Online shopping gets a lot of hype, but there still are tangible benefits to having a brick-and-mortar location for your business. Retailers often find that the investment of time and dollars into a storefront comes back to them in their increased bottom line. Once your business is ready to make the move to in-person retail, consider the benefits of leasing a space.
When customers can touch items and view them closely, they feel more at ease with handing over large amounts of cash. For higher-end retail in particular, a storefront gives consumers the opportunity to feel out the items and decide what they want to buy. If they are new to a particular brand, a storefront allows them to peruse the merchandise and feel comfortable with the company before making a purchase.
Despite the benefits of online chat and customer service agents available by phone, there is little match for the ability to talk about a purchase with a staff member in a store. A storefront gives customers the opportunity to ask questions and for staff members to recommend complementary products or alternative uses for an item a customer is considering buying. Real people, overall, tend to add to the positive nature of a shopping experience -- which will keep customers coming back.
Many customers choose to patronize stores that are unique and part of the local community. An online retailer can put a local address on its website; however, to make a business part of the neighborhood it's necessary to have a physical presence as well as a virtual one. Participation in community events, which can be promoted in-store, help increase the business's reputation for being locally committed and valued by residents.
Many products, such as home furnishings, look best when seen as part of a complete package. A storefront gives a retailer the opportunity to create a complete showroom so customers can fully visualize how an individual piece will work within a complete context once they purchase it and bring it home. A showroom can even enhance online sales, by providing an effective means of promoting items while still offering easy ways to purchase them.