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Online or Storefront?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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This is the digital age, folks, where anyone can truly purchase anything online — it’s wonderful and horrible all at the same time. But when looking at the positives, an ecommerce business is quite a brand win when done correctly. There’s less overhead, more flexibility, and of course 24/7 access for customers. Cha-ching! But sometimes online retail has downsides that take away that personal connection when shopping a storefront. Does this matter to customers and does it matter to the success of a business? Sometimes the answer is yes. It’s the addition of brick-and-mortar that works for some brands.

Warby Parker has been discussed on BTB before. It’s a modern eyeglass brand that brought the convenience of shopping for a pair to an online location. And to be fair, Warby Parker is also a brand that put thought behind its ecommerce business. It’s not a one-size fits all type of product and the brand understood this when building its concept. The Warby Parker site boasts online trials by uploading pictures and even allows customers to try multiple eyeglasses in real life so they can make a decision that has no regrets. All is good in the online world for Warby Parker.

But there’s something missing, apparently. And right now the brand is making a change by adding in that personal touch of a brick-and-mortar location. A real storefront. No, Warby Parker is not moving away from its online business, but instead is realizing that there is a benefit to both. That storefront removes some brand limitations and also helps Warby Parker ensure that it has a future. Anything that can accomplish these two goals is definitely a brand win.

Warby Parker also understands that customers are different. Some love to shop online; others like the experience of touching, feeling, and seeing the product they purchase. Warby Parker’s new strategy allows the brand to be present to different types of customers and is available where customers want to purchase. It’s like the best of both worlds for now and for the future.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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