The recent success of Pok\u00e9mon GO offers food for thought for online-offline integration \u2014 not so much in the world of video games, but in retail.\nOffering multiple payment options and distribution channels is a key strategy for retail businesses to grow their bottom line. And, for some online retailers, that means expanding into brick-and-mortar retail.\nFor example, Warby Parker, an eyeglasses company, started in ecommerce and has expanded into retail stores. Indochino, a custom men\u2019s clothing company, has opened showrooms in several cities, and CEO Drew Green said that the stores \u201ccan improve online sales in a city by as much 700 percent,\u201d according to TechCrunch. Even Amazon, in an ironic twist has opened brick-and-mortar bookstores.\nBut permanent retail outlets are only one option. Here\u2019s how some smaller online retailers are finding new ways to connect with customers.\nGoing face-to-face\nFor small retailers, in-person selling can build intimacy between the vendor and customer, something that\u2019s lost with one-click checkout and third-party fulfillment.\nJosie Lee, owner of RIRE Boutique, a clothing boutique in Sacramento, Calif., that sells products both online and through retail locations, sells at live events to help her plan the best locations for retail shops. \u201cSelling at live events helped me to understand where my customers live and what products they like,\u201d Lee says.\nSelling in person makes a big impact for merchants selling consumable products. \u201cBeing in the food industry as a tea retailer, the ability for a potential customer to sample the product in person will almost always translate into a sale,\u201d says Renata Lewis, co-owner of T By Daniel, a tea retailer in Brampton, Ontario. The company\u2019s in-person sales strategy includes selling at niche events like the Toronto Tea Festival as well as events with broader interest.\nEvent-based selling offers special benefits in terms of customer research especially for companies at an early stage. \u201cEarly on, it was interesting to see which events and locations attracted the most customers. That informed my decision to plan retail locations,\u201d says Lee.\nOperational challenges\nIn-person selling offers clear benefits for online retailers who are building their brand or expanding their footprint, but it also introduces operational challenges they may be unaccustomed to navigating. While online orders may be automatically moved through a workflow from order to fulfillment, in-person sales have manual steps. Payments, tracking inventory and collecting customer information for fulfillment are some of the operational points to manage.\nSome small retailers I spoke with use Square for collecting payments. They found the setup process easy and the Square App Marketplace provides integrations to other business applications including Quickbooks (financial management), IFTTT (a free, web-based automation service), and Stitch Labs (an inventory management service).\n\u201cThe only issue that we have faced with Square is that we are unable to accept debit transactions which can be detrimental, especially at smaller events,\u201d says Lewis. From an operational standpoint, the product has performed well. \u201cSquare has proven to be reasonable in terms of pricing for us, they have always provided us with reliable service, and they are easy to use.\u201d\nManaging inventory with an ecommerce platform and Square takes some work. \u201cI take about 1-2 hours per month to add new inventory into my ecommerce platform and Square. I start by adding new items in Bigcommerce, then export data into Square,\u201d explains Lee. After the initial setup, synchronization is automatic: \u201cLet\u2019s say you restock Widget A with 10 more units, you can update that on Bigcommerce and that will automatically update on Square's end,\u201d Lee added. Other companies use a manual process. \u201cWe manually track inventory based on sales data in Shopify, our ecommerce platform, and sales made through Square,\u201d commented Lewis.\nThe pop-up option\nAt first glance, the idea of an online firm investing in a retail space seems antithetical to the flexibility prized in internet business circles. But pop-up retail \u2014 short-term selling in a physical space, often around holidays or special events \u2014 makes it easy to get started and can offer the best of both worlds. Melissa Gonzalez, author of \u201cThe Pop Up Paradigm: How Brands Build Human Connections in a Digital Age,\u201d has worked with ecommerce firms such as Ministry of Supply to experiment with pop-up retail.\nCan your business get a boost from a pop-up? Companies that sell clothing and consumable goods have been early adopters. \u201cWe have had clients that have seen their cart size grow two times when their online customer walks into a space where they can touch and feel the brand,\u201d Gonzalez told Fortune, bringing to mind how Indochino\u2019s physical showrooms boost online sales.