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We Ask Marketers: How Can Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Thrive in 2023?

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The Drum – by Sam Anderson

We Ask Marketers: How Can Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Thrive in 2023?

While we’ve recently lost some high-street retail brands, many are still kicking. How are they surviving – and how will they flourish amid continuing permacrisis? We asked 7 commerce aces from The Drum Network.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was plenty of well-justified concern about the continued existence of brick-and-mortar retail. Since then, we've seen evolutions in the shapes of (and footfalls in) towns and cities; accelerated hybridizations like smart stores; and, despite an IRL bounce-back, continued shifts toward online retailers.

What are the features of this evolving environment that marketers should be paying the closest attention to? In the long run, is brick-and-mortar dead – or an indelible part of life? Read on for our experts’ answers.

Martin Ryan, vice president of retail, EPAM

Retailers must urgently adapt physical spaces to meet current and anticipated sales demand. This often involves a multi-year effort due to lease inflexibility.

The future will see the development of new store formats, heavily edited store assortments, and some closures. This includes fewer but bigger stores that mix product and experience; a proliferation of smaller stores in convenient locations; and, for some sectors, automated and cashier-less stores and collection points. The store mix will be designed to work on an omnichannel model.

Retailers will continue to experiment with live-stream shopping and remote advisory to ensure the attention of new customer demographics.

The shift from physical to less profitable online sales will cause retailers to scrutinize marketing spend that promotes these channels. They will seek compensating benefits, like retail media revenues. Understanding store conversion rates enable marketers to compare online and offline ROI and build a mix of advertising spend.

Retailers will adopt customer data platform projects, implementing technology to survive in a post-cookie world, where tiny signals from consumer devices and behavior are processed by AI models to provide probabilistic knowledge about individuals.

Read the full article here.

Read the Consumers UnMasked report here