From Clicks to Bricks: Four Things You Need to Know About Expanding from E-Commerce into Brick-and-Mortar
Congratulations! You have made the big decision to bring your e-commerce brand into the brick-and-mortar world. You’ve seen others make the jump successfully – Amazon, Warby Parker, ModCloth, Boll & Branch, Etsy, and more – and know it’s the next logical step in building your brand empire. However, are you truly prepared for what’s to come in the physical retail world? Here are four things you need to know, whether you’re opening your own brand store or selling your product through a retailer.
1. Ensure Your Offline Brand Experience Matches What’s Online
When people truly love a brand, they love it for multiple reasons. It could be that they enjoy the aesthetics that come with a brand’s product, or perhaps they love the customer service provided online. When making the transition to brick-and-mortar, it is crucial that these aspects remain the same. Quality controlling how your brand looks and feels for customers can make or break your transition to retail.
2. Building Relationships Is the Key to Success
Making the leap into a brand-new channel is not one that you should make alone. Start by building strong relationships with your partners, such as the owners of the retail spaces you’re leasing or your store designers and builders. If you’re partnering with a mass retailer for launch, make sure you’ve especially built up a rapport with your buyers, display manufacturers, and third-party labor providers, as those three relationships can influence your success in big ways.
The most important relationship that you should build, though, is with your customers. If you already have a solid enough consumer base online, then use them to help pad your entry into the brick and mortar world. Let your current followers in on where your new store locations will be or which retailers will carry your product, send out invitations to visit, and give out discounts for customers who already purchase from you or subscribe to your mailing list to ensure a strong opening.
3. Your Store Associates Are Your Most Influential Brand Advocates
What’s a store without people to represent your products? Now that you’re entering into the brick-and-mortar world, you need to think beyond the customer service agent hiding behind a computer or phone. These are the big leagues, where your “front-of-house” is just as important as your “back-of-house” team. When selecting associates for your own store, ensure that they match with your brand on a core level. Do you share the same values? Does their voice match your own? These are all important questions to consider when hiring your associates. On top of that, if your associates have an emotional connection to your brand, they will go above and beyond to promote your products and evolve into strong brand advocates. Studies have proven that when employees are passionate about what they’re selling, they can completely change the retail experience for your customers and positively influence sales.
4. Use a Third-Party Provider to Boost Your Sales
You don’t have to do all of this on your own. Making the leap into retail is a big step for any direct-to-consumer company, which is why many turn to the experts to get the job done right. At BDSmktg, we’re an approved third-party labor provider with access to all the major retailers that can get you in the door and on your way to success. With 35 years of experience in the retail marketing industry, our experts can guide you through the process, set up your retail environment for the best customer experience, and provide on-brand advocates to man your store or enhance your shelf presence. One BDS client brand experienced a 95% customer satisfaction rate after launching their stores with on-brand staff that was sourced, trained, developed by BDS. From building out your store and merchandising your product, to advocating your brand to associates and customers, BDS is there for every step from clicks to bricks.
Contact us today to learn more about our Brand Advocacy solution and get started with a custom activation plan.