In an era dominated by online shopping, digital-first brands are recognizing the value of brick-and-mortar retail and are reimagining the in-store experience to attract shoppers.

By embracing an omnichannel approach, which allows customers to engage with brands both online and in person, companies are capitalizing on the benefits of physical retail stores.

According to a study conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centres, the opening of a new store leads to an average 37 percent increase in overall web traffic for brands, showcasing the halo effect of physical retail on online sales.

Inc. magazine recently chronicles how digital-first brands in the US attract shoppers by embracing brick-and-mortar retail.

Investing in Enhanced Experiences: Brands’ Efforts to Attract In-Person Shoppers

Tecovas: creating a sense of hospitality

Tecovas, a Western brand based in Austin, has incorporated a sense of hospitality into its nearly 30 store locations.

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Going beyond the traditional shopping experience, Tecovas offers an open bar concept in its stores. Regardless of whether customers are trying on cowboy boots or not, they can enjoy complimentary beer, tequila, or other beverages at a physical bar within the store.

This unique approach not only fosters a welcoming atmosphere but also encourages community building and customer loyalty.

Despite the challenges of obtaining liquor licenses, Tecovas has found the investment worthwhile, as their company-owned stores yield higher gross margins due to reduced return rates and lower logistic costs.

Elorea: from perfumes to café delights

Elorea, a fragrance brand in New York City, has introduced its first store with an innovative approach. Customers not only have the opportunity to sample the brand’s perfumes but can also relax and enjoy refreshments at the shop’s built-in cafe. For a fee, visitors can indulge in a 45-minute “tasting experience” featuring artisanal chocolates and a signature drink. By offering an additional experiential element, Elorea aims to entice existing customers to visit the store and deepen their connection with the brand. The 800-square-foot shop, adorned with rotating art displays by Korean artists, presents an opportunity for Elorea to strengthen its relationship with customers and further establish its unique identity.

Long-Term Strategies: Building Loyalty and Brand Recognition

Recognizing the long-term value of in-person retail, many brands are investing in customer engagement strategies that not only enhance loyalty but also increase brand recognition.

M.M. LaFleur: events that inspire and connect

M.M. LaFleur, a New York-based direct-to-consumer women’s workwear brand, recently opened two brick-and-mortar retail locations in Manhattan.

To promote these stores, the brand organized special events, including performances by renowned dancers and all-women brass bands, along with enticing activities such as a beignet truck pop-up.

Founder Sarah LaFleur emphasizes that events serve as a means to reconnect with existing customers while captivating potential new ones. Monthly events at each store, ranging from figure-drawing workshops to author readings, allow M.M. LaFleur to establish its identity and create joyful experiences associated with dressing for one’s professional life.

Furthermore, the brand offers personalized styling sessions, resulting in significantly higher purchase sizes compared to casual drop-in shoppers.

Tuckernuck: shopping and experiences combined

Washington, D.C.-based boutique clothing retailer Tuckernuck has adopted a multi-pronged approach to boost sales and engage customers.

The brand organizes both shopping-focused events, such as trunk shows, and experiential activities like bouquet-making pop-ups and free manicures. Co-founder Madeline Grayson notes that sales soar on event days, highlighting their effectiveness in driving customer engagement.

Tuckernuck also extends its outreach beyond the store through offsite events, inviting VIP clients to unique experiences like a yoga class at the Kennedy Center. These events not only strengthen customer loyalty but also introduce the brand to new potential customers through word-of-mouth recommendations.

Hatch Collective: building community and loyalty

Hatch Collective, a maternity brand with stores in Los Angeles and New York, recognizes the power of community building.

Through workshops covering topics such as lactation, postpartum preparation, and sleep training, Hatch draws in pregnant and postpartum women, providing them with valuable educational resources.

The brand collaborates with maternity experts who host events both in-store and online, creating touchpoints for customers. By offering a sense of community and support during a transformative period, Hatch cultivates customer loyalty and boosts revenue.

Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend Hatch to others and return to the store for future purchases and gifts.