With retail store closures dominating the headlines, having a physical store still offers the opportunity to cut through the competitive noise for e-commerce retailers as well as a lower cost alternative to acquire new customers as the cost to acquire online customers has been on a steady rise.
Brands like Warby Parker, Amazon, Allbirds, Adore Me, UntuckIt and more are opening physical stores as these smart brands have realized they can market more efficiently and engage with their customers to trigger a customer's five senses leading to sales both in store and online.
According to a report from ICSC called the Halo Effect, that sampled more than 800 retailers and 4,000 consumers, when a retailer opens a new store, on average, that brands's website traffic increases by 37%; relative share of web traffic goes up by 27% and the retailers overall brand image is enhanced.
Brands with physical stores have the opportunity to create an experience that is completely unique and unforgettable for their customer which simply can't be replicated online even with the strides of virtual and augmented reality.
Think of having a physical location as a complement to your online presence which allows you to turn customers into fans and brand ambassadors thus a more loyal customer.
Physical stores still provide opportunities for customer discovery, guidance, inspiration, plus the introduction of new offerings or ideas to your customers.
With all this being said, due diligence and considerations still need to be enacted as placing your physical store in the right locations using retail real estate principles and data will help brands reap the benefits of a physical store because just opening a store anywhere can be disastrous financially.