While the majority of customers still shop from brick and mortar retail locations, the industry as a whole is changing. The rapid changes in the industry are brought on by the digital technology revolution that the internet has ushered in. And it is crucial that you understand how things will change and what to do about this change.
1. The Online Push
Omnichannel retail is a new concept that has emerged in the retail space. It refers to the fact that consumers are using different channels all at once to shop for retail items. They might compare prices on their computer, get a coupon from their phone, and then walk into the store to complete their purchase. This means that you have to be ready on all of these channels.
Deal sites have risen in the last few years to make consumers more sensitive to prices than they ever have before. If you want to continue to compete, you simply have to be on these sites. Don’t just feature fake deals either, the promotions should be real savings to avoid customers feeling taken advantage of.
Every successful retailer today is learning how to master social media. The gift of social media is that it is free. You used to have to purchase a commercial or a billboard, but today all you need is a free account and you can reach everyone in your market easily and quickly. You should be building your social media presence more and more every day.
The power of the list is that you can contact your customers at any time for promotions. You don’t have to worry about a third part filtering what you can and can’t say or how often you send them communications. It is the digital version of having someone’s home address. When you gain a new customer, always ask them for their email.
Trending Toward Direct Response
Instead of building a really long campaign over months or years like retailers used to do, ecommerce has put pressure on them to get sales faster. It is now more common to take a direct response copywriting approach. This means that you are persuading the visitor on your site to buy right away. You can use limited time offers, images, and even testimonials to try to increase your conversion rate.
2. Faster Delivery
Consumers today are impatient. They want things right away. If you don’t have fast shipping options, then you should adopt them. E Commerce is making it to where you need to offer drone shipping or other methods if you want to stay competitive. This is because consumers know that they can simply get something with the few clicks of their mouse online if they really want to.
3. Smaller Stores
Brick and mortar stores are becoming more expensive to manage every day. First of all, real estate prices always go up over the long term so your rent is going to increase, meaning you have higher expenses and less profits. If you’re not careful you could end up being victim to an online-only store in your market that doesn’t have the same kinds of costs that you do. This will allow them to cut their prices so low it will be impossible to compete. One thing you can do to minimize this cost is to get a smaller storefront. It helps that you also will have less space to manage, minimizing time to clean and set up the shop in the mornings and evenings.
If you want to succeed as retailer today, you need to embrace the change that is happening at every level. Long gone are the days of being to sit idly by while people come into your store. You have to actively be a retailer who embraces all levels of technology no matter how much effort that might take.