According to an article published on CNBC.com and research from Forrester, more and more pure play retailers are expanding to include physical stores.
The reason? Customers still want to touch and see the products they are buying before buying them, particularly if they are higher-priced goods.
For many retailers, the emerging trend of show-rooming has been a huge blow to business. Customers visit an electronics store like Best Buy, for instance, to see and try out a new television they’re in the market for. Then, they search for said product online, find it cheaper, and purchase it from there. Instead of succumbing to this fate, online retailers are now saying, “Why not open stores of our own so people can visit OUR stores, touch and feel OUR product, and buy from US?”
According to IBM, 50 percent of online sales were generated after consumers first browsed online, but still, more than eight out of 10 shoppers made their purchase in store, said the article.
The new ecommerce stores that have sprung from online retailers fall into two categories: temporary pop-up stores meant to stir up publicity like those from Etsy and Fab, and permanent showrooms, like ones run by Warby Parker and Bonobos. These permanent locations sometimes do not even have items for sale, thus eliminating the need to carry inventory or invest in a large, expensive retail location.
When he first launched menswear retailer Bonobos, Chief Executive Andy Dunn was wary of the brick-and-mortar concept, he told CNBC.
“We were wrong at the beginning,” he said. “In 2007, we started the company, and we said the whole world is going online only. All we’re going to do is be online.”
Since then, the company rolled out a version of the in-person retail store in several locations and also partnered with Nordstrom.
Pure players are now seeing the value in having physical locations, and it’s becoming a natural, reverse growth pattern for many.
What do you think of this trend? Will we start to see more and more retailers going from ecommerce to brick and mortar?