Brick-and-mortar is more than a place to make a sale.
For today’s shopper, virtually everything is a click away, so why would someone ever go into a brick-and-mortar store? Amazon alone lists more than 562 million products, so why not stay on the couch surfing Amazon Prime?
It may seem like a logical question, but we know that the majority of sales still occur in brick-and-mortar, and when we ask today’s shoppers almost three-quarters (72%) of them say it’s important to them to have the ability to go to a physical store.1 Physical retail is not going away, but it’s still important to give shoppers an excuse to get up off the couch, and the following are a few of the top reasons shoppers stay home.
No Longer Fun & Engaging
The first complaint on our shoppers’ list may also be the most obvious, with 93% of in-store shoppers saying they do not feel stores typically offer a fun or engaging shopping experience.1 Although, what they are really saying is they are not entertained. With TV shows and movies on-demand and social alerts coming in every minute, in-store shoppers are looking for something to capture their attention. Which leads to our next top complaint…
If you already agree that most shopping experiences are no longer fun and engaging, this next one won’t be a surprise. 70% of shoppers believe stores are not doing a good job at allowing shoppers to test or try products.1 Not a surprise since we all remember a place where we saw a sign that said, “Don’t Touch.”
And if you’re one of those retailers with one of those signs, you might want to take a look around at other retailers and what they are doing, like Mizuno with their Experience Center in Atlanta. Mizuno, along with many brands and retailers, are taking down the signs and encouraging shoppers to engage with their products. Whether it’s trying out that new driver, analyzing their baseball / softball swing, or testing a new pair of running shoes, shoppers want to try it before buying it.
Where’s the Good Stuff
The next shopper complaint is an oldie, but it’s as true today as it was years ago. 69% of shoppers feel out-of-stock inventory is an issue with physical stores.1 That being said, with the continued improvement of software and devices, lack of inventory and shopper complaints should continue to decrease. Whether it’s Buy Online Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS) or arming in-store associates with devices that track inventory, managing shopper expectations here is key.
Same Old, Same Old
Another oldie but goodie are in-store shoppers that believe stores are failing to provide new and rotating assortment of interesting products. 66% to be exact.1 At the same time, it’s not possible to have every store carry every single product available. This is where technology comes in, and arming associates with electronic devices or having kiosks that allow shoppers to locate a variety of products is key. Whether it’s finding something in another store or finding items only available online, giving shoppers access to an assortment of products is sometimes the difference between having an in-store shopper walk out with nothing in hand versus getting a sale that may be picked up or delivered at a later date.
In the end, for today’s in-store shopper, virtually everything is a click away, and physical retail can’t compete by merely opening its doors. In an increasingly noisy retail landscape, the in-store experience is the key differentiator, and to remain relevant, brands and retailers need to be more than just a place to pick up an item and leave.
- Footnote: Reality of Retail Report 2018 (Full Report Available in Jan 2019 )