The benefits of a bricks and mortar store at Christmas
Brick and mortar stores may seem old fashioned, given online is where everything happens these days. Except when you want something literally straight away, or when you want to check it yourself (maybe try it on) before buying, or when you want to talk (or just chat) with an actual human rather than a chatbot (or even an actual person online).
This is why there is clearly still a place for bricks and mortar stores, which is why many former online-only stores are now moving into the real world (including the mighty Amazon). At this time of year, when people are buying Christmas presents and new outfits for the office Christmas party, real-world stores are highly valued, especially as many people want to support small businesses at a time when they are under threat by online shopping.
Here are some reasons why a brick-and-mortar store can benefit your business:
Bricks and mortar stores allow you to build a personal connection with your customers
The strongest connections are generally the ones forged in the real world and that includes the connections between customers and brands. You can only make real-world connections if you actually have a presence in the real world, such as a bricks-and-mortar store. At this time of year, help your customers to pick up your products to get a feel for them as Christmas presents, and set up discount or loyalty schemes to encourage them to bring their friends.
Having said that, if you’re an SME or micropreneur, you might want to interpret the phrase “bricks and mortar” with a bit of creativity. For example, you could think about pop-up stores in London, markets and fairs, visiting (or hosting) events, and selling through parties is still going strong.
Engagement within store can take on a whole new level of meaning
Engagement may be the key marketing term of the 21st century. Online, it’s about page views and clicks and shares. Offline, the only limit is your imagination. Not only can you get people using their eyes and ears, but you can also get them using their senses of touch, taste and smell too.
This gives you many more opportunities to get them really engaged on a deeper, more emotional level and far more committed to maintaining an ongoing relationship with you.
Having a physical store can help to boost your online presence
In the early days of the internet, if a company had a website, people were often genuinely impressed and eager to visit it. Those days are gone. These days, it can take months for a new site to get noticed by the search engines and, even then, it can struggle to get anywhere remotely close to the top rankings for competitive keywords because it will be up against sites that have been established for longer and are viewed as having more authority.
There are various strategies for breaking through this digital “glass ceiling” but essentially they all revolve around promoting your site to encourage people to visit it and engage with it, convincing the search engines that your content is good and should be promoted. With a website, you can encourage your site visitors to visit your store. And within your store, you can encourage your real-world visitors to patronise your website and follow you on social media.