Do you remember shopping with your parents when you were a kid and enjoying an ice cream as payoff? Even though retail has changed dramatically in recent years, that combination of experiences in your memory is what is helping keep brick and mortar retail stores relevant today.
Despite the rise in online retail, there are still reasons why some customers prefer in-store experiences. Some want to physically touch the product, browse more options, or just the enjoy shopping experience itself.
It’s a competitive market, but there are ways traditional retail stores can keep customers coming through their doors.
The shopping experienceMany Americans still enjoy the entire shopping experience itself—just try to find a parking space at your local shopping mall on a Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it’s the people watching, or the interaction with store clerks or other shoppers, but a lot of people truly enjoy the physical experience of wandering through a store or shopping mall.
When you’re out shopping with friends or family, there’s instant gratification when you find that perfect pair of new shoes or sunglasses. You don’t get that same sense of buzz from shopping online. Normally you have to wait days, or even weeks, before your purchase shows up, and then it may not be exactly what you expected. Customers want a comprehensive shopping experience, and good retailers are finding a way to deliver that with good music, social interaction, or in-store entertainment.
More choicesShoppers today want choices, and they want to touch and feel and browse their way through those choices. It’s just not the same online as when you’re wandering through the store and see something you didn’t even know you wanted.
If you want a new dress, for example, you would have to visit a certain webpage and then have to click into dozens of pages to browse in the same way you do in a store. If you’re there in person, though, you might stumble across a cute skirt and blouse and decide on that instead. Having an extensive range of unique retail options is a big draw for the public, and wise retailers are catering to it.
In store pick-upAnother growing trend is the combination of ordering online and picking up at a store. It started with restaurants, where customers would wait in their car in a reserved parking spot until their order was ready. Now, retail stores have jumped on the bandwagon. You can order products online without waiting for delivery. It’s the best of both worlds.
Of course, having the right kind of retail space in the right location is as important to keeping customer’s interest. For brokers, being a trusted expert means staying aware of these trends and advising your clients accordingly.