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There is a new trend emerging in the online world, leading many pure-play retailers to experiment with their offline presence. Whilst it has been traditional for retailers to open a store and subsequently expand its footprint across the web and into eCommerce, for some the opposite approach is becoming much more appealing.

Warby Parker’s beautiful new store

Consumers are keen to browse and gather information on the internet in their own time. But when it comes to decision making and spend, purchasing habits are primarily happening offline.

This is especially the case across the food and home improvement industries, where consumers are spending time browsing forums and review sites, reading comments and occasionally posting. Consumers are finding that online offerings are not interesting or practical enough for them to encourage a final conversion, and offline retailers are finding that it is the complexity behind the purchase that drives customers from online to offline.

The same can be seen in the telecommunications sector, which is seeing a high rate of users browsing deals online but concluding them in physical stores, due to the technical language and explanations needed before they commit to contract with a ‘real’ customer service representative, and the high levels of trust placed in this approach.

Whilst it has been traditional for retailers to open a store and subsequently expand their footprint across the web, for some the opposite approach is seeing them achieve retail success.

Warby Parker is a US-based eyeglass company that sells retro glasses online (through a Zappos-style model), and that has recently opened a first store in New York City. In the UK, luxury fashion brand Burberry is also doing a particularly good job at this, as are retailers MAC and Sephora.

Brands are quickly needing to realise that with the rise of contactless payment and apps, a digital-only shopping platform isn’t enough to ensure long-term success.

Even the most digital-savvy customer still wants to experience the downtime to enjoy browsing offline products in a real-world environment. They might want it now, but they also want to try it, smell it and taste it too. Digital for digital’s sake no longer guarantees success and unless you are omni-channel, then you’re trailing behind your competitors.

The future may be digital, but great in-person experiences aren’t going away.

 This article originally appeared on 12ahead.com.

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