Click and Mortar: Is this the Future of Retail Marketing?

Have you ever shopped online and wished that you could physically see or feel an item? Have you ever shopped at a store and wished that the associate could understand precisely what you wanted? Companies are now moving in a direction in which both of these needs, and more, could be met. Businesses need the combination of digital and physical marketing to thrive in today’s competitive market. It is for this reason that the convergence of bricks and mortar into digital is one of the most significant marketing trends today. This integration of offline (bricks) and online (clicks) is referred to as “click and mortar.”

Click and Mortar

The overall idea of the trend is to track consumer habits more closely to provide companies with information, and eventually sales, on products that behavioral data suggests an individual would want to buy. The marketing trend benefits firms while also enhancing a consumer’s overall retail experience. Improving the consumer experience helps a company to establish a positive brand image in a competitive market.

Click and Mortar
All aboard the newest marketing trend: the convergence of bricks and clicks.

Walmart Goes Click And Mortar

An example of the convergence of bricks and mortar with digital is the purchase of Jet by Wal-Mart.  Since Jet offers discounts against other e-commerce sites, Wal-Mart’s most recent acquisition was a way to compete with Amazon and to remove Jet as a competitor.  Amazon’s average annual growth rate over the past five years was 17%, while Wal-Mart had an annual growth rate of 1%.  Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart, understands the importance of digital marketing and is utilizing the new marketing trend as a way to increase growth. He understands the impersonal experience that can accompany retail and has aimed to differentiate Jet with a new marketing campaign. He has created personalized greeting videos for Jet customers that addresses them by their actual name.

Since Walmart’s deal with Jet, Wal-Mart’s United States e-commerce sales have increased by as much as 63%.  Wal-Mart’s stock has also increased by 10% within the last year, which surpasses the average increase of most companies in the broader retail industry.  The growth rates further support the movement toward click and mortar. 

Click and Mortar in Fashion

True Religion, a clothing brand, also creatively makes use of digital marketing to enhance the consumer experience.  The brand emerged is widely recognized for their classic five-pocket jean. They are now adapting to the current market and entering a more digital-friendly market with their True Religion app. When a customer owning the True Religion app enters a True Religion store, their data is automatically sent to a sales associate’s apple watch. With this information, the associate can meet the needs of the customer without having to pry them with questions, as they can offer informed purchase recommendations based on data from the app. By merging their brick and mortar storefront with digital marketing, the company is slowing down in-store shopping to positively influence a customer’s shopping experience.

Click and Mortar
True Religion Jeans App

The experiential marketing experience brought to customers by the app is proving to be a success. As of 2016, 72% of the brand’s site traffic has been recorded to come from mobile devices, and 92% of the brand’s outlet site traffic is also from mobile devices.

We are entering a new age of marketing in which online and in-store companies are no longer competing head to head. Instead, a cohesive bridge is forming between the two. Digital experiences can be used to strengthen an experience at a brick and mortar location, while an experience at a brick and mortar location can enhance digital experiences. This marketing trend will be the key to success for modern day companies.

 

Diana Mylonas

Diana Mylonas

Junior Consultant at Visionary Marketing
Third year communcation and business student at Villanova University; Currently studying abroad in Paris, France.
Diana Mylonas

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