Why the photo of a dusty vintage storefront closed up for the day? Because this could be the new norm for many storefronts. And not only for the day, either.
We are amidst a seismic shift. One from in-store to online retail. You knew that. For everything from cute pink workout tops to your dog’s favorite can of kibble. This is a gradual shift, like most modern innovations. Only this shift recently got much bigger. What’s bigger than a seismic shift, a tectonic shift?
STAGGERING IN-STORE STATISTICS
Back in 2009, after the housing bubble popped and fizzled like a birthday balloon, we saw 2% of US stores close -- the worst single year for closures, according to an interview with a UBS analyst published in a Forbes article.
This same analyst goes on to say that the current forecast calls for “2% of stores to close every year into 2025.” Essentially, retailers can expect five of the worst years to happen back-to-back. Talk about kicking someone when they’re down.
2% every year translates to roughly 100,000 stores over the next five years. Many of these stores are located in malls, although some are stand-alone or part of strip malls. This will turn commercial real estate on it’s head but it will also spur a charge on online shoppers with a plethora of options to sift through.
CREATING AN EXPERIENCE PAYS OFF HUGE
One of the recent Trends newsletters predicts that only retailers who turn their brick and mortar shops into smartly curated “experience hubs” will be able to outlive these five years of wreckage during the pandemic and beyond.
Experience hubs must be whatever Apple decided to do with their stores long ago. Sleek white safe havens, refreshing on the senses, and remarkably easy to navigate. Truly thoughtful stores are design-forward, pulling customers into an atmosphere. Apple, Athletic Propulsion Labs, and Warby Parker are a few that come to mind.
Oddly enough, it is the experience of shopping for a product that excites consumers as much as the product itself and their life after purchasing it. People are always chasing a feeling.
If unique store experiences are going to be what saves retail, could this same ideology transfer to cyberspace and give online sellers a boost? Of course.
BRINGING THE EXPERIENCE ONLINE
There is, without doubt, an art to designing a charming online offering. Clunky checkout carts, mis-matched colors, hard to read fonts and poorly shot product photos are all reasons people click off a site and drift elsewhere.
But seamless edges and design, simple consistent colors, and clear well written descriptions all help to create a pleasant customer journey. When things are easy and make sense, and when checking out is easy and makes sense, BOOM, a sale is made.
When YummieLife hired us to help with their rebrand to Yummie, they needed a UI that fit with their new polished look. A rebrand and a carefully constructed new UI design both play toward making things easier for the customer. Naturally, this led to more conversions. 49.5% YoY and a Q4 conversion rate of 4.45%. Consider giving the full case study a gander on our website.
EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING, USING SHOPIFY MAKES IT EASY
As we noted in another article we published, $365 billion was spent on online retail in 2019. What’s more important is that this number is predicted to rise to $600 billion by 2024.
This is inversely correlated to physical store locations. This creates a doubling effect in which 100,000 stores are closing for good in the next four years, while online retail nearly doubles in sales.
There will suddenly be a lot of new digital consumers who aren’t loyal to specific online brands for certain items in their life. Capturing these buyers and keeping them happy will be a crucial factor in generating more year-over-year (YoY) revenue for many online shops.
Now, it's up to you to make a great product. But beyond that, you can leave almost everything else up to Shopify. There’s a reason over 1 million businesses globally rely on it and it’s the only service we use to help clients sell online. Nothing else compares.
Oberlo reported Shopify’s market share to be nearly 31% in the US. This is due, in part, to how successful Shopify shops can be.
What has given Shopify a boost above other services is the company's attention to global integration, apps and mobile integration, and distilling all their services to be as simple and easy to understand as possible.
Want to learn more? Reach out to someone on our team, we would be happy to chat with you.
The Internet is a competitive place, but it’s always possible to keep those digital doors open, especially with some help.