Online shopping has become the norm in the eyes of casual consumers – but things are beginning to change fast. Iconic ecommerce brands like Amazon and ModCloth that were once exclusively a digital experience have been given new life as living, breathing flagship stores – meaning that the return of the brick-and-mortar is officially upon us.
Amazon is one of the largest ecommerce businesses to make the switch from providing solely online merchandise to taking on traditional retail. Other companies that have begun to follow this model include Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Birchbox.
“In the last few years, some 20 online companies in the US have launched a physical presence to better market their wares, forge closer customer relations, and yes, boost online traffic and sales,” comments Guardian contributor Mark Walsh.
In addition to launching new locations, brands are also using mobile apps and social media to merge online and in-person retail as seamlessly as possible. Due to increased web traffic, it’s becoming more and more difficult for companies to exclusively operate online. According to retail analyst Sucharita Mulpuru, over 800,000 online stores rely on Google to attract consumers.
Flagship stores, on the other hand, build their clientele in a completely different way. Instead of using clicks and banner ads, brick-and-mortar shops appeal to the customer’s senses for more tangible items like clothing and accessories. Jewelry is an especially better fit for traditional shopping, according to Blue Nile CEO Harvey Kanter. “Compared with other ecommerce categories, jewelry still has low penetration online,” he says.
As more online retailers revert to brick-and-mortar sales, consumers will have the unique opportunity to try products on for size before making purchases from the convenience of their smart phone, tablet, or home computer.
Whether you prefer to fare your goods from home or face-to-face, you’ll be awarded those options and more as online brands make the switch to synergizing their virtual and flagship store locations.
Learn more at The Guardian.
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