More and more digitally native vertical brands are moving from the web into traditional physical locations. This may seem strange, given that one of the most definitive characteristics of DNVBs is that they exist primarily online. Moving into physical locations, however, makes a lot of sense. Brick-and-mortar stores allow for significant long term growth, are relatively inexpensive to rent, and present a variety of new opportunities not available online.
Long Term Growth
Brick-and-mortar locations allow for a new level of long term growth. Digitally native vertical brands are realizing that they can leverage their online clientele and stand out from the crowd of other online competitors. As a trend, physical stores and pop-ups operated by DNVBs perform well. The opportunities that physical locations provide allow for significant levels of long term growth that an solely online presence just doesn’t provide.
Inexpensive Physical Locations
Physical retail locations have also become cheaper in recent years. This is because traditional retailers have been forced to adapt to the rise of online retail or have died out. As a result, millions of square feet of prime space is available across the country at record prices. Digitally native vertical brand owners have realized that moving into this space makes more financial sense than continuing to rely on expensive Facebook or Google advertisements.
Retail landlords have jumped on this opportunity. Some have created recruiting teams that are geared towards attracting digitally native vertical brands. They’ve also launched special deals for these groups such as short, flexible leases. These allow DNVBs to create pop-ups to test out a physical location. Some landlords are open to helping pay for any necessary remodeling or may opt to receive a percentage of the sales instead of monthly rent. Inexpensive prices and flexible rent have proved difficult to pass up, and more and more digitally native vertical brands are moving into brick-and-mortar locations.
Perks Not Possible Online
Brick-and-mortar stores also allow for some advantages that are impossible to capture when operating completely online. Physical locations allow for instant gratification. Even with next day shipping, customers still have to wait for a product to be delivered. Physical locations, especially those with dressing rooms, lower the amount of products that customers return and save the company on costs. Physical locations also allow clients to interact with employees in-person. Even the best online customer service doesn’t perfectly replicate talking face-to-face.
Digitally native vertical brands are proving to be adaptive, and we’re seeing many of them take advantage of moving into a traditional brick-and-mortar location.