Looking at some of the news headlines, brands can be forgiven for believing physical stores are dying. Gap and Starbucks announced they were each closing 300 stores and more. Real estate firms are struggling with big, two-level, 15- to 30,000 retail spaces that once held clothing stores.
It is tempting to say that eCommerce is killing physical stores. But that would be inaccurate. Instead, we’re seeing an evolution of physical stores. Particularly in how they figure into omnichannel strategies.
Physical Stores Making a Comeback
One of the big narratives of the pandemic was that after consumers had gotten used to eCommerce there was no turning back. However, this hasn’t necessarily been the case. In Q4 2021, eCommerce sales decline by over 4 per cent.
People were excited to get back out into stores.
Innovations in eCommerce such as high-quality videos, 3D images, and live chat features have all managed to capture a lot of the experience of physical stores. But oftentimes a face-to-face interaction is necessary, especially if the customer needs to physically engage with the product.
Shrinking Physical Stores
While big-box stores may be experiencing challenges, real estate firms are noticing retailers seeking smaller spaces with infrastructure for curbside pickup to optimize omnichannel. Stores are also relying on warehouses for inventory, shrinking the need for size.
Retail is always in a state of disruption. As the industry shifts in this new market, finding ways to use physical stores more efficiently can be considered a good thing. Before the pandemic, Canada had the second-highest square footage of retail per capita in the world at nearly seventy square feet per person.
Physical Stores vs Ecommerce
Instead of framing physical stores and eCommerce as a conflict, you should see it as a virtuous circle. Brands can take advantage by leveraging the best of both worlds.
For example, a growing number of consumers want to support small, local businesses. You can let your customers know where your product is available in nearby shops.
It’s important to remember that technology has empowered your consumers. They can research information online to make their own choices. So, brands must approach eCommerce merchandising the same way they would in physical stores.
Many brands believe they have little control over how their products are presented online on third-party channels. This isn’t true. Digital merchandisers can manage your online brand, overseeing ad copy, product descriptions, and images. They can also monitor stock levels.
We Understand Your Business
Whether it’s physical stores, eCommerce, or omnichannel, Marketsupport has solutions to your problems. We offer in-store services such as merchandising maintenance, planogram implementation, mystery shopping, and more. And our 500 employees give you national coverage.
To learn more, call 1 905 847 6513 or visit our new website.« Back to Blog