How To Create an Online Shopping Experience to Remember

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Several retailers continue expansion as 2018 comes to an end. Consumers still prefer the in-store experience as most retail sales take place in the physical locations of stores. As technological advances and in-store experiences continue to shape the evolving retail sector, consumers are attracted to the experiences and advances at the physical locations of retail stores across the nation. Physical stores have become vital to the success of building a brand and growing an existing business.

The Halo Effect: How Bricks Impact Clicks, Study

A recent study conducted by research firm Alexander Babbage for ICSC titled “The Halo Effect: How Bricks Impact Clicks” provides insight on why retailer expansion helps maintain the success of a business, build a brand and boost traffic to a website. The research team analyzed more than 800 individual stores in 145 U.S. markets encompassing 222 million people and polled over 4,000 consumers. According to the study, opening an additional store boosts traffic to an existing retailer’s website by an average of 37 percent in the following quarter. In addition; stores existing for less than 10 years who open a physical store in the market boost online traffic by an average 45 percent and stores existing for more than 10 years who open a new physical store boost online traffic by 36 percent on average.

Although an increase in traffic to an existing website is important to retailers, it is not the only benefit to opening a new location. Opening a new store can also serve as a defensive strategy to discourage competitors from entering the market as well as provide an advertising platform for existing businesses. The physical locations of retailers allow the consumer to be engaged with a product or service which creates trust and the desire for the consumer to purchase. Contrarily, as retailers’ close stores, website traffic declines rapidly (by approximately 50+/- percent).

The Online Experience

Although retailers are unable to replicate the in-store experience online, creating an online shopping experience to remember is vital. Here are a few ways retailers are improving the online shopping experience for consumers:

  1. Website Appearance and Functionality – Who wants to visit an unattractive website that takes forever to load when it will take two seconds to navigate to a competitor’s website that has a better first impression? Although the in-store experience has proven to be very important to consumers, the face of a brands website is an impression as well as a determining factor in whether the consumer will become a repeat customer or not.

  2. Mobile Friendly Brands – For most consumers, whether shopping online or in-store, a mobile device is always in hand… or within short distance. In fact, the online shopping via desktop trend has been replaced with mobile devices, proving that mobile is taking over (and not just in the retail sector)! One of the most frustrating things to consumers when shopping online via mobile devices is when a website is not mobile friendly, or the responsiveness is poor. Many retailers are improving the mobile responsiveness of their websites to create a better customer experience.

  3. Trust Social Proof – What is social proof? Social proof includes visual and text reviews that consumers leave on a retailer’s products or services. These are embraced most popularly on social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This allows online shoppers to engage with your website and visualize your products in their every day lives.

Here are just a few examples of digitally native brands you may want to check out:

  1. Curology – Skincare customized by dermatologists for healthy, beautiful skin.

  2. Fashion Nova – Top online fashion store for men and women.

  3. The Black Tux – Online suit and tuxedo rentals

Retail is vital to our history in the commercial division of Verani Realty. Our retail team possesses combination of more than 50 years’ experience in the retail sector. Always reach out to a trusted Advisor who can assist you with your retail needs.

Learn more about our team at:

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