Numerous changes occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic. Businesses are left chasing after customers who turn to online shopping. This meant brick-and-mortar businesses had no choice but to start offering their products and services online. Failure to improve brand awareness online could already mean letting your competitors get ahead of you. This is why more companies are starting to take their business online and invested heavily in online marking.
Even with the surge of online consumers, many online brands decided to start their own physical store. This is not only because of the increasing number of competitors online. This is also because brick-and-mortar brands have the advantage that many strictly online businesses have.
The following are four reasons why physical stores remain relevant during the crisis.
When you have a physical storefront, you get to attract consumers who have no time to scour through hundreds of other businesses selling the things they need. They don’t need to worry much about the quality since they can check the products themselves before buying. They can ask all the questions they have in real life and receive the right answers in real-time.
Sure, consumers, these days do due diligence before trusting a brand and buying an offer. But many still want to do their shopping online and continue to enjoy the in-store experience. This is why more businesses started offering buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) options.
Consumers can look for the items they need, pay for their orders online, and pick up their orders from the nearest local outlet. This helps eradicate the need to wait for the orders to be delivered. This also allows consumers to do last-minute shopping when picking up their items.
Engaging Brand Experience
Today’s modern world demands businesses to provide consumers with enough engagement to keep them happy and satisfied. Businesses spend a considerable amount of investment to make sure their brand stays competitive online. But businesses with physical storefronts get to create a lasting first impression and an engaging brand experience.
For example, most of today’s large retailers offer customers more than just a physical store where they can shop for the items they need. They also get to experience a different kind of convenience that online stores can’t offer. This extends past the massive showrooms, neatly decorated and enticing product displays, and friendly staff.
Think of brands that offer their customers clean restrooms. While not all businesses are required to open restrooms for customers, many take their time designing the space and investing in all the essentials like vanity mirrors, high-end toilets, bathroom stalls and dividers, and even baby changing stations. They do this to improve their clients’ experience by making them feel well-cared for during their stay.
Real-Life Customer Service
One thing that no business that purely operates online is the fact that they get to provide customers with personalized real-life customer service. When you only run your business online, consumers will have to contact you and wait for an online customer representative to answer their inquiries. But with a physical store, they only need to talk to an available staff to ask their questions or state their concerns.
Numerous research also shows that people spend more in physical stores than online stores. This is especially true if shoppers receive high-quality service from the employees of a physical store. Real-life customer experience is better than online experience due to the personal touches businesses have up their sleeves.
Think of the samples some businesses offer their customers when visiting their stores. Only select online businesses can provide customers with a free and limited way of testing their products. Unlike brands with physical stores, they can provide some giveaways and allow consumers to enjoy taste tests even before deciding to make a purchase.
Free Market Research
Physical store owners get to enjoy free market research on their customers. They don’t need to pay for apps to check how consumers are shopping, what they are searching for, and what they expect businesses to do. In-store customers are more transparent in their shopping habits and preferences, giving businesses a better view of how they can further improve the brand.
Brand managers and their staff can easily provide business owners with relevant data concerning their customers. They can gather insights, receive feedback, and even get to know customers’ shopping habits per age bracket. One gets to observe customers for free and interpret data, so they can make the necessary adjustments to serve customers better.
Even in the new normal, physical businesses continue to thrive. They may have their fair share of pros and cons. But one thing is evident. Even with the increase of online consumers, many are still into real-life shopping and are starting to go out of their homes again to buy the things they need and want.