With major retailers filing for bankruptcy, conglomerates closing stores by the day, and more and more people choosing to buy online, it seems like brick-and-mortar retail is doomed. But believe it or not, at the end of Q1 2018, e-commerce sales made up only 9% of total retail sales, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Year after year, the top 100 retailers remain largely consistent, and they all have one major thing in common: significant brick-and-mortar presence. Walmart, Costco, Target, and Lowes are just a few who have been in the top 10 for years, and over time they have all implemented strategic campaigns focused on improving in-store experiences for their customers.
Even Amazon, the leader in e-commerce retail who jumped from #7 to #3 in the past year, is planning to expand further into the physical retail space with their Whole Foods acquisition, and Amazon Go stores that use a mobile app to eliminate the checkout process.
Mall retail is evolving too. Major developers such as Simon Property are focusing on retail “experiences,” and strategic space rentals to service-based brands in the fitness, health, beauty, and wellness industries that will increase regular foot traffic and push “cross-shopping” in the traditional retail brand spaces.
All of this indicates that brands need to continue working hard to keep customers engaged while they are shopping in stores. This includes maintaining a clean and organized space, optimizing layout, and utilizing displays and fixtures that make the shopping experience easy and pleasurable.