The need to see, touch and try on clothes + O2O + personalisation provides an edge to brick & mortar vs. online, says NPD Group Report

Building a personal in-store shopping experience along with O2O options, will provide key advantages for brick & mortar apparel retailers as 55% of consumers still choose shopping instore rather than online and 79% try on the items before buying.

Adidas NY Flagship store. In the turf clients can try the sneakers as well as their football kick hability. © Adidas

“The ability for consumers to see, touch, and try on apparel appears to be an advantage for brick and mortar retailers,” says Maria Rugolo, apparel industry analyst, The NPD Grou . “Now coupled with more convenient ways to shop online and pick up, consumers may be more inclined than ever to make the physical trip.”

Some picks of Farfetch luxury shop of the future. © Farfetch

“The fitting room is still an opportunity to make a personal connection with your consumer since it is still an integral part of the overall shopping experience,” she underscores.

Nike by Melrose Store in Los Angeles. © Nike. The Dynamic Fit Zone has a lounge to relax in, rooms where Nike Experts can offer styling tips and a Nike Trial Zone (with a treadmill) to really put product to the test in. Bookable through the Nike App, Nike Express Sessions will also be hosted here to provide elevated one-to-one service to consumers in just thirty minutes.

“While online sales may be growing faster, it is key to make the in-store shopping experience personal for the consumer as in-store accounts for the lion’s share of apparel dollars,” Rugolo points.

Connected display at Farfetch store of the future. © Farfetch

The preference to see, touch, and try-on apparel before purchasing is the most important factor for 55% of consumers to choose shopping in-store rather than online, reports The NPD Group. When shopping for clothing in-store, 79% of adult consumers try on the items before buying, all or most of the time (42%) or some of the time (37%), according to NPD’s apparel industry research.

Nike by Melrose Store in Los Angeles. © Nike. Returns, exchanges or purchases are made easy with Curb Services at Nike By Melrose. Using Swoosh Text (an SMS messaging system between the shopper and the store), consumers can simply text the store, pull in, grab or return goods, and get going.

In-store is also catching up to online with regard to convenience. Many apparel shoppers now accept the option to buy-online-and-pick-up-in-store (BOPUS) or click-and-collect, which provides the accessibility of shopping online with the ability to see, feel, and try on an item in-store, if the consumer wants.

Nike by Melrose LA gives NikePlus Members access to shop from the Nike App, tap reserve and pick up their product to try-on and purchase in-store. © Nike.

BOPUS has been around for a while but most recently major brick-and-mortar retailers have enhanced the option by offering same-day or even quicker pick-up, curbside delivery, and other conveniences. Over the last 12 months, 21% of U.S. adults answered “yes” to buying apparel and footwear online and then picking it up in store, according to a survey from Civic Science for NPD’s Trend Tracker.

Image over the headline.- The Sneaker Bar at the Nike by Melrose Store in Los Angeles.© Nike. The Sneaker Bar makes trying on and buying footwear quick and easy with on-the-spot access to the store’s shoe assortment and a Nike Expert to help consumers make the right product pick.

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