When a retailer opens a new physical store, traffic to that retailer’s website comes from those in the surrounding postal area jumped 52% on average within six weeks of store openingaccording to research published by UK commercial property firm British Land, which used web data from Connexity Hitwise.
The research further showed that locally generated web traffic remains at this increased level long after the store has opened, suggesting that opening a physical store has had a positive impact on digital brand engagement. .
Small retail chains and brands can see an even bigger increase in online traffic from opening their stores, as brands with less than 30 stores saw an 84% increase in local traffic to their websites. on average.
Overview of the dive:
British Land has a lot to gain from any discovery that boosts the retail sector’s confidence in the opening of new physical stores, as the company’s mission is to help retailers find the right location and the space for new outlets.
Web traffic data doesn’t usually play favorites, however, and this research is quite intriguing for retailers looking for other ways to leverage links between physical stores and online efforts to better position themselves in the marketplace. omnichannel era. One of the implications they can take away from this research is that locally coordinated and integrated promotions could make a lot of sense. If retailers are opening a new store in town, they’d probably be better off doubling down on a localized online promotion that lets local audiences know they care about their business, whether through the website, via smartphones or walking through the door.
This data analysis also draws on findings from British Land’s 2016 report “The True Value of Stores”. This report looked at the effect of online activity on physical outlets and brands, surveying 30,000 shoppers, and found that a high percentage of UK shoppers who made purchases “hit a store” and that online features such as click-and-collect actually helped increase physical store sales.
All of this also plays into something we’ve learned about younger millennials, as well as Gen Z: they still like to shop in brick-and-mortar stores. Perhaps the opening of physical retail stores in local areas with a particularly high number of young consumers could trigger a particularly large increase in local web traffic to retailer websites, and retailers could in turn use these visits to communicate more directly with these online customers. This is just another potential implication of this research, but one that can help retailers better target omnichannel strategies and promotions to deliver maximum returns.