This insight, pulled from PSFK's Future of Retail 2019 report, breaks down the value of brick-and-mortar retail for brands across categories

Despite the rise of e-commerce and struggles of traditional retail, the physical store remains important. However, retailers that are successfully leveraging a brick-and-mortar strategy are viewing the stores not solely as a channel to move product, but also as a way to strengthen shoppers’ relationships with their brand and its products, one of the strategies outlined in PSFK's Future of Retail 2019 report.

From providing an experimental testing ground for brand-building strategies to enabling retailers to collect customer data and feedback to further improve their offerings, here are the five most important functions that physical spaces can serve in retail's transforming landscape:

1. Marketing Channel:
The physical store can offer a unique, immersive experience that embodies the brand’s ethos.

2. Customer Acquisition Channel:
The physical store can raise brand awareness and bring new customers into the fold.

3. Testing Ground For New Innovations:
Brands trial new products and initiatives and receive real-time feedback and input from in-store shoppers.

4. Data Collection Hub:
In-store technology, such as wi beacons, can allow retailers to collect and analyze data, such as foot track patterns, in order to renew and improve offerings.

5. Improved logistics:
Serving as a micro-fulfillment center or returns center for online orders, the physical store can allow brands to meet consumer expectations for speed and convenience

These are just a few ways that brands large and small are driving sales by pioneering creative and innovative uses for physical retail outposts. For all the details, see PSFK's report, the Future of Retail 2019.