The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Stores: Bust or Boom?

The Future of Brick and Mortar Stores

Topics: Marketing Strategy

With free shipping options and a virtually limitless inventory, online retailers may seem like they have the advantage, pushing brick-and-mortar stores into obscurity. But this is not so.

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and the launch of Amazon Go emphasize the continued relevance of the in-store shopping experience. More and more, brick-and-mortar stores continue adding technology to in-store shopping, resulting in an optimal omnichannel customer experience.

The wheat from the chaff

The traits failing brick-and-mortar retailers share—continuous mediocre in-store experiences, boring store environments, and “shoot first, aim later” marketing—reveal the secret to success: Unique dual, personalized shopping experiences driven by technology.

Data is key in the current renaissance of smart brick-and-mortar retailers. Integrating technology into customer service gives brick-and-mortar stores the potential to offer an outstanding customer experience in an ongoing relationship with the customer, in and out of the store.

For example, armed with the right data, cosmetics salespeople can follow up with customers via text, informing them of new or suggested products, or sending tutorials of how to apply purchased products at home. Or salespeople might opt to use tablets to provide a mockup of a new style or cosmetic application, with the potential for the customer to continue the in-store experience remotely.

A dual shopping experience

Integrating technology and offering additional services on top of shopping frequently replaces the old expectation that customers will volunteer to visit brick-and-mortar stores. Target allows customers to purchase items that are out of stock on the shelves through their online store, shipped for free. Home Depot provides how-to classes. And several mattress companies give free lectures on sleep science. Moving beyond the convenience that online retailers offer requires an effort to offer a dual shopping experience—even for slower-moving big box retailers.

At Axis41, A Merkle Company, we utilize our expertise with brands, data, and technology to deliver precision experiences to companies who seek to optimize their spaces, whether they be online retailers or brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, we helped 1-800 CONTACTS and Inquisium boost their respective brands and build their equity, enabling them to expand from a purely digital space to retail locations.

However you seek to improve your customer experience, we can help. Contact us today to get started.