Traditional brick-and-mortar retail isn’t going extinct; it’s just evolving. The retail storefront is no longer the place customers go to find the items they want. Rather, it’s the final destination for customers to have experiences and interact with their favorite brands. As a result, retailers are turning their focus to blending the perfect “bricks-and-clicks” omnichannel strategy to drive their customers back to the store.

This strategy starts in the palm of the customer’s hand. “Near me” and “where to buy” mobile searches exploded by 300% and 85% respectively from 2015 to 2017 across all industries. Gartner L2’s Mobile Marketing report also credits mobile for 59% of all retail traffic, a clear indication that consumers look for products online before they even think about going to a store.

Omnichannel

To provoke that trip into the store, brands have begun offering “Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store.” A quarter of fashion brands analyzed in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Fashion adopted this feature in 2017, an increase of more than 56% year on year, signaling that brands are catching on quickly. Furthermore, 30% of brands inform customers if the product they want is available in-store, and 44% include geolocation in the store locator to quickly help the customer locate the store closest to them.

Brands also market their stores and events with supplemental imagery in the Store Locator. Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Activewear made clear that this sector leads the way for retail. Half of brands in the activewear category include specific photos on their sites and 40% promote in-store events, taking the customer all the way from discovering their brand on mobile to driving home the marketing experiences that will really make the trip to store worthwhile.

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