Each year we hear more and more about the boost in online sales, and discussions about the death of brick-and-mortar stores continue to develop with it. In this digital age, that opinion doesn’t seem misdirected, but are the pessimists actually right?
Even though there is some weight to their arguments, the brick-and-mortar stores aren’t going anywhere if they are able to adjust. For brick-and-mortar businesses to keep their foothold, there are adjustments they can make to stay strong in their market and defeat their online-only competition. Here are four of them.
1. Focus Their Website on Local Traffic
When you search for almost anything on Google, you’ll find hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of results. So how is a small business owner supposed to stay optimistic about ever getting to page #1?
The secret of Internet success is that you don’t need to defeat the global market to enjoy results. In many cases, physical stores can benefit by focusing on their local areas.
Almost 75 percent of users who conduct a local search ultimately visit a store within 5 miles. The business phone number, address, and hours of operation are the primary information these users want, so those details must be displayed prominently.
2. Added Benefits Your Brick And Mortar Store Can Offer
Same-day pickup: Shopping online involves at least one day’s delay for shipping, but typically more. Brick and mortar stores can finish the sales cycle quicker.
Hands-on experience: Trying on, touching, tasting, seeing and smelling are details that a screen can’t capture. Train your staff to give customers the physical experience that helps them make a decision to buy.
Easy returns: Many customers feel more confident if they know they can get a refund or exchange handled quickly, instead of having to ship a package back to an online seller.
3. Create a Memorable Experience
Shopping while on the sofa in pajamas is difficult to outdo when it comes to convenience. But prosperous brick and mortar stores realize that this scenario also brings with it a critical weakness, which is customer service. Customers visit your store in search of a particular shopping experience, and retailers who provide it will undoubtedly create a loyal customer base.
4. Integrate Online and Offline Experiences
Brick and mortar retailers can reconstruct the pleasing atmosphere of their store online. In addition to your website, your social media presence is your most robust online tool. Millennials are especially eager to connect to favorite brands on social media and use it to conduct their research prior to making a purchase.
If you don’t have a dedicated social media manager, you may benefit from choosing a couple of platforms that are most popular with your customer base. Post a combination of promotions and helpful information, and answer customer questions right away to win a loyal following.
So, while we enjoy innovation, we can’t forget the influence and importance of human engagement. Is your brand nurturing lasting relationships or offering forgettable transactions? Contact Reality Based Group today to find out how our comprehensive mystery shopping programs can help you answer that question.
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