Online Retailers Prove the Power of Physical Retail

Posted - By Masterwize

Amazon made headlines when it opened a physical store in Seattle but Jeff Bezos isn’t the only online retailer moving into bricks and mortar. ‘Phygital’ or omni-channel retail is a growing trend.

The doomsday scenario of online retail that predicted the death of physical stores has not materialised. In fact, the growing consensus is that online and physical retail are complementary rather than competing strategies.

According to management consultant, A.T. Kearney:

Stores play a crucial role in online purchases, as two thirds of customers purchasing online use a physical store before or after the transaction. The store makes a significant contribution to converting the sale, even though the transaction is eventually registered online.

“Phygital” retailing, as it is known, is emerging as the optimal strategy for maximising sales so it makes sense that the pure play online retailers are moving into the physical world, just as the high street retailers are scaling their own online operations.

A physical presence provides a way for online retailers to build their brand, extend their reach, get closer to shoppers and deliver an intimate brand experience.

The in-store experience is crucial. A consumer research report by Oracle found that 69% of Australians prefer to shop in-store while a global study of retail CEOs found that bricks and mortar remains the most important channel for shoppers.

We believe that presentation and cleanliness is a critical foundation for the in-store brand experience. Our national retail company cleaning service ensures consistency of service and quality across a chain of physical retail outlets.

Aussie e-commerce brands are following the example set by Amazon and Alibaba. Many are moving into physical retail. Some are experimenting with pop-up stores (as Amazon did initially) while others are further progressed in their omni-channel investments.

In electronics, Kogan has launched pop-up stores, which will challenge the likes of Harvey Norman and Dick Smith in the high street.

Shoes of Prey, Beginning Boutique and Mon Purse have or are moving into physical retail alongside established retailers like Country Road, Portmans and Nine West.

The American optical retailer, Warby Parker, has launched physical stores in Australia and will seek to compete with OPSM and Specsavers, all be it on a more limited basis.

These early movers will be the first among many. The Commonwealth Bank found that 18% of online retailers in Australia are planning to establish a physical outlet.

This resurgence of physical retail is a positive trend for the Australian economy. E-commerce offers great convenience and physical stores support customer service and brand engagement.

The foundation for that brand experience is a clean and well-presented store, which requires the right retail company cleaning services to be in place. All efforts in phygital retailing go to waste without effective company cleaning processes. Shoppers will not return to dirty or poorly presented stores.

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