The future of retail marketing is brick-and-mortar stores – but not as they exist today. Instead, think about stores that bring the e-commerce experience into the physical realm and eliminate the barriers between online and in-store shopping.
Digital may be reshaping industries from publishing to marketing and branding. But some, once online, are starting to gain more loyal customers in a different realm. Their next step? Opening pop-up shops, a showroom, or even a full-fledged brick-and-mortar store.
Let us get you up to speed with brands taking their retail game to another level:
Warby Parker moved its affordable eyewear shop into the physical realm when it opened its first Manhattan showroom in 2013.
Bow & Drape isn’t storefront yet, but the trendy, custom-clothing retailer is making its first moves into brick-and-mortar by way of a “pop-in” at Nordstrom. You’ll see said pop-up stores in high traffic areas, and are typically only selling products for a short period of time, especially during the holidays. Customers can visit Bow & Drape at the Nordstrom in downtown Seattle, create a custom item on an iPad and then pick up the finish product within the hour… a soft step into brick-and-mortar, but Bow & Drape founder Aubrie Pagano sees big potential in the offline market.
Birchbox struck a balance between appealing to the loyal customer who’s familiar with the brand and introducing the concept to those exploring it for the first time.
In an age where customer expectation has dramatically changed due to the use of digital, stores like Birchbox have gone physical to reap advantages in both acquisition and engagement.
According to DigiDay, Birchbox engages with its customers in store by incorporating video tutorials streams, a “Product Matchmaker” touchscreen for a personalized experience, in-store user reviews displayed on iPads, and a “Try Bar,” a service beauty bar that offers manicures, makeup applications and hair styling using Birchbox-approved products. Visitors can also build their own Birchbox in store as an introduction to the subscription service.
Frank & Oak, an online menswear start-up, has taken this approach as well. The retailer gained early success exclusively through digital platforms by amassing 1.6 million members and a partnership with Etsy.
They agree that a lot of people see Internet as the next-generation and brick-and-mortar more traditional, but they see e-commerce brands eyeing brick-and-mortar and taking advantage of leveraging brand value.
The beauty of engaging from online to in-store, is that in picking locations – they’re where they already have a customer base. And with 90% of purchases still happening in-store, we think this is a pretty savvy sp
in on capturing added customer engagement.
Last but not least, Google recently opened its first-ever shop in London to sell Android phones, Chromebook laptops and other gadgets. Meanwhile Amazon is reportedly exploring a new kind of retail vision to sell products in a brick-and-mortar setting. If these industry leaders are looking to brick-and-mortar settings, shouldn’t everyone?
What brands do you think will be next? Stay tuned with us for more trendsand opportunities to spark ideas for your upcoming P-O-P projects.