The death of brick and mortar retail has been predicted for quite some time. However, rather than viewing the state of retail as an evolution from brick and mortar exclusively to online or a competition between brick and mortar versus online, internet marketing companies now believe that brick and mortar complements online and vice versa.
This view of retail, called omnichannel selling combines brick and mortar channels with online channels to reach as many customers as possible. This means that rather than replacing its brick and mortar presence with an online presence, a retailer must work with its web development agency to create an online presence that complements its brick and mortar presence. Here are five facts about retail that many retailers should be aware of when consulting its website development company:
Retail is Growing Across the Board
In 2018, overall retail sales grew by 4.5% over 2017. In 2018, brick and mortar sales grew by 3.7% over 2017, while online sales grew by 15% over 2017.
Online Retail Makes Up 10% of Overall Retail in the U.S.
In 2018, online retail sales hit an all time high, making up nearly 10% of overall retail sales in the U.S. Though a simple matter of arithmetic, this means that over 90% of retail sales still happen in brick and mortar retail locations.
In 2018, More Brick and Mortar Stores Opened Than Closed
Despite the closure of many stores, including chains such as Toys R Us and Sears, more brick and mortar stores opened than closed. In fact, it wasn't even close. Nearly two brick and mortar stores opened for every brick and mortar store that closed. This meant a net increase of about 2,000 brick and mortar stores in 2018.
Brick and Mortar Creates a Halo Effect Online
Rather than competing with online retail, brick and mortar retail creates a "halo effect" in which opening a new retail store increases traffic to the retailer's website by an average of 37%.
Retailers Should Work With Their Web Development Agency to Prepare for Showrooming and Webrooming Consumer Behaviors
Showrooming is a consumer behavior in which consumers visit a brick and mortar store to research a product, then ultimately purchase the product online. Webrooming is the opposite consumer behavior in which consumers research a product online, then ultimately purchase the product in a brick and mortar store. In fact, surveys show that over 70% of consumers research a company online before visiting the brick and mortar store or purchasing any products. Knowing that retail consumers exhibit these behaviors, a retailer must work with its web development agency so that the retailer's website can provide both a brick and mortar consumer with the online research resources that will help close the sale in the brick and mortar store and an online consumer with the retail tools to find and buy the products the consumer researched in the brick and mortar store.
Brick and mortar retail is not dead. Rather, brick and mortar and online retail are undergoing an adjustment. Both are finding what they are good at, and what they can do to complement each other. The website design agency is key to providing the link between the two.