In-Depth: How Retail Stores Still Have A Fighting Chance Against Online Sellers
The online retailer has been dominating the scene for the last decade. There has been much talk about the death of the high street. But, is this strictly true? Now, retailers are in with a fighting chance when it comes to making a bricks and mortar store work. When it comes to online retailers, the ease of shopping has been greatly enhanced. No queues, quick delivery times and the ability to find products and services with a click of a button have made for an easier consumer process. Little wonder online retailers have seen unprecedented success.
Now, however, there has been some fighting back. The online world will still see a lot of success. But, retail stores are seeing a resurgence in popularity once again. Perhaps the online world is too fickle for the customer? Or, there is now a greater scope of choice on the high street?
There are a broad range of factors that are changing the shape of consumer behaviour. Savvy retailers know the tricks of the trade. They are getting to grips with consumer buying habits. But, they are also implementing technology.
Technology is cited as one of the main reasons as to why retail stores are thriving in the digital age.
The Rise of Technology in Bricks and Mortar Retail Stores
While the retail industry is competitive to say the least. Now, retailers have found a savvy way to fight back. They are implementing more detailed technology and EPOS systems within their stores.
This has been done for a number of reasons. It helps with the customer’s transaction. It can provide more in-depth knowledge of the stores itinerary and inventory. It can increase and improve on customer lead times. But, it can also ensure that they customer has a high level of customer service. For many consumers, they want to make sure that they are on the receiving end of high customer service. With the online world, this cannot be sought. With traditional stores, customer service is more pronounced. It seems this is what consumers want.
Technology has enabled retail stores to assess and manage their goods. By doing this, they can ensure that the customer gets a detailed view of their order and their products. They can ensure that they are meeting, and exceeding, customer expectations. The online world cannot do this in such a dynamic way. But, aside from this, technology has allowed retailers to track and monitor their sales and pricing strategy. With this, they can give the consumer a cheaper product while still making a lofty ROI. Technology has allowed the retailer to devise a more comprehensive pricing strategy that has the customer in mind. This means that now, more than ever, retail stores can beat and price match the online sellers.
The Sudden Trend of Showrooming
One of the reasons that the bricks and mortar store fell into decline was the advent of showrooming. This is where customers found goods in store, took to the online world to find it at a more reasonable price. However, the tide has turned. In some instances, the consumer is now looking online for goods, but seeking out their purchases within a physical store. This is known as ‘reverse showrooming’. As retailers have become more aware of consumer habits, they have strived to drive down their prices. They have taken to price beating the online retailer. With this, there has become a need for consumers to head to the store to buy their goods. As retailers become more aware of customer buying habits, they can arrange their sales tactics in a more robust way. Retailers, who are keen to bust the trend of showrooming, have now devised simple sales strategies to ensure that consumers buy directly from them.
In-store promotions, loyalty schemes and free goods with purchases are now seeing customers flocking through their doors. It seems as though the retailer is fighting back and now, with incentives, they are seeing a boost in sales. Technology has helped them achieve this in a more comprehensive way.
Fighting the Online Giants: Here is Looking at You Amazon
Amazon is one of the global retail giants. Its success has been unrivalled. But, now, retail store owners have devised complex strategies in order to fight back.
Retailers can offer a range of in-store incentives that online retailers cannot. Retailers are now selling unique customised products that aids with business growth. The online retail market is now something of a homogenised mass of the same products. But, traditional retailers are now devising ways to become different. This means selling unique goods at competitive prices.
What is more, some retailers are now offering services that you simply cannot buy online. Hairdressers, salons and pet grooming services are physical services that cannot be found on Amazon. Now, there is a trend being bucked. People want to offer a human service. Retailers are becoming savvier and are finding niches within the market. This ensures that the traditional retail store can not only survive, but thrive, in the online world.
But, of course, retailers are now setting up their own websites to ensure that they have both an online and physical presence. Now, the two entities are being used in tandem to ensure further success. While the retail store on the high street may not make the millions of dollars per year that Amazon does. They can ensure that they have a fighting chance by being accessible in the online world. After all a kick ass website can ensure profitability and prominence in a cut-throat marketplace.
Apps have been an enormous factor in smaller, independent bricks and mortar stores tackling the online giants. Now, apps can be made by mere mortals. What was once the prerequisite of tech nerds is now an easy way to attract more customers.
The retailer can survive the onset of the digital age. But, instead of running scared from online sellers, they must combine their traditional methods with the digital age. Only then will they have a fighting chance.