On a year by year basis, we hear about the growth of online sales and the demise of the high street store. Figures are bandied around the media discussing bricks and mortar failure rates, although a trip down any high street is evidence of the escalating struggles faced by high street retailers. If you run your own bricks and mortar store, there is reason to be worried. But the last thing you should do is give in. To ensure your store’s chances of survivability, you should do what you can to stand up against the online competition. Here are some suggestions.
Give people a reason to visit your store
People will still come to your store if you give them a reason to do so. For this reason, you should do what you can to encourage their custom.
Firstly, consider giving your store a makeover. Not only will this give you the opportunity to increase your store’s functionality, but you will make it more aesthetically pleasing as well. With the services of trusted retail designers, update the colour design, create more space for customers to get around, and open up certain areas for new features. You could open up a product demonstration area, for example, an eating area, or a place for customers to rest their weary feet.
Then do something your online competitors are not. You could invite your customers to product launches and other special events held within your store. You could arrange same-day pickup options, as this would beat the next-day delivery option provided by some online retailers. And you could offer better deals, with discounts on certain product ranges and special offers for regular customers. If you can beat the prices of your online rivals, without hurting your bottom line, you should bring in more customers.
Have an online presence
Your store might be offline but that doesn’t mean you should forego an online presence. For one thing, you could sell some of your store products online, be that through Amazon, Facebook, or your own business website. At the very least, you would have a backup option if your bricks and mortar store did have to close down. But in actuality, your offline store might have a better chance of staying open, as you would start to increase your profit margins if you gave your customers another way to buy your products. And if your products were better and more fairly priced than those of your online competitors, you might even beat them.
Of course, being online is not solely about selling your products. Marketing is key too, and as your demographic will probably be online most of the time, you should do what you can to make sure they hear about your products and your offline store. Set up a Facebook group, keep in touch with existing customers via email, improve the SEO of your website so you rank higher on Google, and consider some of these other digital marketing trends.
If people aren’t shopping in your local town, they won’t get to know about your business. But by being online, you will have the opportunity to alert them to your store’s presence. Through your eCommerce pages and your marketing, alert them to what your offline store is doing. Give them a reason to visit, using some of the ideas we listed previously, as you might increase footfall to your store.
Times are certainly hard for offline retailers but it’s not the end of the road yet. You can stand up against the online competition by following the things we suggested. By being proactive instead of accepting defeat, you will have a better chance of combatting the evolving eCommerce trend