For years, brick-and-mortar retailers have watched as the term “brick-and-mortar” has begun to conjure images of a crumbling, antiquated building, unable to compete with the digital empire of online sales. So how can a brick and mortar store retain their relevance in 2017? Stores today must create a better than average in-store experience, go beyond commodities, and emphasize speed and convenience.
In Store Convenience
The obvious differentiator between brick and mortar stores and online retailers is the physical store that influences shoppers. The 84.51 Degrees blog explains that investment in an engaging, educational and fun in-store experience is something that cannot be duplicated digitally. An engaging, positive store environment encourages involvement throughout the entire store. This leads to better profits. Many stores across the country create great in-store experiences that are foundational to their success. When communicating with shoppers, emphasize the fact that they can walk out of your store with their items instead of having to wait or pay for shipping.
Go Beyond Commodities
Going hand in hand with a great in-store experience, brick and mortar retailers need to stock up on the merchandise that customers won’t be able to find anywhere else. Any product that can be traced to a SKU number is mass produced, mass marketed, and mass discounted. Local retailers in brick and mortar stores should focus on stocking more locally produced items or uniquely distributed ones, so they aren’t competing on price directly. One thing a retailer can do could do is create their own, unique merchandise.
Emphasize Speed and Convenience
Inevitably, online shoppers will have to wait at least 24 hours for their goods to arrive. Brick and mortar retailers, however, can provide instant gratification to their customers. It is imperative that these stores highlight that fact. When communicating with shoppers, emphasize the fact that they can walk out of your store with their items instead of having to wait or pay for shipping.
Brick and mortar stores are essential to communities. While e-commerce is certainly advancing rapidly, brick and mortar stores are not a thing of the past. In order to maintain their relevance though, these stores must create a one of a kind experience, offer unique items and emphasize their speed and convenience to shoppers.