Bricks and Mortar Did Not Die… Now What?

The explosion of eCommerce at retail and the option of at-home delivery has had people speculating that traditional retail is dead. From employee-less Amazon stores to curbside pick-up, digitized ordering is just about everywhere you go.

The result: brands are scrambling to modernize and keep ahead of trends to maintain their profitability. Yet, in the race to modernize, there is one aspect of retail that brands did not consider–the customer experience. This includes how much people enjoy:

  • The social aspect of shopping with friends and/or family
  • The act of touching, testing, and seeing something before purchasing
  • The ability to ask questions to a live person (face-to-face) when necessary

While digitization is arguably what saved some brands throughout the pandemic, it is something of less value post-pandemic after families just finished spending two years trapped in their homes.

Brands who moved budget out of their presence at retail and in favour of digital may now be seeing the results of cutting too deep.

The thing is, as it relates to retail, your most important objective should be to ensure that your customer can find your product correctly priced and in-stock. We see many brands that get blown away by advancements in AI at retail, but we have also seen the unique challenges that come along with this.

Let’s say, for example, you are relying on a retailer to sell your socks. You may have white, black, red, and blue socks. A customer could purchase socks all the same colour but, at the self-checkout, they could then take the first sock and scan it 10 times. This would alter the store’s inventory, indicating you need to restock 10 of one colour when, in fact, you need to restock two of five colours. This could also be true at the regular checkout, where retail employees sometimes do the same thing.

Inventory management and merchandising can be the nail in a brand’s coffin, even as it relates to retail employees restocking shelves. Your product can be in the back of the store and, for a myriad of reasons, not be on the shelf. This gives your customer one choice–try something else!

Brands need to strike the right balance between their digital sales and their sales at retail and have provisions in place to ensure that both are positioned for maximum growth. At retail, this can be as simple as having a strong relationship with a merchandising company who can ensure that your products are properly represented at the retail level, eliminating your dependence on the retailer.

For more information on how to amp your brand’s performance at retail visit:

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