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How Legacy Brick-and-Mortar Brands Can Grow in a Digital World

12 Apr 2022


A recent Ipsos study on the state of retail brands shows that people spend less in store and more online across all categories, including but not limited to books, entertainment, home décor and furnishing and clothing and apparel. Today, about a third of consumers primarily shop online and at the current growth rate, online sales will overtake brick-and mortar retail sales by 2024.

Further, people now shop, or would consider shopping at 6 different retail brands on average, an increase from 4.4 retail brands 5 years ago. It is therefore harder for retailers to stand out, as they compete with 1.6 more brands than they did in 2018.

People are driven by best prices, wide range of products, familiar store brands

Ipsos’ study on the state of retail was conducted across five key markets (U.S., U.K., Australia, Russia, Brazil). It reveals that shoppers choose a store primarily because it offers the best prices (67%) and has a wide range of products to choose from (55%). In line with this finding, information from Ipsos’ Brand Value Creator global database shows that price has become an increasingly important factor in people’s choice of a retailer. In contrast, familiarity ranks third in shopper’s order of priorities. This suggests that growing, refreshing and maintaining a high level of mental availability can also be key when managing retail brands.

Convenience and in-store experience

Beyond price and assortment, consumers choose where they shop based on the experience the brand delivers and the convenience of completing a quick and simple shopping mission.

Omnichannel’s winning trifecta: physical store, online platform, in-home service

Brick-and-mortar retailers are poised to offer the best of both analog and digital worlds. They must offer an extensive range of products that people can buy online and pick up in store, where they enjoy a unique shopping experience and move seamlessly between shopping channels.

Brand closeness and differentiation through extension

Ipsos Brand Value Creator shows the growing importance of Brand Closeness in consumers’ minds. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to engage with consumers through emotive messaging, and in turn align retail brands with consumer aspirations and values.

Personalization and data monetization

Delivering a personalized experience was once limited to luxury brands like Ritz-Carlton, Cartier and Dior. Today, data enables delivering a personal experience across channels. As such, brick-and-mortar stores must learn from digital-first brands.


  • As consumers consider and shop from more brands, their desire for leading retail brands is eroding.
  • These traditional retail brands can no longer rely solely on their scale and network of stores to win the heart of consumers, who increasingly turn to smaller, niche online brands.
  • Brick-and-mortar stores must learn from digital-first brands.

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