The Benefits of a Bricks and Mortar Location
Why bricks and clicks is the way forward for retailers
Despite the rapid growth of ecommerce, consumers are still seeking the convenience of a physical location to browse and collect goods.
A recent report by retail agency Live and Breather revealed that 22% of 16-34 olds surveyed like to attend the high street not only to shop, but also to socialise, with 28% admitting to going to “window shop and browse”. The same survey revealed that Amazon, one of the most popular retailers among this demographic, was in demand on the high street, with 30% declaring that they would visit a physical store if the retail giant were to launch one.
This multi-channel approach to shopping is one that is increasingly in demand among consumers and several catalogue retailers have launched retail outlets in response to this. Hardware store Screwfix and fashion giants JD Williams, owners of brands including Jacamo and Simply Be, are just 2 examples of companies who have launched shops to improve the shopping experience for customers.
Physical stores give customers a chance to connect with their product before they make the purchasing decision. Studies have shown that the emotional response to touching a product creates a ‘feel good’ effect and an attachment that sways the consumer into a purchase, hence the expression ‘retail therapy’.
Another advantage of this approach is the ability to test or view an item, making comparisons which may be difficult online. Hydroponics specialists One Stop Grow Shop operate an online store, alongside a showroom where customers can visit and compare items such as grow tents. It may be tough for customers to grasp how big the ‘Bud Box’ grow tent is compared to the ‘Roof Qube’ and which product suits their needs better when viewing online. By going to the store they can thoroughly inspect both products and make an informed decision about which to purchase.
Another advantage on having a brick and mortar store is the chance to gain additional sales in a transaction. When a consumer buys online they are less likely to make impulse purchases compared to shopping in a physical store. For instance a consumer buys a grow tent and as they queue for the till, may realise they need soil and nutrients as they pass a sales stand holding ‘Plant Magic Plus Soil Supreme bags’ and ‘Seaweed Extract plant nutrient’.
There are many disadvantages to a brick and mortar store such as cost and being less convenient compared to online shopping; yet the current trend seems to suggest that brick and mortar stores are still of benefit to support online sellers. Argos is a prime example of this. In the 52 weeks before March 2, 51% of all sales involved the online site plus another sales channel (e.g. e-mail, brick and mortar store) and 31% of total sales were through their click and collect service where customers ordered online for in-store pick up. It is these statistics that show that a multi-channel approach is essential for modern businesses to succeed.