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Though e-commerce is on the rise with businesses increasingly directing their focus towards it, brick-and-mortar stores still remain an important touchpoint for businesses. Business owners should not just rush to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon and neglect to consider the advantages of keeping up with or setting up their brick-and-mortar stores.
In this increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever to have a physical presence. Among the many benefits of brick-and mortar-stores, the core lies in their ability to provide a unique and valuable customer experience that cannot be replicated online. Here are some reasons why your business should have a physical store.
Despite all the benefits that e-commerce provides such as its convenience, one of the advantages of physical stores when compared against online stores is in its experience. There is no way online shopping can compete with the personalised in-store shopping experience offered by brick-and-mortar stores. This is one unique selling point that physical stores maintain over e-commerce, as the web cannot duplicate the immersive experience of feeling the material of the product, previewing the goods sold thoroughly or browsing the aisles. The in-person engagement, atmosphere and ambience of brick-and-mortar stores can be a strong pull that constantly draws shoppers to physical locations.
Having the opportunity to purchase and bring an item home immediately without delay is another attractive element of the in-person shopping experience for consumers. Also, unlike online stores, physical storefronts are able to attract and retain new customers by hosting events such as product launch parties. Simply put, the retail in-store business delivers a level of personalised experience that online shopping is unable to parallel completely.
At the heart of creating memorable shopping experiences in physical stores are a business’ most valuable resource – its staff. Even as businesses tap on e-commerce trends to create personalised shopping experiences, it still cannot be fully compared to in-person customer service. Though the use of chatbots and augmented reality does bring an element of personalisation, some consumers still prefer the high levels of interaction when they visit physical stores.
For instance, a customer may wish to seek a second opinion on whether a particular jacket will match the black dress they own. The retail staff could advise accordingly and even recommend alternative options which the customer may not have known about. They’ll also be able to direct the customer to specific products requested, essentially saving the customer’s time and making them feel valued.
These approaches help to create a more productive and customised shopping experience, which may be hard to program on an e-commerce store. Customers may feel disadvantaged when shopping online as they may not be able to gain rich and informative feedback they could otherwise receive from the staff. In addition, the need to wait for the business to revert back on their query, either via chatbots or email, lengthens the shopping process and could potentially put them off.
One of the benefits of maintaining a physical store is the possibilities business can tap on with omnichannel marketing. In other words, it is the chance to communicate with customers effectively through different channels – in this case, combining both the e-commerce experience with that of their brick-and-mortar stores.
Businesses can promote their products and services across both platforms, expanding the market reach exponentially. Customers can leverage in-store and online offers collectively to make the most of their shopping experience, ultimately driving more conversions for businesses. At the same time, an omnichannel approach provides customers with the flexibility to choose how they want to shop at any given point. Should a customer wish to view a product in person before carting out online with a discount code, they can visit the physical store first to experience it in person before finalising their purchase. The marriage of offline and online shopping, as such, increases accessibility and convenience and enhances customer satisfaction. These then translate to recurring sales courtesy of shoppers who wish to purchase with the brand again.
Omnichannel marketing fills the gaps caused by the disadvantages of both physical and e-commerce stores, making this a productive approach for retailers around the world. With a unified omnichannel retail strategy, businesses can enjoy untapped profits and greater sales potential.
The bottom line is that physical stores are still a necessary part of the retail landscape and offer unique benefits that online-only businesses cannot replicate. At the same time, the e-commerce experience remains a valuable attribute for customers looking for greater convenience.
Tying these together is a robust logistics strategy to cement your business as a trustworthy brand in the market.
Whether your customer is carting out online, or makes a pre-order for an overseas delivery at your retail store, you’d need a reliable courier partner to deliver your product in a safe and timely manner. Partnering with DHL Express for industry-leading logistics and delivery expertise will give your business a competitive edge in today’s market. With DHL Service Point stores located in all major Australian cities, it is easy for brick-and mortar-businesses to pop by and take advantage of our reliable delivery network and prompt shipping times to ship to overseas customers. On top of our time-definite shipping solutions, your customers can enjoy greater flexibility with on-demand solutions, by choosing how they wish to receive their products.
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