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Uncovering internet giant YouTube’s move to an offline store

Written by Tony Loxton
Oct 26

Travel back in time a mere decade and the outlook for brick and mortar stores was less than bright. As ecommerce erupted, bringing with it a level of convenience and customer experience which outweighed that of physical stores, many a retailer lost sleep over the impending demise of the retail store as we knew it.

Fast forward to 2016, however, and the forecast is bright. Brands are noticing an omnichannel experience is where it’s at.

YouTube’s announcement that they’ll soon open a physical store is testament to the fact that brick and mortar stores are here to stay – but they need to be approached as one part of a dynamic, cross-channel offering.

As this article from Inside Retail Australia puts it: “Retail today is no longer one-dimensional. It must comprise of a whole ecosystem of virtual, digital and physical expressions of your brand.” Here’s the story behind why video behemoth, YouTube has decided to permeate the physical realm.

Acquired by Google back in 2006 for a mega US$1.65 billion, YouTube is now the number one video website in the world.

The second largest search engine on the planet, YouTube has evolved from a space where angst-ridden teenagers broadcast their almost every waking moment to a money making machine. “Processing more than three billion searches a month, with 100 hours of video uploaded every minute, it is transforming the way we discover information via the web”, reports Inside Retail. ‘Vlogging’ (video blogging) is now a legitimate occupation, with YouTube celebrities cashing in on sponsorships and spin-off brands.

Video is big (big) business, with platforms like Vine, Snapchat and Instagram clamouring to get a piece of the pie.

YouTube will capitalise on their success in the digital sphere by opening up a mega store, merging the online experience with tangible, in-person interactions.

Dubbed the 'Creator Store', and located within the ninth physical Google store in London (another confirmation that omnichannel is here to stay), “the store will sell t-shirts, books, mugs, photo frames, and other items that have been dreamt up by designers and branding teams working with some of the most popular creators on YouTube, as well as other paraphernalia YouTubers have made their own,” says Inside Retail. In addition, the area will boast three soundproof recording studios, editing booths, a coffee bar and 'community area'.

Omnichannel is where it’s at – if you measure the efficacy of both online and offline channels.

YouTube’s gargantuan 1 billion users are no doubt the reason behind the brand’s decision to open a retail store in order to capitalise on the millions upon millions of people who use – and love – the video sharing platform.

For the average retailer looking to make the jump between online and off, measuring all traffic (i.e: digital and physical) is crucial for all aspects of operations. While tracking your traffic in the digital realm is relatively easy – and is a practice embraced by almost everyone publishing content or doing business online, this is one piece of the puzzle.

In order to seamlessly integrate your customer’s experience, optimise operations and tweak your marketing strategies, you need to gauge the number of people visiting your brick and mortar stores, too.

Foot traffic software effectively closes the loop between online and offline touchpoints.

If you’re going to embrace an omnichannel marketing strategy, you cannot afford to forgo foot traffic software. Measuring one aspect of your operations, while ignoring the others will give you incomplete and inaccurate data.

Just because YouTube has become synonymous with video content, doesn’t mean people will flock to a brick and mortar store. If the brand really wants to makes sure that their decision to open a physical store is justified, they’ll need to measure the number of feet coming through their doors by integrating foot traffic software into their reporting tool kit.

Whether you adopt an omnichannel strategy or are strictly a brick and mortar operation, foot traffic software makes it easy to glean this crucial data. Blix Traffic is foot traffic software that gives you in-depth insight into how customers are navigating your stores. Find out more.

Learn more about Blix Traffic for retail

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