Why Can’t We Be Friends
For a retailer, it would seem, the brick and online store are like oil and water. Both are needed individually but must never be mixed. But mixing has its benefits.
In previous posts we’ve discussed bringing store functionality online through features like browsing stores by area code, but the reverse is equally powerful.
Retail space is expensive and brands like Naturalizer Shoes that have only recently started building independent stores this cost can be crushing. My local Naturalizer store carries no more than 60 shoes on display racks. This seems ridiculous because naturalizer.com has over 450. If we stocked all 450 items at the back of the store and brought in a few computers then walk-in customers could enjoy browsing Naturalizer’s entire inventory while experiencing a store shopping environment.
Ecommerce functionality is only slightly modified, now when in-store shoppers add to cart store reps bring their selections to them. This way everyone befits: customers enjoy a blended experience, salesmen increase commission potential 650% (390/60) and the retailer converts a customer who found the web and store inadequate individually.