Can Physical Retailers Compete with Online Stores?

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Even with the likes of Amazon and other online superstars, which have created new challenges for offline retailers, it does not necessarily mean brick and mortar stores cannot compete with these online giants. With the right sales force, marketing strategies and products in your stores, you can find that going up against these ecommerce stores is completely achievable. In this article, we will talk about four ways that retailers can compete competitively with online stores. We will focus on the advantages brick and mortar stores can achieve, as well as various sales, pricing and product strategies that can be undergone to attract customers and lead them down the sales funnel.

Speed and Convenience

It is true that most online shoppers have to wait at least a few days before their purchase arrives, or else pay a premium for overnight shipping. This can be advantageous to many offline retailers. A good suggestion is reminding customers they are walking out of the store without having to wait for shipping. When promoting speed and convenience the best people to communicate this to are those right in your neighbourhood, those who are just a few moments away from your store. It is advised to put your brick and mortar store in front of your local customers and this way you definitely will have convenience on your side. This means making your store visible online and offline, having a local presence. In addition, use traditional marketing methods to make sure people locally know about your business and updating your online presence so your potential customers can easily find your store during the research phase of the buying process.

Flexibility

Brick and mortar stores that can be flexible with payments can attract customers from online merchants. Try considering more flexible payments, such as partial payments, split payments and lay buys. This gives more options to your customers on how they pay for items that may just be the thing you need to gain a competitive edge over online stores.

Pricing Tactics

It is common practice for brick and mortar stores to match online prices. However, this can be hugely costly to your profit margins. It is important to be more creative when using a pricing and promotion strategy to convert customers who would otherwise shop online to shop at your store. Try working close with your vendors to see if there are discounts on quantity purchases, or is there a middleman or administrative costs you can eliminate from the process?

Go Online

You also need to recognise that you may need an ecommerce presence. The reality is people are shopping online and will continue to do so. Not having an online presence can be detrimental for your brick and mortar store as you could be missing out on potential sales. Creating an ecommerce site is easier than you expect as there are many cloud-based solutions that provide templates and are simple and easy yet effective to use.

More about the author:

Melanie - Unleashed Software
Melanie

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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