Offline stores could provide interesting data for online sales and provide valuable insight into how buyers select products. For us the introduction of pop-up stores would serve to give us an insight into how buyers select products.
Furtermore, not everything needs a tactile touch. Merchandising on t-shirts, hoodies and phone cases sells very well online because they are not high risk tactile purchases. The desire to purchase is primarily driven by the design and message they carry.
Don’t forget to focus on the customer. What matters now more than ever is ‘the experience’ either offline or online. With so many local and international online competitors able to steal your customer, a bad experience loses you customers. It is critical for pop-up retailers to provide a good online experience too. An eager shopper that has to wait to check out may decide to order online instead of standing in line at a till —especially with a rapid shipping option.
Customers want good service and value so if you provide this your brand will grow by retention and recommendation faster online than any offline retailer can manage. Coolblue’s introduction of same day delivery service and more convenient locations to collect their goods from highlights that the customer is always top of mind.
A pop-up space can reach more easily an audience already in shopping mode. Shops can also sometimes give consumers a far stronger introduction to your brand. And in-store visits can become opportunities to drive re-purchase or incremental sales online.
The biggest challenge for online retailers considering a clicks-and-mortar move however, is one of logistics and focus. At online shops, employees are all specialists in online marketing, e-commerce experience, mass customization and rapid direct-to-consumer fulfillment. Not one of them specialises in running a scaled offline retail business. Plus, there are issues to consider such as shoplifting, stock damage and cash transactions. Deciding to move offline without taking into account all these considerations would not be a good idea. E-commerce retailers looking to make that move should really look to find an experienced retail partner before doing so.