When Virtual Stores Go Bricks-and-Mortar
After years of criticizing physical stores as relics, some e-commerce giants are starting to realize that shoppers still enjoy the tactile experience of a real bricks-and-mortar location. EBay and Etsy are currently testing temporary stores, while Piperlime, the Gap Inc. unit that was online-only for six years, opened a SoHo store this fall. Bonobos, the online clothing retailer, has already opened up six physical stores this year (one shown above), and plans to open more.
Interestingly enough, when you go into a bricks-and-mortar Bonobos, the retailer still uses the Web site as its virtual back room. So customers leave the store empty handed, while the employees place an online order that is delivered to the customer, within a day or two.
As a boutique shopper marketing agency (that serves both B2B and B2C clients) birdsong gregory has always believed although E-commerce is growing fast, that doesn’t mean the offline world is going away.
And it’s also important to remember that well over 90 percent of sales still happen in physical stores, so there is a huge, compelling reason to think about the physical store as a driver of sales.