Offline Presence Can Benefit Sales for an Online Clothing Store -

Offline Presence Can Benefit Sales for an Online Clothing Store

It seems like only yesterday that the future of retail was online. Now a new trend is emerging where successful online stores are getting back to brick and mortar stores, fusing the real world and the virtual one seamlessly with great success.

Amazon shocked the retail world by announcing and opening its first brick and mortar book store in November of 2016, at Seattle’s university village. The surprise is understandable as anyone familiar with Amazon knows that it started its life online and its massive success is considered to be responsible for laying to waste independent bookstores across the country.

Interestingly, Amazon is only among the latest e-Commerce platforms to head in the direction of traditional retail after starting online. Shopify is another great platform to sell clothing online. In the last couple of years, at least 20 online companies in the US have launched a physical presence to better market their wares. These companies are mostly specialty stores and clothing stores such as Warby parker, Bonobos, Birchbox, and Casper.

So what could the benefits of such a move possibly be?

So what could the benefits of such a move possibly be?

These companies did this for some of the below reasons

  • To better market their merchandise
  • To forge closer one on one customer relations
  • To boost online traffic and sales

Omni channel retailing is also another key reason for such a move. This is where merchants aim to provide their customers with a seamless experience irrespective of whether they are shopping from a mobile device, a desktop or a traditional retail store.

The consensus seems to be that launching a brand online in this day and age is incredibly difficult due to a crowded online market place. Online platforms have more than 800,000 online stores all competing for customer’s attention through Google which is primarily the only effective gateway.

In the first quarter of 2015, Nordstrom and Macy’s spent an estimated $4m and $6.4m respectively in paid search listings for the top 1000 apparel-related keywords.

Going up against online giants, likes Amazon and other giant retailers, in bidding on keywords in order to land on the first page of search results is a costly affair that many independent retailers just can’t afford. Because clicks disproportionately go to the highest-placed search ads, there is a trend of “evolved retailers” who are online merchants that have opened brick and mortar storefronts. This trend allows them to reap the benefits of both the virtual and traditional business.

Men’s wear shop Bonobos is amongst one of the best brand adopting this model. It has 20 brick, and mortar structures termed as “guide shops” that let customers try on clothing while orders are placed online for home delivery.

The concept is apt and designed around the fact men like to shop in stores but don’t want to leave swinging shopping bags. For Bonobos, this concept reinforced the idea of using Bonobos.com as the place to fulfill orders, and as such focus on customer experience as they don’t have to worry about stocking inventory in a location.

This has resulted in the average order size of the Bonobos shop growing to be twice that of their online store. The proportion of new customers coming through the guide shop is also higher. For vendors of personal products like clothing, jewelry, and eyewear, selling products in person has numerous advantages.

Conclusion

CONCLUSION

Original and typical online brands are considering opening physical stores with the aim of increasing awareness and attracting customers. In this setup, the retail options are endless and not influenced by an all powerful gate keeper. The fact the customers can try out an item before ordering is a huge plus.

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