You hear stories about retailers closing physical storefronts and you wonder what’s going on.
While there may be some trepidation when it comes to the viability of running a brick-and-mortar store, it seems like more and more online-only businesses are now making the leap into physical stores. Amazon, for instance, has opened half a dozen bookstores in the past couple years.
Why would an e-commerce company that practically sets the bar for all other e-commerce companies make a move into physical retail? Miriam Sontz, CEO of Powell’s Books, said this is Amazon’s “acknowledgment of the inability of the internet to provide a certain retail experience that book buyers enjoy.”
There are other reasons why previously online-only businesses have ventured into in-person retail opportunities. A physical storefront:
- Increases brand awareness for people who have not otherwise encountered a business online.
- Gives customers the ability to physically interact with merchandise.
- Cuts down on the numbers of unnecessary returns online businesses process.
- Provides more opportunities for data collection, which is specifically why Fabletics chose to open retail outlets.
- Creates a true omnichannel experience.