E-Commerce Retailers Are Getting Physical

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

E-Commerce Retailers Are Getting Physical

For an ecommerce retailer, the idea of setting up a physical storefront may seem counterintuitive. After all, isn't the whole premise of online shopping that it is more convenient and less time consuming than having to go to a physical store?


E-commerce companies, however, are not trying to go back in time and replace their online business models with physical storefronts, but supplement them,

Related articles

Customers Get To Try Out Products

For any business, customers come first, because without customers, it will go out of business. Shopping online attracts customers to online retailers in many ways. Instead of having to frustrate themselves calling various stores within a 5-mile radius of their ZIP code that sells a certain product, they can just find it online with a few clicks.

Still, there are other aspects of customer experience that are difficult to provide within a virtual marketplace. For example, how does a customer know if a certain tangible product is right for them. Sure, e-commerce sites may have reviews for products, but every person is different. Other people's opinions of a product do not necessarily reflect what an individual shopper's of it would be. This uncertainty might make customers hesitate from buying products, which isn't good for business.

Many ecommerce companies have realized that setting up storefronts is a good solution to this problem, Doing so allows customers to try the products the platform is selling online firsthand. Bonobos, a clothing retailer, allows its customers to try its clothing at its storefront locations, just like they would at a traditional clothing/ department store. However, because shoppers have their selections delivered online instead of carrying them out of the store, Bonobos stores do not have to worry about having mountains of shirts backed up in stock the way that traditional clothing/ department stores do and can devote all of their retail space and personnel to the customer experience.

Amazon has often been cited as replacing many old fashioned book store chains, but has opened up many brick and mortar book stores itself. Though these book stores do indeed sell books, visitors get a chance to try many trademark Amazon products as well, such as the Kindle. Customers get an opportunity to interact and experiment with the Kindle in ways that they would not virtually, and also have an opportunity to ask questions from on-site experts.

Amazon bricks and mortar shop

See Customer Reaction Firsthand

Brick and Mortar storefronts not only allow potential customers to test the products that these online retailers are selling, but also allow the retailers to test and gather customer feedback for these products. Professionals observe the physical reactions to these products, such as facial expressions and verbal comments, which adds to the Feedback that is already gathered online in the form of customer reviews and shopping cart conversion rates.

Weighing Costs of Opening A Physical Location for Your ECommerce Business

As you can see, opening up physical locations has been beneficial to many e-commerce businesses, and may be so for your ecommerce business. However, in your consideration you should be aware that such an integration requires many resources pooled into it on multiple fronts. Obviously, brick and mortar storefronts require brick and mortar locations (preferable in commercial high traffic areas). To provide optimal customer experience, adequate personnel need to be added, with a more people focused skillset than those sitting behind the desk designing the software of your ecommerce business. Yet, in order to reap the previously mentioned research benefits of having a physical storefronts, associates with more of an industrial psychology background than typical entry level retail associates need to be hired. For the store as a whole, including all employees and customers that may walk through its doors, insurance needs to be acquired. Inexpensive Business insurance quotes will vary based on the specifications of your business. Get yourself informed on how to best insure your business.

Getting physical is a great way to expand your ecommerce business. However, no two businesses are exactly the same. Is getting physical the right move for you?

By  Mark PalmerEmbed

Author Bio - Mark Palmer is a small business expert and has a passion for helping entrepreneurs make the most out of their company. As a freelance writer, Mark hopes to influence others so they can have a positive business experience.


Post a Comment