February 11

Brick and Mortar

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Is selling products in a brick and mortar setting dead? Apparently not! Investors see how a brick and mortar store can add legitimacy to an established online brand. The key is “established online brand.” In October 2014, Amazon announced it will open a brick and mortal store in Manhattan, as well as pop-up shops in California. Women’s clothiers Nasty Gal and Rent the Runway are opening storefronts, as are subscription services and e-tailers Birchbox (beauty, grooming and lifestyle) and JustFab (shoes, clothing and accessories). Even Inspirito, a private vacation club, has come to appreciate the power of a physical consumer-facing presence.

Brick and Mortar2

“An Inspirato membership is one of the only considered purchases where the buyer has no idea how he or she would use it,” admits founder and CEO Brent Handler. “The centers help prospective members understand how they can and it brings that membership to life.” Paul Becker, a senior consultant and marketing strategist says,” E-Commerce may be up by double digits, but brick-and-mortar retail is still responsible for more than 90 percent of sales in the country.” Going on, he says, “Expanding to retail stores is just another way for these pure-play e-tailers to capture some of that market share.”

In fact, a positive in-store interaction can translate into more online sales down the line. What does this mean for entrepreneurs and small business owners who do business mostly online? The thing the brick and mortar visit provides for the customer is an experience, so providing some sort of hands-on experience, whether it is visual, aural or physical, can make a difference in building a brand and customer loyalty. Dunn of Bonobos says of e-commerce companies that have much to learn about face-to-face interactions with customers, “Customers didn’t have to walk out of our store with a purchase to be happy with their experience.”

In my business, I can provide my customers with video, with sample MP3s and even sheet music to give them an experience with my products. As many music and media sales are sold as downloads, there is considerable consideration of whether or not to even put out physical products. I believe that just as selling products in a brick and mortar setting is not dead, providing physical products is not dead either, as they provide customers a hands-on-experience. Check out my Sheet Music Page here –get hands-on-experience with free downloads of the first page of each song!

Subscribe to Facebook Musician Page & Monthly Newsletter! ©Deborah Johnson • Twitter: @DJWorksMusicwww.DJWorksMusic.com  Check out FREE Download of 70 page Study Guide: 40 Days to Getting Un-Stuck.”From Clicks to Bricks,” by Grant Davis, Entrepreneur (Dec. 2014) p.74

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