The importance of bricks and mortar!

ziera We have previously discussed the importance of bricks and mortar relative to online retailing, which is now a well-known trend. Initially there was much ‘angst’ and consternation by retailers concerned that pure play e-tailers would simply erode their business. This was not helped by the plethora of would be ‘experts’ predicting the end of bricks and mortar. As it turns out online retailing as a component of all retailing (excluding the pure e-tailer) equates to somewhere in the region of 7% – 15%, depending on who one speaks to or reads about, and the industry they are in. Online retailing is without doubt here to stay and essential for all bricks and mortar retailers, no matter their size. O2O or ‘Online2Offline’ (or visa versa) is now well entrenched and part of the retail mix. In a recent CBRE New Zealand study it was found that Kiwi’s from different age groups have different views when it comes to bricks and mortar versus online shopping. What was surprising is that almost a quarter (24 percent) of younger shoppers aged 18 to 34 years expect to spend more time in bricks and mortar shops over the coming years. In contrast, only 3 percent of older shoppers aged 55 to 64 expect to spend more time in-store in the next few years. This further illustrates the ongoing relevance of bricks and mortar. Although 19 percent of respondents indicated a propensity to spend more time online in the future, the bricks and mortar relevance would not diminish. We would go further by suggesting that once retailers have their O2O mix right (and the two must be complimentary and ‘mirror’ the expectation and ultimate experience), the next step is to introduce ‘click and collect’. Introducing this component will provide retailers with a definite advantage over their competition. Finally the survey found that the most important factors consumers consider when choosing where to go shopping are the ‘price of products’ (online search), ‘cleanliness’ and the ‘convenience to travel’ to. Richard J Potton MD for HOED and VIGIL NZ. Email or