In a time of ultra-modernization, shopping for material things and groceries has been commonly conducted online. With the acceleration of the use of online platforms, such as e-commerce, online shopping has been the most convenient way for customers to purchase.
However, despite the proliferation of e-commerce platforms in the food retail industry, brick-and-mortar stores remain relevant. As the rush of online ordering of groceries and other essentials slowly wanes, customers can once again be found shopping more in-store.
Here are some of the reasons why physical stores remain relevant in today’s food retail era:
Attract and Retain Customers
As customers return to shopping in-store, physical stores have shown the potential for retailers to attract new customers and retain old ones. Through retailers’ physical presence, they have a great advantage in making their stores into an experiential avenue where customers can see products in person, compare products and prices, and try different creative store concepts. Physical stores are also an affordable marketing platform for retailers to promote their products and services compared to paid digital channels.
Offering Unique Experience
Shopping in-store means being able to see, touch, feel, and smell products that customers can’t experience in the same way when shopping online. In short, in-store shopping is mostly a tactile experience and customers are here for it. It is a great opportunity for retailers to initiate or enhance unique customer experiences by making their in-store shopping journey more enjoyable. Retailers can do this by reimagining traditional physical stores by promoting new store concepts, like event spaces, showrooms, cafes, and more.
Foster Personal Connection
One thing that physical stores can offer to their customers that e-commerce platforms can’t is the “human connection.” This personal touch in physical stores is critical to overall customer shopping satisfaction. When shoppers are engaged, can talk to sales experts and staff, and can quickly resolve issues through face-to-face customer service, it helps build shopper loyalty.
Increase Customer Spending
Physical stores can potentially increase customer spending and gain retailers additional revenue. How? When shoppers visit brick-and-mortar stores, they tend to impulsively buy extra items or spend more when they see the products in person. That is why physical stores are still a profitable channel for retailers. Retailers should take advantage of this by showcasing more in-store assortments and ensuring best-selling items are always in stock.
Admittedly though, consumers can now buy everything and anything online. It is in food retailers’ best interests to curate an improved, in-store shopping experience for their customers to keep them coming back. And the more retailers improve their services, product assortments, and operational strategies in-store, the more brick-and-mortar stores regain relevance today and maintain it for many years to come.