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Why Brick and Mortar Retail Stores Are Now Embracing E-Commerce

Posted: Jul/19/2017

E-Commerce and brick and mortar stores continue to have a fundamental relationship in contemporary retail. In recent years, retailers believed that e-commerce was a threat to in-store sales, due to convenience and product availability.

Recently, brick and mortar stores are embracing e-commerce after learning more about the shopping habits of their customers in a rapidly changing retail ecosystem.

While shoppers are quickly adapting and engaging with digital channels for commerce, statistics reveal that a majority still prefer to interact with a product in person prior to making that purchase. Simultaneously, e-commerce is seeing rising rates in the amount of product returns and dissatisfaction with shipping rates and product delivery times.

66% abandon shopping carts because of shipping costs.
72% of shoppers are researching products online before purchasing in store.

The OmniChannel Retail Revolution

For today's retailer, connecting with consumers through every channel — mobile, web, and in-store — is a must and is the foundation of your success.

How do we manage Omnichannel marketing in such a complex ecosystem? It all starts with the consumer. How do we empower our customers when they are researching products on their tablet, or price comparing on their phone while in-store.

The average 18-44-year-old female is checking her phone 150X times per day. Almost 75% of that time, she is interacting with brands either intentionally or unintentionally through social ads and remarketing.

In modern commerce, mobile devices are the lifeline to your brand. Mobile is the first direct access point to your store and product offerings.

88% of people who search for a local business on a mobile device visit or call that business within 24 hours.

Over 2 billion people will make an e-commerce transaction on a mobile device in 2017. By the end of 2018, mobile shopping will make up almost 30% of all e-commerce sales.

Merging Digital and Physical Commerce

Therefore, the essential starting point for omnichannel marketing is to launch a responsive e-commerce mobile website. Preferably an E-commerce site that seamlessly integrates into your brick and mortar store's inventory, negating the need to manage two systems.

9/10 customers stated they wanted retailers to do more to provide a more integrated experience between online shopping and in-store shopping.

While only 8% of companies said they currently provide "a very integrated" solution.

Maintaining an online store that is disconnected from your retail store creates pain points for your customer. Imagine a product is listed online and locally available, only for the shopper to discover upon arrival, that her desired item is out of stock in her size.

Resolving this pain point with the right technology and integrating her online and offline experience builds trust with your brick and mortar store, creates brand advocates, repeat customers and direct referrals.

57% of users say they won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.

Webrooming is the new trend

Webrooming is the process of researching products online, before visiting a local retail store to finalize the purchase. Essentially, it's the opposite of showrooming, and it is the new shopping trend.

This is no longer just about listing and selling your products online. It's about connecting with your consumers who expect this type of integration and product access across all your provided shopping channels.

95% of mobile internet users look up a business with the intent of contacting or visiting that store.

Successful retailers are realizing that mobile traffic is driving their local traffic and they are embracing this change.

There are several reasons for this. Brand loyalty is maintained mostly through in-store customer service experiences. Even after online product research, shoppers are often influenced by knowledgeable staff who can help finalize the purchase.

Secondly, retail shoppers won't pay for shipping if it isn't necessary. This is the importance of real-time, accurate, local inventory listing on your e-commerce site.

Creating a seamless shopping experience for your customers regardless of their access point is paramount. We are talking about fully integrating your brand ecosystem from a tablet, mobile phone, desktop computer to instore.

Retailers are feeling the importance of this integration as more and more shoppers are "Webrooming"

It's important to note that not all consumers will notify you that they have "webroomed" when they are checking out. However, the analytics clearly indicate a majority of shoppers are taking this approach before making the decision to visit your retail store.

The trend of webrooming is expected to bring in almost $2 billion for retailers in 2017.

Retailers want to adapt and encourage this trend by launching an E-commerce site that works on all devices, seamlessly integrates with your store inventory and merges their online and offline shopping experience.

Physical retail and digital retail will continue to have a growing relationship in today's market. Successful retailers will utilize software that seamlessly merges their physical and digital commerce operations.

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