A new report shows that while we are indeed entrenched in the digital age, the foundation of retail remains the storefront. The study found that:
- 95% of sales acquired, are done so by retailers who have a physical location.
- Two-thirds of the shoppers who make an online purchase, either already have or will visit the brick-and-mortar store location.
- Physical storefronts boost online sales; this is not a game of either or, but rather it's a meshing of both realities. Retailers who are succeeding recognize that both the digital realm, as well as the physical one matter to customers.
One of the mightiest online retailers of today, Amazon, has recognized that there is strength in providing consumers with a physical location. Thus, they're planning on opening dozens of pop-up stores in malls across the US in the year to come. This news following the opening of several brick-and-mortar book stores. If even Amazon is feeling the pull of the storefront, it is a sure sign of the value they hold for consumers.
As the Sales Head of Europe at Mindtree, a technology services company, Anil Gandharve says, “Physical stores are now more than stores — they are bridges between the consumers and brands.”
Sure, technology has moved in to the world of retail in an impressive way, but retailers would do well to remember the emotional connection that people, and thus consumers, have to the physical. Given that reality, as online sales rise, it is a prudent choice to ensure that the physical experience online shoppers do have, is a positive one.
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