How the clicks need bricks to build

Why online brands must move offline and how they can do it better

Our work with both traditional and pure-play retail brands over the past
12 months has given us a deep understanding of how these businesses
operate. For traditional retailers, competition is increasingly coming from
pure-play brands making a move into physical retail.


For pure-play brands that have
yet to make the leap, here are
some insights into why you
should and how you are in a
position to executive it better
than traditional retailers.

1. Customer - focused

Many pure-play retail brands have been built
out of a founder’s dissatisfaction for the way
a category has been operating, they are
coming into the market with a determination
that they can do things better. The leaders of
these businesses tend to be a much better
representative of the customer. This, coupled
with the access to extensive data available to
these brands and the social communities they
have built, means pure-play brands can physical
experiences that truly resonate with their
customers needs and expectations.

What separates Glossier from traditional
beauty brands is we are not in any way
confused about who our customer is.”
Henry Davis, Chief Operating Officer Glossier


2. Emotional Retail

It becomes much easier to engage with
customers on an emotional level via
physical retail, which enables brands to
forge deeper connections with customers.
Creating a physical manifestation of your
brand so that customers can experience
this in a sensorial way, will lead you to
building longer term relationships and
ultimately increase brand loyalty.


“We have created a store that brings Birchbox to
today’s beauty consumer in a fun, creative way
where they can treat themselves or buy gifts
for friends. The gif booth and wish tree present
creative ways to engage with the Birchbox brand
in a thoughtful sharing way.”
Howard Sullivan, Creative Director YourStudio


3. Customer Acquisition

One of the reasons pure-play
brands struggle to scale is due to
customer acquisition, which starts
to become expensive via methods
such as advertising. Acquisition is
becoming even more important
as retention numbers drop due
to customers becoming more
promiscuous with brands. Physical
retail becomes a better option to
acquire new customers, in a more
cost effective way.


“Having a physical space is
still the best way to acquire
new customers and then,
over time, migrate them to
our online stores.”
Nati Harpaz, CEO Catch Group


4. Test & Learn

One of the key trends in retail is
innovation; how brands can start to test
big ideas quickly in a way that doesn’t
require significant investment. This
allows brands to capture data & insight
to keep improving the offer. Whilst the
traditional retailers have a larger legacy,
making this harder to do, pure-play
brands by nature are more agile in their
thinking, meaning they can react quicker
to keep up with customer demands and
stay ahead of the curve.

“This in-store data informs
the design process. When
you look at data that comes
in from returns, try-ons or
purchases, there’s a whole
list of insight there. Art and
science is then put together,
and that data lets us make
those decisions,”
Cheryl Kaplan, President M.Gemi

At YourStudio; we use trends, data and customer insights to create inspiring retail
experiences and we used this process to launch online beauty brand Birchbox into
physical retail for the first time in the UK.
Please connect if you want to discuss what this insight means for your brand.