For thousands of online brands and retail hopefuls across the country, what might seem like a dream, could easily become a reality.
Many people don’t realise how simple it is to open a retail store. They step foot into a department store take one look at the elaborate Christmas windows and the bedazzled fragrance displays and assume retail magic can’t be made without a six-storey glass-fronted CBD emporium and several million dollars. Well, they’re wrong. It may come as a surprise to a lot of you to learn that the retail dream is still very much alive and well in Australia. In fact, it’s thriving.
It’s good to be different
We live in an age now where customers can purchase virtually anything they want, especially online. But what we also see is a lot of is the same thing. Mass markets like Zara and H&M are on the rise. If you walk into a shopping centre you’ll no doubt see a major supermarket, a popular electronics retailer, a newsagent, a food court and a handful of commercial clothing retailers. So, why choose one shopping complex over another? Because it has a point of difference, and that’s what shopping centre landlords are looking for – unique and non-traditional types of retailers, such as boutiques, that offer the venue a unique selling point. This presents an exciting opportunity to anybody with a unique retail concept or existing online store.
Enjoy service with a smile
Two things that can’t be replicated online are 1) superb customer service, and 2) a unique in-store experience. Both are significant drivers for modern retail success. When shoppers choose to go in-store, they’re after one of five things: to try a product, to exchange a product, to make a quick purchase, to browse, or to experience the brand. Most, if not all, cannot be done online. Herein lies the opportunity for online and potential retailers.
Always judge a brand by its shopfront
A shop is more than just a product purchase point, it’s a brand experience. A physical store is an opportunity to curate a brand message and identity, plus it opens up an opportunity for customer engagement which, for shoppers, puts a face to the brand. While logistically it may seem easier to sell goods online, website traffic isn’t always guaranteed and unique selling points aren’t always successfully amplified, simply because of the sheer scale of competition. This makes it significantly harder to become front-of-mind for consumers. Physical stores, on the other hand, have an established presence in specific precincts. They have a chance to ride on the back of existing foot traffic and build an in-store experience that attracts customers.
The obvious next step
Contrary to what some may say, online and physical stores can not only operate harmoniously in the retail word, but they can also be mutually beneficial. For many established brands, opening up online can expose them to a whole new market and allow them to meet growing demand. In fact, fast fashion retailer, Zara, recently made the long-awaited announcement that it would be heading online in Australia on March 14. However, the same opportunities exist for online brands opening stores in the physical world. After establishing themselves on the web, online stores not only have a head start but they open themselves up to new markets and the opportunity to build upon a unique service and experiential offering. For online brands, establishing themselves in the physical world is the natural next step.
It all adds up
You’d never buy a house without doing your research first, and the same goes for a retail space. The largest indicator of success is data – If the numbers are on your side, success should hypothetically follow suit. That’s why you should utilise research tools like Stall Square. Designed and built for retailers by retailers, Stall Square can help you find your ideal retail space in as little as 30-seconds. Using a huge database of shopping centres, customer data and sales figures, you can find a retail space that matches your brand and target market in moments. Plus, you can view detailed shopping centre information, view future spaces, connect with leasing consultants and even reach out to various teams who can design, fit-out and staff your store.
Now is the perfect time to be creative in the retail industry. In a sea of commercial clothing retailers, landlords are looking to invest in new trends and emerging consumer needs. Meanwhile, customers are looking for amazing in-store service and brand experiences. Being unique, personable and experiential are the ingredients to in-store success, but none of it’s possible without trusted research and reliable data. Let Stall Square bring your retail dream to life.