchasing decisions in-store.

Ideally, the brands need to be telling their retailers where to place their products. This will require getting your own eyes on the storefront as well as being able to track the data independently. You simply can’t expect retailers to be doing this for you.


Customers have become very unforgiving of stockouts. In 2020, nearly 75 per cent of consumers reported switching brands due to a lack of availability, and among that number, only 36 per cent said they’d return to the original brand. If your product isn’t consistently on shelves, you’re going to permanently lose customers; it’s that simple.

Brands need to own this challenge and identify chronic stockout issues, determine the causes, and communicate with retailers on solutions.

Phantom Inventory

Either through shrinkage, receiving errors, issues recording sales, or misplaced inventory, phantom inventory is a silent killer costing brands and retailers billions every year. Phantom inventory has also increased as of late due to self-checkout. For example, if someone is buying four different flavours of Jell-O, they may scan just one box four times. Now, the inventory is reading that those other three flavours are still present.

Solutions include:

  • Retail audit
  • Discussing security measures with retailers
  • Loss prevention technology
  • Examine your packaging to ensure it’s not leading to receiving issues

When it comes to phantom inventory, stockouts, and product placement, in many cases you need a team member who can perform a physical check and take a close look at the data. For digital natives trying to scale this can be very difficult.

If you’re transitioning from a strictly e-commerce presence to brick and mortar stores, we can help. Storesupport has a national reach and can monitor in-store inventory levels for your brand. To learn more about how we can help you with your project, call us at 1-877-421-5081 or visit our website.

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