Customers have never said goodbye to brick and mortar stores – unlike the media hype that often surrounds online, online, online – which is causing many retailers to discover the benefits of reaching a wider audience of customers through having multiple physical storefronts.
These days physical stores are about a lot more than just a place to make a purchase or pick up an item, but instead they have become the place where customers can identify with your brand through having an interactive sensory experience with your products, while also having an enjoyable time. When customers have sensory experiences, they are more likely to make a purchase with a product and therefore, engage with your store. This is particularly true when you factor in the various technological advances that have impacted retail, among which, companies like Apple and Amazon have embraced by opening up creative storefronts that facilitate retail sales across multiple platforms.
To help your unique store gain strength in multiple storefronts and reach more consumers, consider the following.
Multiple Storefronts Increase Sales Opportunities
A recent increase in webrooming — which is when customers do product research online and then make their purchase in person at a store — has led retailers that have historically only had an online presence to open physical locations. Among the online stores opening physical storefronts in the past year include ThredUP, ModCloth, Bonobos, and many others. It’s possible this has impacted your own business as well.
So… why the move to brick and mortar?
For one, there are many customers who still don’t make purchases before trying items on first or physically engaging with them. Additionally, returning products can be an expensive and labor intensive process – even despite recent evolutions in online returns such as free return shipping and including return receipts with online orders. Collectively, these factors lead stores to wanting more physical store locations – a benefit to both them and their customers.
Setting Up Shops Near Your Customers Helps to Increase Brand Visibility
As Jill Dvorak, Senior Director for the National Retail Federation recently told Digiday: “Pretty much anybody can sell something online these days, but to have a physical location, there is definitely a brand legitimacy in that,” said Dvorak. Additionally, Dvorak explains that “it gives the sense to the consumer that the business is going to be in it for the long haul.”
When a brand has multiple storefronts, it lends not only to the brand legitimacy mentioned above, but it also makes your brand more accessible to your customers. By opening a shop in a new location, you’re effectively showing customers in that demographic area that their business is important enough to your company to merit a physical location in their hometown. It also gives your employees and brand ambassadors the means in which to interact with a whole new batch of potential clients. This brand exposure is a value-add to your business that one storefront alone simply can’t accomplish.
Managing Inventory Based on Sales & Demand Strengthens with Multiple Stores
Another unforeseen benefit of opening multiple storefronts is the autonomy it gives your company to manage your own inventory. With more than one store, you will be ordering larger shipments, which means you’ll be able to move and reallocate inventory based on where customers want your product without the need to place multiple follow-up orders with vendors. This means your company will be better positioned to respond to buyer behavior without wasting as much lag time waiting for orders to arrive… not to mention, dollars will undoubtedly be saved.
Additionally, it’s important not to overlook the reality that having multiple stores will also increase the size of your overall orders – which will give you more sway with vendors. This key detail is important when factoring in the value your vendors have on your business, as well as the role you play in managing your inventory.
Multiple Storefronts Encourage You to Purchase for a Variety of Demographics
Customers buy differently in different locations. Depending on where your store is located, you may have only previously had access to one specific demographic of customer. With multiple storefronts, however, you’ll gain firsthand access to the style preferences and purchasing habits of customers in entirely different locations – which you can then implement into buying inventory and marketing your overall store brand to appeal to a wider range of clients.
More customers, broader range, stronger sales? Sounds like a plan!
As you can see, there are many benefits for you to consider when it comes to having multiple physical storefronts — from gaining better access to inventory, to achieving maximum brand exposure and more. The ultimate perk, however, is expanding your business and increasing sales.
Are you ready? Discover more about how to manage multiple storefronts now.