The Retail Game: 3 Ways Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Can Beat E-Commerce

Retail clothing shop with customers

There’s no doubt about it, technology has changed the retail game. A lot more customers are into shopping with just a few clicks and taps. At the same time, a lot more starting entrepreneurs are harnessing the value of online tools. The brick-and-mortar retailers then bear the challenge of retaining and enticing customers, as well as competing with more relevant industry players. It’s an overwhelming task—one that compelled some retailers to shut down their physical shops. If there’s any encouragement here, it is this: Your business doesn’t have to go down that path. Here are effective strategies you can harness to beat e-commerce giants, which can agree to:

1. Build rapport with customers

You probably heard this a million times, but this principle is more important in the aspect of competing with online stores precisely because this is where your advantage over them lies: You can interact face-to-face with customers. You can ask them straight out what they need. They can get an answer that’s not generated by a bot, but rather a response fitting for their needs. Train your employees in communicating better and dealing with different types of customers. They should be able to know how to strike a good conversation with buyers and handle queries in a graceful manner. They must be specially trained in responding to buyers who have complaints. The bottom line is that your employees must be skilful in communication so that they can connect with your customers.

2. Give them a unique experience

Woman in heels shopping for clothesMost people prefer shopping online because they enjoy a hassle-free experience—easy search of the product they need, all options laid out, and less stressful checkout. In brick-and-mortar stores, you can easily replicate this with appropriate, readable labels on racks and wall channel systems and the use of multiple point-of-sale systems, avoiding long lines and long waiting times. However, you can go beyond the hassle-free experience. You have the edge of creating a real brand experience compared to online stores. How? Well, take a cue from what some furniture stores do. They have an in-house cafe that offers customers free coffee as they shop. The aroma of the beverage filling the shop gives a more homey feel, letting customers better envision what it’s like to have such a dining table or sofa in their very own homes. It increases the possibility of impulse buying and makes people stay longer in the shop, which then again boosts chances of a purchase. The principle is to give buyers an opportunity to experience your brand.

3. Offer competitive prices and better promos

A lot of shoppers think that they get better deals online, so they tend to gravitate toward e-commerce websites. To keep customers, some brick-and-mortar retailers match their prices with their online counterparts. It’s a good strategy, but it can also affect your profits significantly. That’s why more than price matching, you need to be innovative in making and marketing promos. The deals you’ll offer shouldn’t just make buyers feel that they’re getting more value for their money but also compel them to actually visit your store.

Brick-and-mortar stores face the difficult task of beating the rise of online shops. Take note of these strategies to get your customers back.

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