The age of the internet seems to have brought on a premonition of sorts for brick-and-mortar store owners everywhere. While major chains such as Giant, Toys R Us and Gap seem to be closing stores all over the country, others seem to be thriving with new retail outlets.
While the truth of the matter is that brick-and-mortar stores are becoming less relevant, that does not spell ‘finale’ for everyone. With competent strategies, it is possible to survive the ‘retail apocalypse’.
1. Create Engaging Experiences [restrict]
Think of your store as another human being. People won’t stay interested for long with a bland personality that offers no opinions. Engaging customers the right way means capturing your store’s personality during interactions. This sort of social mobility is exclusive to brick-and-mortar stores.
Engagement is a two-way street. Where most online stores struggle to provide a personalized experience, brick-and-mortar stores thrive.
However, the truly crafty entrepreneurs are always a step ahead here. Christy Ng’s 3D Shoe Design Engine is an exemplary representation of how combining online and physical retail tactics can really help your stores stay relevant today.
Through her efforts, Christy highlights how every brick-and-mortar store she opens tends to bolster her e-commerce sales.
2. Create An Online Presence
Face it, it is impossible for a brick-and-mortar store to stay relevant without a website of sorts. An online presence helps consolidate and drive traffic towards your retail outlets.
While design is a subjective element that is crafted based on a brand’s image, there are 3 key things that you absolutely, without a doubt, MUST have on your web-page:
- Product Imagery
- Store Locations
- Contact Information
While these may seem intuitive, it is quite common for websites to have a contact section that does not work as intended. Make sure to run regular tests to ensure that you are not missing out on any potential-customer requests.
Your brick-and-mortar store should be used to promote your online presence as well. Running contests and promotions across online and offline retail channels will help consolidate your customer base. Discounts, perks and incentives are some of the more common methods included, but don’t be afraid to try something new every once in awhile. Better rewards lead to better customer engagement!
3. Utilize Customer Data
Remaining relevant means understanding not just your customer base, but customer bases in general. Knowing how to accurately segment audiences and what appeals to each segment is an incredibly useful tool in helping your brick-and-mortar stores stay relevant.
These insights make personalisation possible on both offline and online channels. Having substantial customer data also helps to predict and prevent future problems that may arise.
Furthermore, analytics are incredibly important but are not always accurate. Be sure to utilize reliable methods of data collection and analysis. There is a learning curve to deal with, but the results are tangible. Remember what we said about creating engaging experiences? To create such experiences, it is necessary to understand what experiences customers tend to engage with. Knowing who is interacting with which business is the foundation that helps brands stay relevant.
While it will prove a challenge to keep your brick-and-mortar store relevant, don’t give up! Adapting to the current market needs is key in staying afloat through this dark period.
Keeping your store relevant is one aspect. But if you’re considering expanding your brick-and-mortar outlets you should definitely consider certain factors before doing so. Read on here.