Report • 27.10.2015

Just try it: What brick-and-mortar stores do better than online retailers

Experiencing and testing with all senses

Outdoor gear only reveals its true characteristics when it is used in an...
Outdoor gear only reveals its true characteristics when it is used in an “outdoor” scenario – which means let’s go to the climbing wall with the matching equipment.
Source: Globetrotter
Over hill, over dale or off to bed ‒ getting to test products directly in the store is a real advantage brick-and-mortar businesses have over online retailers. All of our senses become a part of the purchase decision in this case. Creating an experience can range from very simple settings all the way to gigantic backdrops.

How can a customer best try out whether a shoe fits or not? By putting the shoe on. Of course, the customer can also order the shoes online and then try them out. He or she then might send them back, orders the next pair and so on. That makes sense because clothing, in particular, needs to meet our sensual and mobility needs. And those needs only exist in the real world.

Appealing to all of a customer’s senses is therefore the best tool for brick-and-mortar retailers. The moment the customer looks at the product, holds it in his hands and checks it out, the sale is halfway done. Whether he likes the product or not is decided right at this moment. The retailer can still influence the buying decision by giving the potential consumer the opportunity to experience the product.

At the recently opened Vivobarefoot store in Cologne, Germany, customers can...
At the recently opened Vivobarefoot store in Cologne, Germany, customers can test the barefoot shoes on a barefoot path in the store, so they can be sure how the shoes might feel in “real” life.
Source: vivobarefoot
You can do this at the recently opened Vivobarefoot store in Cologne, Germany, for example. By being able to test the barefoot shoes on a barefoot path in the store, customers know how the shoes might feel in “real” life. Let’s see an online store do that.

The specialty bed store Bettenrid also knows that the customer is the best product tester. Since we spend a large portion of our life sleeping, many customers pay special attention to choosing the right mattress and accessories. Solely testing the bed triggers the decision to purchase. Bettenrid which incidentally landed among this year’s Trade Association of Germany’s Stores of the Year offers customers a matching apartment where they can spend a test night. Shopping in your sleep …now there is a new concept..

The much-lauded Globetrotter store in Cologne takes this to a whole new level with the so-called “Experience Destination”: outdoor gear only reveals its true characteristics when it is used in an “outdoor” scenario – which means, let’s head for the water sports pool to dive in or test a canoe, let’s go to the climbing wall with the matching equipment or test a rain jacket in the cold and rain chamber. After all, the robust clothing is not necessarily cheap and the customer thinks twice whether he or she will spend money on it. Experiencing things on your own is the best salesperson. Even the best consultant is not able to accomplish that. After all, whom can we trust more than our own senses?  

The specialty bed store Bettenrid also knows that the customer is the best...
The specialty bed store Bettenrid also knows that the customer is the best product tester.
Source: Bettenrid
Not only the products themselves and touching and trying out items at the store can cause us to make a purchase based on the decisions made by our senses. We love to follow our instincts and have our nose guide us. What does a store actually smell like? That’s also something retailers can deliberately influence. Whether it’s through the careful and discreet use of scents, the help of technical devices or natural aromas produced by candles or oils in smaller stores – at this point, there are thousands of resources that are able to “inspire” customers.

The Type Hype Store in Berlin: Right in the middle of all the products that...
The Type Hype Store in Berlin: Right in the middle of all the products that center on letters, customers can also find a milk bar which serves organic milk and coffee products.
Source: Type Hype
Aside from technically generated scented delights, the simplest, natural methods can ensure that customers feel at ease at the store, for example by offering culinary options. If you smell coffee, you might feel inspired to immediately relax after shopping with a delicious hot beverage. This is something the Type Hype Store in Berlin indulges in. Right in the middle of all the products that center on letters, customers can also find a milk bar which serves organic milk and coffee products. The retailer in the pedestrian area can also accomplish this with a cozy coffee nook. The impact on customer loyalty is immeasurable. After all, customers remember those brief relaxing moments during their shopping excursions and gladly come back to the store.

Touching, trying, tasting, smelling and feeling the vibe – those are the sensual moments an online store is not able to offer. This is how the brick-and-mortar store creates experiences that get engraved into a customer’s memory. A clear advantage that retailers can use in large and small areas.

Author: Natascha Mörs, iXtenso.com

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Social commerce opportunities on TikTok for merchants...
31.10.2020   #online trading #social media

Social commerce opportunities on TikTok for merchants

Partnership between Shopify and TikTok

On TikTok, businesses of all sizes are empowered to grow their brands through creative content and storytelling. Since we launched the TikTok For Business platform, we've seen brands around the world make real connections with our users by ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Sustainability is surviving COVID-19
27.07.2020   #sustainability #coronavirus

Sustainability is surviving COVID-19

Trends and consumer demographics for sustainable products and brands

The NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business and IRI® published the results of new research examining consumer purchases of sustainability-marketed consumer packaged goods in the US and taking a closer look at the top 10 states in terms of per ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Please give us shopping, events, and emotions!...
15.09.2020   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Please give us shopping, events, and emotions!

What should cities do to attract more visitors?

Online retail, coronavirus pandemic, monotony – city centers are fighting many battles these days. But although times might be tough for brick-and-mortar businesses, all is not lost when it comes to pedestrian zones.However, retailers should ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Spotlight on ... customer retention
01.08.2020  

Spotlight on ... customer retention

Our current focus topic: Which measures help you to retain customers?

Im Versand wie im Verkauf - mit Verpackungen hat der Einzelhändler tagtäglich zu tun. Doch was macht eine gute Verpackung aus? Welche Vorschriften müssen Einzelhändler kennen? Und warum sollte eine Verpackung smart sein?Das und ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Come together: local retailers connect with local customers...
15.09.2020   #brick and mortar retail #customer relationship management

Come together: local retailers connect with local customers

The online platform Ladenfreun.de connects local retailers with potential customers. The common denominator: A product.

How can you bridge the gap and connect online retail to pedestrian zones? A Nuremberg startup wondered how this could be accomplished and came up with a solution: Ladenfreun.de. In this interview, founder Matthias Hueber talks about the idea behind ...

Thumbnail-Photo: 3 steps to personalisation in e-commerce
04.08.2020   #online trading #e-commerce

3 steps to personalisation in e-commerce

How retailers can build trust and foster customer loyalty

The COVID-19 pandemic has left a visible mark on the retail sector, and companies have had to find new ways to reach consumers effectively in a very short time. Many companies that had previously focused on stationary retail have expanded their ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Interior design and high fashion
14.09.2020   #design #marketing

Interior design and high fashion

New York Fashion Week is going home ... with Lowe's

At a time when home has become the new epicenter of personal style, Lowe's and New York Fashion Week: The Shows have come together to reimagine one of fashion's most iconic moments, transporting high fashion from the runway to the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Better customer care on Twitter leads to increase in customer...
18.09.2020   #customer satisfaction #customer relationship management

Better customer care on Twitter leads to increase in customer satisfaction

Responses to queries on social media impact service quality perception

Social media has forever changed our society and how people do business. A 2013 report by J.D. Power found nearly two-thirds of customers have used a company's social media site to connect with customer service. New research in the INFORMS ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Boom time for bicycle retailers
28.09.2020   #online trading #customer satisfaction

Boom time for bicycle retailers

What is the recipe for success? iXtenso visited three bicycle retailers

What does it take to be successful during these growth times? iXtenso looks at three very different retailers – from online, to offline and all that lies between. Find out more in our exclusive video! ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Merchants can build their own businesses by choosing the right daily...
10.08.2020   #e-commerce #online platform

Merchants can build their own businesses by choosing the right daily deal platforms

Bargaining and the three-way transaction that defines the daily deal market

Researchers from the University of Maryland and Harvard University analyzed the bargaining process between the daily deal platforms Groupon as well as LivingSocial and merchants to identify the trade-offs made by both parties during the transaction ...