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.