Why Brick and Mortar Will Never Disappear

October 28, 2014 | Blog | By Lightbox

Remember the last time you visited a Sephora or a Macy’s make up counter? So many product options, scents, and store employees magically appearing asking to transform you into a beauty queen. Or, for the male readers, perhaps your first visit to Kiehl’s or Art of Shaving, where you got to test different product textures, and interact with sales representatives who all promised to make your face feel like a baby’s bottom. All these experiences are created through physical contact with products in stores. Can you achieve that same experience by shopping online?

Of course everyone’s got an opinion, including the article Cosmetics Shoppers Don’t Find Digital Attractive,” recently published by eMarketer. In a nutshell, the article states that for certain categories the digital shopping approach is not what consumers desire. In fact, “57% of US internet users said they preferred purchasing cosmetics and personal grooming items, such as makeup, shaving products and facial cleansers, in-store”. Moreover, “65% of internet users had never purchased cosmetics or personal grooming products digitally.”

Ok so here’s the secret…I’m biased. I work for Adspace, a company that provides digital video advertising  in malls. I know, I know, virtual malls and technology might make you think actual stores are becoming obsolete, but trust me, they aren’t!

When you want to buy a new lipstick, can you right click the mouse to try it on? Don’t think so. When the new D&G perfume comes out, can you smell it through your phone or iPad screen? Didn’t think so either.

Of course this doesn’t mean I don’t shop online. I’m a millennial, tech savvy girl after all. On Cyber Monday I am in my PJ’s, with my laptop in hand browsing electronics stores. After all, you don’t need to smell a new camera. Yet…hey, you never know what they’ll come out with next!

Another consideration is shipping. While it has become nearly overnight (hello Amazon prime), it is still ways behind having the product in your hand the minute you swipe your card at a store. Raise your hand if, when you run out of deodorant, you can wait a few days or even a day to order a new one online. Although for the sake of others… you should probably keep it down.

Also, trying and personalizing new looks and discovering new products is just easier when done in a store, rather than researching online. All I need is 10 minutes to go to Sephora to talk to one of their product experts, and after my visit, I come out feeling like an expert myself, with my brand new painted face and a bag of 10 products I never knew I needed to look, and I quote ‘vibrant, fresh, and 5 years younger!’

So what does all of this mean for advertisers? Well, it’s certainly good news for out-of-home advertisers. We are more receptive and open to suggestions when we are in full shopping mode with a credit card in hand.

This cream will instantly eliminate the dark circles under my eyes? Of course I will try it! After all shopping is often about feeling better. And what’s better than instant gratification?

Sometimes, even if I buy exactly what I came in for, I will often go home and do research on the new products that caught my attention in the store. It’s easier to research one or two specific items, rather than going online blindfolded and getting caught up reading reviews and looking for deals endlessly. In the end, if what I find online about this product looks good, I just might get it. But one way or another, I am interacting with this product in the store.

This is where Adspace makes an impact. Since we offer advertising in malls, where there are already physical stores selling almost any cosmetic or personal grooming product, we, as an advertising platform, can provide consumers with inspiration (image), on our beautiful digital HD screens, deliver store deals, and drive traffic to the store, where ultimately the instant gratification and sale occurs. Right before consumers step foot through the door, Adspace can impact product awareness, consideration, trial, and, purchase – every step of the shopping process.

So if you’re a cosmetics or personal grooming brand, and want to get noticed, let Adspace do all the dirty work for you! You just sit back, stop by a mall and watch our ads work their magic.