No doubt, it’s been a tough year for retailers. Statistics vary depending on the source however I’ve read that between 2016-2017 a combined total of more than 1,360 brick-and-mortar stores will close. Much of those closures are attributed to the growth of online shopping.
Thinking about all of the closures, one would predict that all retailers would need to think digitally to succeed. But, according to TotalRetail and this year’s panel at eTail East, this is not exactly the case. The retailers at eTail shared an interesting point of view.
The panelists at the eTail conference consisted of executives from successful online brands like Indochino, Mizzen + Main, M.Gemi and Bombas. Even though they all got their start by developing a strong online community, it was really the offline tactics that enabled these brands to grow their customer base. Interesting, right? The panel stressed the importance of connecting a data-driven digital strategy with an offline strategy. You need a way to engage on a personal level with your customers to help build loyalty. After all, we are human and creating an in-person connection is still unparalleled.
One of the panelists, Drew Green, CEO of Indochino, a made-to-measure menswear company, stated during the onstage chat that he suspects in the next five years that every online brand will be offline in one way or another. That’s a fascinating statement, considering we live in a digital-centric world and we’re all obsessed with doing everything online.
Another panelist, Cheryl Kaplan, president and co-founder of M. Gemi said during the discussion, “Offline retail allows online brands to connect one-on-one with customers and capitalize on experiential retail, creating an experience the customer won’t forget.”
The key for any retailer is to have a specific goal in mind before using their time and money. There are many ways to approach an online and offline strategy. I help my customers integrate both using data to ensure the best results. Drop me a line to find out more.