Lately, major ecommerce brands such as Allbirds, Away, Casper, Glossier, and many others have all opened notable flagship stores. Plus, Amazon has slowly cemented their physical footprint with their Bookstores, Go stores, and most recently their 4-Star stores. So as an independent online seller, should you also have a physical presence? Our recommendation: yes.
Independent Retailer is not suggesting you open a flagship store on 5th Avenue. However, there are many advantages to selling in-person in addition to your online sales. It helps to humanize your brand, allow customers to test your products before purchasing, and exposes your brand to a wider audience. Here’s how to create a physical presence as an independent online brand:
Sell at Markets
Start small by selling via a booth at local events. Many towns will start hosting fairs and farmers markets in the spring, which is a perfect opportunity to expose your brand to a lot of foot traffic and get instant feedback from potential customers. Also be on the lookout for holiday and themed events happening in your area, as well as crafts fairs and town-sponsored events. Joining your local chamber of commerce is a great way to be in-the-know on different vendor opportunities.
Host a Pop-up
After experiencing different markets and events as a vendor, take a stab at hosing your own shopping event with other retailers. This is a great opportunity to forge connections with other local businesses and expose your brand to even more consumers. Pop-ups tend to receive a lot of attention on Instagram, which is great for an ecommerce brand, as you likely already have a solid social media presence to link to.
Sell to Other Retailers
This strategy is particularly effective if you manufacture your own products, create your own products, or have some kind of private label or unique branding. But, selling your products wholesale to other local retailers is a great way to bring in additional revenue and establish a permanent physical presence without having your own store. Plus, you can spread out your products to multiple retailers.
Store Within a Store
If selling wholesale to other retailers isn’t a good fit for your brand, another way to have a physical presence is by renting out a display inside of another established retailer. Some stores will let you rent a corner, a shelf, or display, where you can sell your products inside of their store. Instead of them paying for the products, you pay them for the space, and recieve the revenue from any of your products that sell.
Even though you can sell anywhere, having a physical presence where you’re located will give you a built-in fan base and help spread brand awareness. As an independent brand, there are plenty of ways to make your physical mark and increase sales without opening an actual store.