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From Bricks to Clicks…and back to Bricks! Ecommerce matures to physical stores…

Greetings from a soggy Saturday in Fort Lauderdale !

Something very interesting is happening the the “On-Line” stores recently and the trend is rapidly growing….

The On-Line retailers obviously to the brick and mortar stores to the web……and now the “web” is bringing them

back to physical retail operations!  Who Knew?   I just finished reading about this new trend in AdAge Digital!  A very interesting trend in the e-commerce industry…..and one that has been greatly “un-reported”!

When Warby Parker founder Niel B. wrote the business plan for  what is now one of the hottest e-commerce companies,  there was not any mention of physical stores.  But just two days into their launch in 2010 they were added….yes…48 hours into the business launch !  They were buried with requests for their popular “in home try-on” program.  Suddenly they realized that they needed some central location for many people to see, fell and touch their products…and yes…try them on….and shipping each single item to and from was proving overwhelming.  Solon they added “Pop up” stores, mobile truck stores and then yes…physicial brick and mortar locations.  The showrooms have proven tremendously successful.

This is no longer an unusual story anymore….Gap owned Piperlime …Bonobo’s Gide Shops have both added showrooms…and never intended to do so…..they are doing it because it is simply a “better customer experience” …. and most recently in a real surprise…the daily deal company “Living Social” has opened their first store with more planned in the future!

What they have all figured out is that the customer prefers  ( their first purchase specifically ) in a hands on, feel and touch ( or try-on ) enviroment…then they are more comfortable with the “re-orders” on-line.

Go figure…Customers PREFER a physical experience !  As Euby has evangelized for years….Sales is a RELATIONSHIP business…and being there in person is a much greater relationship experience than digital!   E-Commerce can complement the experience but it cannot replace it!

So the brick and mortar companies can complement their efforts with their on-line offers….and now we know of course that the “On Line Retailers” can complement their e-commerce business with a physical store.   From Bricks to Clicks and now back to Bricks !

Interesting how things work out …isn’t it?

Till next time…..     Euby

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