At the beginning of February, a group of senior executives from different retail companies met for a round table discussion for the second time at Capacent’s Stockholm office. Again, the purpose was to discuss strategic opportunities and challenges in the new retail landscape but with focus on the role of the physical store. The theoretical starting point was The Kahn Retailing Matrix from the book The Shopping Revolution by Barbara E. Kahn.
In recent years, the role of the online store has grown and created changing customer behaviors. This raises the question “How should retail companies act when looking at their physical stores?”. Sara Rosengren, professor at Handelshögskolan in Stockholm with focus on Retail, has in research identified important roles for the physical store due to changing purchasing behaviors.
For example, the physical store is better at attracting/activating customers, building awareness and creating experiences. Customers are also more likely to try new products in physical stores than online. On the other hand, the online store is better at keeping existing customers and building repurchases.