The world is a harsh place for brick-and-mortar retailers. Online competition is slowly but surely eroding their competitiveness and reducing their opportunities to make sales.
The fightback, however, is underway. In this post, we’re going to show you how you can play your online competitors at their own game and win. This is your roadmap for keeping your store open for the next twenty years and beyond.
Make Customer Service Your Priority
Brick-and-mortar retail businesses always paid lip service to customer service, knowing that it was important. But in today’s market setup, it’s a critical strategic advantage. Online stores can and will never provide in-person customer support.
Practicing extreme customer service involves all kinds of things such as:
- Training your staff on how to tactfully approach customers
- Making sure that your customer service reps know how to best communicate with your clientele
- Looking for ways to proactively help customers in your store
- Developing advanced sales tactics involving building rapport with customers and aligning them with your interests
- Remembering what they tell you, including their names, interests, etc. and using that in future, follow-up conversations
- Finding appropriate solutions to the customer’s problem by thinking hard about which products would benefit them most
People want excellent service, but it can be tough to find in the digital world. A brick-and-mortar store, therefore, is uniquely positioned to differentiate itself on these grounds.
Create A Stunning Retail Space
What would you prefer to do: watch a video of somebody enjoying a safari, or go on safari yourself? If you like safaris, you’ll opt for the latter – nothing can quite beat the real thing.
The same principle applies to retail. Your online competition may have portals that might do a great job of making shopping convenient, but there’s no substitute for an in-person retail experience.
The trick here is to make sure that you get that experience right. Sites like Design4Retail.com provide guidance on how retailers can create compelling spaces that engage their customers. When you create a great shopping environment, you draw customers to you naturally.
Bundle Your Products
People are very good at comparing the price of one product with another. It’s a simple apples-to-apples comparison. But – and this is cheeky – you can confuse customers by bundling goods together.
Let’s say that a customer comes into your store and tells you that they can get a mattress online for 10 percent less than your sticker price. The only way that you’re going to get their business is to give them 11 percent off.
Or is it? One way that you can get your customers’ business isn’t to go toe-to-toe with the online retailer on price but offer them a bundle with a high-margin product says allbusiness.com. Why not give them 20 percent off the price of linen to go with their mattress, for instance? Not only is the customer spending more on their purchase, but you’re preserving your margins too. What’s more, it’s harder for them to compare prices: you just added an unknown variable to the mix, and it seemed like a good deal!
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.
*This is a collaborative post