For more revenue, digital companies bet on physical stores

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After the strong growth of online commerce during the pandemic, digital native companies are taking the opposite route and opening physical stores. With this, they hope to accelerate the capture of new customers and expand brand awareness. The movement includes names such as Wine, specialized in wines, Mobly, in furniture, and the online thrift store TROC, among others.

“The physical retail provides important complements. In addition to attracting new customers at a low cost, it brings relationship, customer engagement and also works as a distribution point for online sales”, explains Alberto Serrentino, partner at Varese Retail consulting, noting that this same path has been followed before , in the US, by the online giant Amazon.

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In the case of Wine, the first store was opened in Belo Horizonte (MG) shortly before the start of the social isolation measures, at the end of 2019. Like the rest of retail, the store had to go down soon after, but was looking in geolocation a way to find customers close to the physical point for online sales service – and the point ended up becoming a product distribution center for the region.

When commerce in general returned to work, deliveries made from the store continued to be strategic, but another point proved to be a differential: with the growth of wine consumption in the country, the physical point became an important weapon for attracting new customers. customers, points out German Garfinkel, Director of Wine.

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“The idea is for us to cut the distance between our partners and clients”, says the executive. Due to the model adopted by the company, members or subscribers of the Clube Wine platform periodically receive the labels selected by the house.

After the store in Belo Horizonte, Wine opened another seven stores in 2020 and another eight this year. In 2022, the idea is to open one or two stores a month, says Garfinkel. But the points of sale will be used more than just selling: after the covid-19 pandemic, the idea is to develop a routine of events and tastings, expanding interaction with customers.

Furniture and fashion

In Mobly furniture e-commerce, the physical store gave a push so that the brand was recognized by customers. This was the idea that guided the opening, in 2019, of the first megastore, with 3 thousand square meters, in Marginal Tietê.

The thesis proved correct and, now, there are 15 stores. After the capitalization coming from the recent initial public offering (IPO), the company plans to double the number of service points by the end of 2022, comments the founder and president of Mobly, Victor Noda.

“The physical store is not only an important sales channel, but it is very profitable”, says the executive, who works in a sector in which sales are predominantly in the physical world: around 90%.

In the case of Mobly, the idea was not to leave out the characteristics of e-commerce. The executive says that, today, 40% of what is sold at the physical point is not in the store. “The store ends up being an extension of the digital.”

The online thrift store TROC, recently acquired by the Arezzo Group, is another one that has launched itself into the physical world. In addition to the two stores in operation, the company has mapped three locations for the next units. “We want to demystify the view that many people still have in relation to circular fashion”, says the president of TROC, Luanna Toniolo.

Baby products startup Grão de Gente will make its debut with a 500 square meter unit in Santos – the hometown of the company’s founder, Gustavo Ferro, who is also already preparing his arrival in São Paulo. Last year, Grão de Gente had revenues of R$ 250 million, an increase of 25% compared to the previous year.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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