American Dream Project
How to Operate a Physical and Online Store in One Space
Episode 2 of our Brick by Brick series is live! The series explores how to operate and launch brick-and-mortar spaces and this episode is all about maximizing your storefront.
If you’re operating a business online you may find yourself needing to rent an office or storage space to grow. If you used a storefront instead, you could have similar rent expenses with the benefit of additional sales. It’s easy to operate both a physical and online store in one space. Check out the episode to learn more and keep reading for information on why it's an increasingly popular concept today.
Utilizing a storefront is an opportunity to gain space to grow, connect with customers and generate additional sales. It's no wonder the concept is becoming increasingly popular for both businesses and landlords.
Landlords are Seeking New Uses for Large Spaces
National retailers are closing their doors in smaller markets and leaving behind some beautiful large spaces in prime locations. The spaces may seem intimidating because of their size, but many landlords are interested in creating multi-use spaces within large retail boxes to accommodate new and emerging businesses in the community.
Businesses today need a multi-use space where they can run everything in one place - website, social media, online inventory, packaging and shipping. Creating one space that accommodates all of those needs plus offers a sales floor area where customers can experience a brand creates a new and unique use that is relevant to today's business.
Physical Stores Generate Sales Growth
If you’re looking to invest capital in space to grow, the biggest bang for your buck will be a storefront because of the sales impact having a physical presence can have on your business.
In a study by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), they found that opening a physical store resulted in an average 37% increase in overall traffic to that retailer’s website. A second study on the topic, found that when a shopper spends $100 online and then goes to that retailer’s physical store, the customer spends on average an additional $131 for a total spend of $231. The effect is even greater when the purchase starts in a physical store. Total spending then jumped to $267.
An omni-channel approach is an important part of the equation but a physical location is still a very relevant channel that holds a great deal of sales potential.
Efficiencies Impact Your Bottom Line
Consolidating the back end of your online business with a sales floor can create efficiencies that impact your operations and customers. With online and physical operations in one place, employees can contribute to all aspects of the business. A storefront doesn’t necessarily mean hiring more employees, especially if you are already utilizing a staff to assist with web, social and distribution. Understanding high and low traffic times both online and in-store will keep employees well utilized, productive and engaged.
For customers, they now have multiple touch points with your brand. They have multiple options to shop - in person and online - and chances are they will do both. Online orders can now be picked up and returned or exchanged in store. In addition, the customer metrics from both online and in person feedback will allow you to better understand your customer, what they like and dislike, and how to keep them engaged.