Brick and mortar stores are far from defunct despite retail trends favouring online shopping, according to the recent ‘Future of Stores’ study from global research and advisory organisation ATKearney.

The report found consumers still spend a majority of their shopping time in physical stores (61 per cent), and there is an increased likelihood they will spend more money than they planned on in brick and mortar stores.

Approximately 40 per cent of shoppers report spending more money than planned in retail stores, compared to only 25 per cent online.

The study highlighted a number of factors that may influence loyalty to physical store locations. These include the ability to try on or test products before purchase, a desire to spend time browsing for prices and making shopping a social occasion with friends and family.

However, even with the dedicated brick and mortar consumer base, there is a need to connect with multi-channel shoppers to compete with online retailing.

With consumers using online sources to research purchases, retailers in Australia are encouraged to create a strong online presence that can help draw customers into their physical stores.

In an example of a successful multi-channel retail strategy, innovative retailer Nordstrom has embraced combining on and offline consumer experiences – a move that has earned the organisation sixteenth place on Fortune’s top 50 ‘World’s Most Admired Companies’ list.

In an online buying spree, Nordstrom bought a stake in gift e-retailer Wantful.com and opened a co-branded online store, signed men’s clothing retailer Bonobos to sell its apparel on the Nordstrom site and purchased HauteLook.com in an effort to appeal to younger, fashion-conscious consumers.

Nordstrom has also adopted a focus on shoppers who use social media to research their purchases by introducing a ‘top pinned items’ label for products that have proven popular on social networking site Pinterest.

The company is also expanding into mobile sales, with the Nordstrom app now ranked as the third highest rated retail app for Android devices.

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