Brick-and-mortar stores take advantage of both their physical locations and online sales to meet customers on whichever channel they prefer.
At the height of the pandemic, shoppers bought more online and often picked up orders in-store or at curbside to minimize infection risk. Even retailers with just one store gained customers through omnichannel offerings like buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS). For this holiday season, they’re seeking to win repeat sales from their larger customer lists through early sales, text message campaigns and livestreaming.
Retailers with multiple physical stores invested heavily in in-store and curbside pickup during the pandemic in response to consumers shifting their orders online to avoid getting sick. Target Corp., for example, reported that its 1,800 stores were fulfilling 75% of online
orders early in 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. That included orders shipping from its brick-and-mortar locations and in-store pickup.
How smaller store-based retailers will reattract newly won customers during the holidays
To further its strategy of using stores to handle online orders, Target announced in late July 2022 that it will open three new package sorting centers during the next year — two in greater Chicago and one in the Denver area. And it’s not just giant retail chains that are leveraging their physical locations to increase sales and win new customers. Even some retailers with just a single store introduced options that catered to consumers shopping more online during the pandemic. Giving customers the choice to shop online or in-store is helping these retailers win new customers and positioning them for post-pandemic success.
One example is Moriarty’s Gem Art, a jewelry retailer in Crown Point, Indiana, whose online sales increased to 55% of its business today from about 30% pre-pandemic. Many local residents who previously would come into the store ordered online for home delivery or requested curbside pickup. The retailer introduced such omnichannel offerings during the pandemic, says Jeff Moriarty, the family-run business’ marketing manager.
“We never shipped out so many things to our town,” he says. “We were in Crown Point, shipping to Crown Point addresses, which was kind of strange. Some people also did pickup, so we would bring it out to them, out to their car. That was another option we offered. We tried to make it as easy as possible for people to still shop with us, but not actually have to shop in-store.”
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