As more companies and businesses move their operations online, there is a significant rise in online sales. Many large shops have announced plans to close their physical locations. Well-known brands like Payless ShoeSource closed 400 of their physical sites in the United States and Puerto Rico. To create a fresh and cutting-edge shopping experience for its customers, Ralph Lauren announced that it would be closing its showroom in Manhattan.
Online shopping done from the convenience of one’s home or through a smartphone has become increasingly popular. Savvy businesses add essential features on e-commerce sites to maximize revenue. To fulfill the demands of the expanding client needs, many retail heavyweights are investing extensively in e-commerce today. Many businesses are avoiding the trouble or risks of in-store buying paving the way to online sales which continue to soar. As consumers love the convenience of online shopping, brick-and-mortar businesses are experiencing the effects directly.
If physical stores are losing ground to their online rivals, it may be time to revisit their business plans so they can compete with them based on their distinct advantages. Let us discuss how brick-and-mortar stores can attract customers to the store.
Ways to Compete With E-commerce Giants
1. Let Social Media Work for You
Social media has gained a lot of significance in modern society. E-commerce development also involves optimizing social presence. Retailers can obtain insights into customer mood by examining social media reviews and can use the information to improve the in-store customer experience. Retailers can communicate with customers and respond to their input on social media, which can immensely boost brand perception and even counter unfavorable opinions. Furthermore, communicating with reviewers and resolving problems might result in lower customer dropouts. If businesses respond to this quickly, a majority of the respondents tend to remove their initial review.
Alex and Ani (jewelry retailer and producer) is a fantastic example of a company doing it effectively. You can see how involved the brand is with its customers and how well they respond to the brand’s tweets by taking a quick glance at its Twitter page.
2. Similar In-store and Online Purchase Experience
One error made by most merchants is to treat online and in-store shopping as two different activities. Real-time customer feedback and ratings at kiosks or via mobile apps are fantastic approaches to close this gap and assist customers in making knowledgeable purchases while they are in-store. Showrooming is a fact that must be acknowledged. The sooner retailers begin to take advantage of it, the more showroom visitors they can turn into paying consumers.
For instance, Best Buy embraces social evaluations in product labeling on its in-store shelves. It shows the average star rating of the item and a QR code to read further online reviews. This is a wonderful approach to help clients while they are still inside the shop.
3. Service First, Sales Will Follow
Modern customers evaluate a wide range of products before making a purchase. While this helps customers narrow down the businesses they want to purchase products from, expert guidance in-store can help them quickly to cut through the confusion. Strategies like educating floor staff to be product experts, providing them with the technology to easily access social media and online evaluations can help in increasing the sales in-store.
Waitrose Ltd. (British supermarkets) use iBeacon technology to sync a customer’s shopping list and favorite items with their app. The sales representatives utilize such crucial information for a better insight into how they should approach the customers.
4. Customized Shopping Experience
Convenience is the essence of service offered by online shops. To compete with this a brick-and-mortar company needs to provide a great customer experience where customers will go out of their way to visit their physical locations. Retailers should have systems in place to monitor consumer interactions, including email and surveys. They should then follow up to make sure customers are satisfied.
5. Additional Online Services
Offering their online services is the most suitable technique for local stores to compete. They can provide everything from online appointment scheduling or booking options to placing an online order and picking it up at the physical location. When you combine the convenience of an internet shop with the customer experience and service that a brick-and-mortar firm provides, physical stores may be just as competitive as online ones.
6. A Showroom in Your Shop
Brick-and-mortar businesses should view their physical locations as showrooms and completely use modern logistics and e-commerce to satisfy consumer demand for their goods. Allow customers to check inventory at numerous stores and warehouses, place orders, pick their products up at the current store or have them dropped or shipped, or delivered to their home and enable assisted or self-ordering at the store or showroom.
Showrooms are a fact that must be acknowledged and the sooner retailers begin to take advantage of it, the more showroom visitors they can turn into paying consumers.
7. Take Advantage of Being Native
When a customer’s local merchant can deliver an item the same day or perhaps sooner, why would they wait a day or two for it to be shipped? Brick-and-mortar stores should use the native factor as a real competitive advantage and provide the goods customers need and want more quickly than online sellers. By doing this they can surpass online merchants in terms of ease.
8. Broaden Your Client Base
With the help of platforms like Shopify and Goldbelly, instant online sales of goods across the nation are extremely easy and affordable. In today’s world, a pizza shop in New York City may sell pizza to clients in California.
9. Finance Your Warehouse
Brick-and-mortar enterprises involve physical inventory, which can consume a significant amount of funds. Your company’s cash flow can be supported by finding means to finance your inventory, whether with your supplier(s) or through a capital loan. Many suppliers and lenders have affordable rates and simple procedures since they are aware of the brick-and-mortar economics.