2022 Key Trends in the Bricks and Mortar Industry
For brick-and-mortar stores competing with e-commerce and the digital economy, increasing the value of the in-store experience is essential.
Surprisingly, after two years of battling the covid-19 pandemic, people are more inclined to shop in-store as they crave in-person experiences and want to get away from their computers and homes.
This shift in consumer behavior has left retailers in a unique position – after years of closures, reduced hours and very low foot traffic, the tide is turning and consumers are enjoying the in-person experience more than before.
Let’s take a look at key offline shopping trends and how businesses are navigating the changing retail landscape.
The cross-channel shopping experience should be beneficial for both e-commerce and physical stores. It seems that in the past this has been mostly one-sided, to the benefit of the e-commerce side.
Customers tend to search for deals and compare prices online, and often try on items in-store only to find their size online and complete the purchase via the web. Or worse, buy multiple sizes of the same item online to try them on in the comfort of their own home, then return any extra sizes they never intended to keep to their nearest store. Excess in-store returns negatively impact physical sales, but provide an opportunity to engage the customer and introduce them to new products.
Only a few retailers use their web presence to take advantage of the location of their physical stores. One way to do this is to have accurate, up-to-date inventory visible to the consumer, and let them know exactly where to find the items they are looking for in-store. For example, many big-box retailers specify the exact aisle and location of in-store items on their website, so that a customer can begin their online shopping experience and choose instead to easily locate the item. item to their nearest store and get it the same day.
Looking at it from a different angle, a report from Placer states that “digital native (DNB) brands have a unique perspective on the potential of omnichannel shopping. Whereas most traditional retailers have used stores as a starting point and then are moved online, online brands- The one approach these brands pioneered provided the key, and often the only, path to early growth.Yet many are now turning to physical locations to help expand potential success – and this change is extremely important.
Clearly, a true omnichannel strategy is key to the future of retail.
“Physical businesses should engage in collaborations and event marketing, and if they engage in media, they should focus on local media,” says Amanda Berlin, public relations consultant at The ABerlin Agency, Inc. .
She advises that it is essential to identify local strategic partners who have the same target customer and can introduce the brand to new audiences or customers.
“With these collaborators, or solo, brick-and-mortar business owners can create experiences for their potential customers to draw them into the store and give them something they can’t get from an online experience — and something they have sorely missed during the pandemic. Building an event with a collaborator can extend the reach of the event and attract new faces. With all the media options and easy access to online media such as podcasts and ezines, brick-and-mortar businesses should stay focused on courting local audiences. Only engage in a media relations effort if it’s highly targeted and focused on local opportunities,” adds Berlin.
As you might expect, the allure for shoppers to return to physical stores is purely for the experience they can have – whether it’s talking to a salesperson, seeing and touching products in person or to attend attractive events. Experiential marketing can go a long way in building brand equity and increasing sales.
“Frequent experiential activations at your point of sale is a key strategy for bringing people in and keeping them in your location for as long as possible. That time matters. “they are all about product quality, it’s essential for small and large retailers to create experiences beyond the product they’re selling itself. In-store activations build trust and strengthen connections with customers” , says Adebukola Ajao, digital marketing consultant at BDY Consult.
Physical stores must constantly look for ways to improve the in-store experience and add value to the customer. Whether this is accomplished by adding additional services, eliminating pain points for customers, or hosting experiential events, it’s a must to keep shoppers engaged and coming back.
The challenges posed by the global pandemic have forced companies to re-evaluate their strategy and have driven innovations in retail. Physical stores need to keep their finger on the pulse of the retail industry in order to seize the unique opportunities that arise.