The growing trend of brick-and-mortar retail stores making a shift into the digital arena has got retailers wondering whether the future of retail lies online.
It cannot be denied that the world is propelling towards digitisation. In the world of retail, there are still many reasons to believe that physical retail stores are not leaving the scene just yet.
In order to maintain a competitive edge, a compelling strategy being widely employed by many physical stores is binge acquisition: the buying out of small online retail stores with poor competing potential.
Although this discounts brick-and-mortar retail stores from the market altogether, others believe in combining offline and online retail stores. Retail stores that offer the option of purchasing products online and pick-up of products offline, reap the benefit of cross-selling.
For instance, most Telco companies enable consumers to purchase their phones online and pick up the product from their physical stores. At the physical store, the customer can be encouraged by the salesperson to make complementary purchases such as a phone plan, insurance, and a phone casing for a more comprehensive purchase experience.
Most physical retailers typically assume the combination of online and offline retail stores to be the key to maintaining a thriving business against digitisation. However, it may not necessarily be the case.
In fact, here are three ways, how physical retail store owners can win, despite e-commerce.
1. Actively Drive Footfall
The number one factor that gives brick-and-mortar stores an edge over its online counterpart is footfall maximisation. Physical store retailers have the advantage of launching promotions instantly in the form of eye-catching posters and banners which immediately draw attention from customers.
Physical promotional methods are more strategic in terms of product placements in the shop, can be seen wherever one is and certainly does not require one to have an online access. The point between visual engagement and product purchase for physical stores are more immediate, therefore increasing footfall and revenue potential.
However, it is important to note that in today’s age, people spend more time looking at their phones, and chances of a passerby not noticing or overlooking your store’s physical banner is highly possible. Therefore, retail store owners also need to strategise methods to increase customer engagement beyond the boundaries of their physical shop.
Ellysage, a womenswear retail store in Singapore successfully solved this issue with much success by driving traffic to their physical shops with online ads. Read about how they did it here .
2. Direct Interaction with Customers
Compared to the self-service approach of online stores, in which customers browse for product categories, seek for product information and perform purchase transactions on their own, the traditional physical store offers the benefit of having human assistance throughout the customer’s purchasing journey.
As a customer, having a sales assistant to help you identify your needs, narrow down your preferences, and a satisfying human interaction can you give a better and more fulfilling purchase experience.
In the long run, this fosters customer loyalty and advocacy for physical retail stores.
3. First-hand experience of the product prior to distribution
Brick-and-mortar retail stores also give consumers the benefit of the doubt of acquiring a product that matches what was first seen prior to purchase.
A common dilemma faced by consumers of online retail stores is product mismatch.
They often range from incorrect product details such as size and colour to even receiving entirely different products from what was actually ordered.
Allowing customers to see, feel and try the product first hand is a huge plus for brick-and-mortar store retailers.
Although physical retail stores warrant a number of benefits that online retail stores may fall short on, it cannot be denied that retail stores online have their fair share of advantages.
Some of their major benefits include; overcoming geographical limitations, eliminating travel time and cost, enabling comparison of shops, locating products quicker, remaining open any time of the day and saving customers the hassle of waiting in long queues.
Using Online Ads to Drive Traffic Offline
A common marketing and branding move by today’s retailers is having a physical shop together with an online store.
Reaching audiences and customers offline has proven to be insufficient, and adopting digital means has shown to be a powerful strategy in driving sales uplift.
There are a couple of ways that you, as a retail business owner, can combine provide your customers with an online and offline experience. When a walk-in customer fails to make a purchase in your physical retails store, use this as an opportunity to direct them to your e-commerce or online shop.
You may encourage your offline potential customer to visit your online shop by providing them a one-time use promo code, which they can use on your e-commerce shop. These are low effort and tech solutions that we have found to be supremely effective, and allows you, the retailer, to ‘retarget’ customers who are familiar and engaged with your brand.
Whether your business is a brick-and-mortar shop or an online store, or even both, actively driving traffic and footfall is critical for achieving sales. Displaying banners, offering discounts and running promotions in your shop is useful but only when people see it.
Digital ads allow people to see it and can be targeted to people nearby your store. We understand however, that figuring out the ropes of digital marketing for your retail business may be tedious to set up.
Skale PushAds allows you to create digital vouchers for your in-store promotions and distribute it cost effectively using Facebook, Instagram, Google Search and thousands of relevant websites, within only… wait for it… 1 minute.
Retailers of any size can do so easily and the amount to spend on advertising is entirely up to the store owners, from as little as $15 a day!
Interested in finding out more? Click the button below and grow your retail business today!