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As the all-important holiday season approaches once again, retailers are faced with figuring out how to deliver the best cross-channel advertising experiences possible and improve ROI. Many claim that we are facing “the demise of retail” with Amazon Prime Day’s popularity and overwhelming success this past July.

However, savvy retailers know this isn’t the truth, and we partnered with Marketing Dive to prove that brick-and-mortar is far from obsolete. Statistics confirm that traditional retail still has a lot to offer — according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, in the 2018 holiday shopping season, 93% of shoppers went to a physical store.

The key is to understand how to bridge the gap between consumers’ offline and online activity — often called “bricks and clicks.” Continue reading for four key reasons why brick-and-mortar will continue to be successful and how you can capitalize on connecting bricks and clicks during the upcoming shopping season.

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Key Benefits of Brick-And-Mortar Retail

1. The Ability to Touch and Feel Merchandise

It happens far too often that you order something online, and when it arrives, it isn’t anything like what you imagined. That’s why it is still extremely important to customers to be able to touch and feel what they’re purchasing before they spend the money. According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail survey, 60% of respondents said the main reason they visited physical stores was that it gave them the “ability to interact with the product.” 

2. Customer Service

Compared to an online search, an in-store salesperson can give far more personalized assistance and offer more relevant options to the customer. The salespeople know what inventory is available, where the best deals are, and even which new products the customer might have missed. Great customer service is critical to the consumer’s impression of your store and overall brand. A friendly, helpful face can attract and retain customers. 

3. Timing

Even if you don’t tend to procrastinate when it comes to preparing for the holidays, we’ve all accidentally left some shopping until the last minute. Even as more companies invest in next-day delivery, shipping costs can be high, and sometimes you just can’t wait. A physical store provides you with what you’re looking for without the wait, and in the modern market, convenience is key. 

4. Unique Experience

Retailers have caught on to what really differentiates brick-and-mortar from digital: a unique, in-store, brand experience. Entertaining your customers will keep them lingering in your store longer, which means a more memorable experience for them and a reason to return. These experiences are often centered around testing out the product or being Instagram-friendly so that customers will share their photos online. A unique experience convinces them that your brand is worth their investment, and nearly 40 percent of weekly online shoppers say they would visit a pop-up store for an in-person retail experience. 

How Location Data Can Help Close the Loop

It is extremely important to understand your audience and pinpoint what makes brick-and-mortar valuable. With offline consumer insights, you can close the loop on the consumer journey and measure the impact of your marketing efforts across multiple channels. The ultimate goal here is a successful integration of bricks and clicks, which all starts with choosing the right offline intelligence platforms to understand what is actually driving consumers to your store.

Retailers who eagerly incorporate location data are excelling. Offline intelligence can be used to organize and execute the most efficient marketing campaigns to drive in-store visits. Retailers can use analytics and offline measurement to easily measure if their new unique experience and related advertising are having an impact on store visits.

“That’s Cuebiq’s specialty: to help you take advantage of the offline consumer journey, so you can deliver better cross-channel advertising experiences, prove ROI, and maximize ROAS with our attribution tools,” says Valentina Marastoni-Bieser, EVP of Marketing here at Cuebiq.

Successful retailers have transitioned their business and are taking advantage of location data in order to compete and thrive in today’s market. For more insights on the strengths of brick-and-mortar and the most important aspects of leveraging location data to attract customers, be sure to check out our white paper.

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About the Author

Anna Livaccari, Growth Marketing Intern

Anna is a rising senior at Boston College majoring in Communication and minoring in Management and Leadership. She loves to travel, bake, do improv, and is a huge foodie.