We’ve all read reports (most likely from License Global) about the state of retail. Popular chain stores have either shut down, cut back their number of stores or updated their floorplans to include shopping experiences.
Reading the headlines, it sounds like e-commerce is a safe bet for brands, right?
Some e-commerce retailers are rolling the dice by going into conventional retail. The practice of going from e-commerce to brick-and-mortar has a name: Clicks to Bricks.
Companies like Glossier, Warby Parker and Casper have made the jump from screen to stores. Stores like Eloquii, which launched as an online-only brand, now have several locations around the U.S. due to customer demand.
Why should e-commerce brands consider going the traditional retail route? Because their customers want the product IRL.
Look no further than a recent comment from Andy Dunn, senior vice president, digital consumer brands, Walmart. At the Business of Home's first Future of Home conference in New York City in September, Dunn encouraged digitally native companies to invest in retail stores. It worked for Dunn – he co-founded men’s apparel line Bonobos in 2007. The e-commerce brand opened retail stores in 2012, then sold to Walmart in 2017.
While it’s convenient to order something online, humans are still tactile by nature. We want a connection to what we’re buying. And while retail may seem like a risky move for e-commerce brands, just remember the time when opening a store online was not only risky, but unheard of.