Here’s a look inside the data behind brick-and-mortar’s core identity in retail, and why it’s impossible to replicate online.
Over the past year, according to US retail sales and Placer.ai data, foot traffic continues to play a vital role in the world of brick and mortar. Malls and retail locations are both at the forefront of this data.
“Brick-and-mortar locations can offer an immersive experience that is nearly impossible to replicate online while providing significant support to almost every aspect of a retailer’s operational cycle – from customer acquisition to fulfillment to reverse logistics,” according to Placer.ai’s recent DTC report.
Its become evident that brands who primarily operate in the digital world will need a physical element to survive. Considering the high cost of online customer acquisition and the overly-saturated market, physical stores are the most efficient way to grow a customer base and increase ROI
Luckily, for direct-to-consumer brands, they already have the data they need to understand their customer base and use that information to make more informed decisions when it comes to creating physical extensions of their brand. This data will allow brands to understand where their consumers are so they can decide the best market to operate brick-and-mortar locations. They can then use this data from their physical store presence to refine their customer personas and get an overall bigger picture of who their shoppers are.
Brick-and-mortar stores serve as a key way to facilitate discovery and encourage human-to-human interactions. An online store will never replace the feeling of trying on clothing, browsing racks for the perfect piece and feeling fabric in-person. Physical locations are a catalyst for human connection, communication and brand identity.
Flagships have become a hub for shopping, retail and experiences. Shoppers are drawn to flagship destinations in big cities because of their ability to engage customers with experiential elements. These locations encourage customers to spend more time in-store, translating to increased engagement with the brand and its value. Every DTC brand and brick-and-mortar retail chain should consider having flagship stores because of this.
While flagships are a great source for driving foot traffic, any physical space will successfully create discovery for consumers.
Based on Q4 2022 data by Placer.ai, visitors spent significantly more time per visit at brick-and-mortar stores than they typically do at online ones. This data further suggests DTC’s – and any retailer looking to engage its audience and provide a valuable experience – may want to consider investing in a brick-and-mortar fleet.
“As we’ve highlighted in this report, online retail is not rendering physical stores obsolete – instead, brick-and-mortar venues still have a critical role to play in building out a modern retail business. And when it comes to customer acquisition, brand building, and audience engagement, brick-and-mortar stores still hold significant advantages over a digital-only presence. As e-commerce growth slows and online and physical retail move towards an equilibrium, DNBs and DTCs are likely to ramp up investment in store space and continue reaping the multiple benefits of a strategically brick-and-mortar fleet,” Placer.ai’s report stated.