We’ve seen a lot of research that shows online sales are growing, but there’s also growing evidence that the consumer demand for a physical storefront is also increasing. We know that brands seek to create retail experiences to help drive sales and meet customers expectations, so it makes sense that online only brands are looking to tap into the benefits of instore experiences too. Here are a number of online only brands that made the move to bricks and mortar.
A company that sells menswear, Bonobos sold exclusively online until their CEO decided to test out an instore experience. He put two sales associates in the foyer of their office to allow customers to try before they buy. It was extremely successful and now the brand has 10 locations across the US that act as places where customers can make an appointment to try on clothes before they place the order online. These are called ‘Guide shops’. In the words of the CEO: “There is a problem in being online-only, which is: it’s not a great service experience to not be able to try on clothes before you buy them, if that’s what you want to do.” – Andy Dunn, CEO, Bonobos
An online only eyewear store, Warby Parker has experimented with pop up stores with great success, as they tap into people’s need to try on their glasses before purchasing. Two retail experiences they have created are:
“Class Trip” – the company also drove a big yellow bus across america to put up pop up stores,
“The Readery” – kiosks in hotels where their 1960’s look glasses are paired with vintage books from the era.
To allow customers to get more comfortable with their Custom Made suits, Indochino launched a retail experience called ‘Traveling Tailor’ – which were pop up stores that paired expert stylists and tailors with customers who left their measurements, an Indochino account, and tips on how to pick the perfect pocket square and tie.
Originally an online athletic brand, the company opened 18 physical stores across the US and is reporting to add another 12 stores in 2017.
A subscription based beauty shop, the brand recently launched a flagship store in Soho in New York city.