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Growth in fashion retail is almost all happening online with only modest gains, if any, from stores. But this doesn’t mean stores aren’t still valuable, quite the opposite. Stores perform a range of functions that digital cannot. They provide a tangible, experiential encounter with the product and the brand. Stores offer a place to pick up products bought online (click and collect), rather than wait for shipping. They also exist as a convenient place to return products (if necessary) later.
Rather than the opposite of e-commerce, stores support e-commerce. In fact, 71% of customers are more likely to buy online from brands that have physical stores. And with the exception of Amazon, omnichannel retailers generally outperform pure-play online sellers. Consumers want convenience above almost all else and stores can deliver that, together with a strong online presence.
Consumer expectations of retailers are rising. Despite the recognition of many of these developments, it’s often challenging for traditional retailers to operationalize their insights and deliver on the promise of customer-centric, omnichannel shopping.
Yet those retailers that can reorient themselves to new consumer buying patterns and fully utilize their combined digital and physical assets in service of those behaviors will succeed. Others will fade. But stores won’t disappear; their role is simply evolving.
The digital and physical worlds are becoming more connected and fashion brands must create consistent online and offline experiences to meet heightened customer expectations and drive sales growth.
On 11 March, 4:00 PM (GMT), Uberall will host a webinar on these topics, including tactical recommendations for retailers. It’s called Fashion Forward: What’s Next for Omnichannel Retail.
You can register for free here.