By: Marilynn Joyner, JLL Retail in New York.
In today’s digital age, consumers’ expectations of their beloved brands are expanding. Shoppers now have an increased need for a more personalized shopping experience – which only a physical retail store can deliver.
The firm L2 found that 75% of online shoppers worldwide consider the brick-and-mortar experience the most important when making a purchase. Consumers miss out on physical interactions with people and products when they choose to online shop. In our experience, online sales increase by at least 60% after an online retailer opens a physical store. Stores help customers get to know the brand in-person, which gives them confidence to buy online.
When the in-store experience and opportunity to buy online is combined, sales increase all around. Yet, how do retailers go about creating a smooth, strategic integration when choosing to go brick-and-mortar?
By creating both a memorable experience and using technology and big data strategically.
Experience: On a recent webcast the CEO of Sweaty Betty, said their locations are providing at least 100 free workout classes every week for up to 2,000 people. They are making their stores an interactive, fun environment for shoppers. Sweaty Betty also has cafes within a few of their stores to promote what they preach, a healthy lifestyle. Allowing for shopping, eating and exercising to be at the fingertips of every customer that walks in their store has proven to increase their sales. Creating a unique experience to better promote the brand goes beyond the transaction. It makes the store a place of interaction and socialization and younger customers are engaging more with experience versus digital.
Technology: The biggest opportunity for retailers is to align the continuity of their store online and off – and technology in-store can help connect the two. It’s not easy to find the right tech tools that embody the brand and allow for personalized shopper interactions. But, when retailers get it right, it works. A high-fashion brand based in London recently installed kiosks and digital displays in-store. These kiosks collect data on their customers by sorting their likes and dislikes of their products. Once the customers leave, the data is store and calculated and the retailer goes a step further. At a later date, the customer then receives similar products to those liked which spark an interest in future purchasing. It’s not just big data anymore – it’s big useful data. This process creates a more personal experience between the retailer and customer. The customer feels as though the retailer knows exactly what their likes and dislikes are, and that is itself is something special.
Want to learn more about how to create a brick-and-mortar experience for your online brand? Reach out to Marilynn Joyner + Erin Grace.
Managing Director, Retail Brokerage,JLL
Associate, Retail Brokerage, JLL