Today, more than 191 million people regularly purchase products online. In the last several years, the world of eCommerce has exploded, and new industries have popped up left and right as a result.
As it stands now, it’s possible to purchase everything from razors to groceries online and have them delivered to your door. While this online revolution has created thriving businesses for many people, it has also threatened the livelihood of brick-and-mortar businesses, many of which now find themselves in jeopardy thanks to the convenience and low prices of the online world.
Fortunately, brick-and-mortar stores can still outshine the eCommerce industry with just a few tricks. Here’s how you can make your store stand out.
One of the trademarks of the eCommerce industry is creativity. Dollar Shave Club broke the internet with their launch video and companies like Zappos are famous for their wacky and fun company culture. Compete with all of this by getting creative with your in-store merchandising. The more memorable you can be, the more likely customers are to remember your brand.
If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, you know the website personalizes its customer experience by offering suggested content. You can do this in your brick-and-mortar store as well. Consider who your target audience is and how you can better personalize your offerings for them. For example, if you run a bike store in a city, your personalization strategy will be different from a bike store in a rural mountain town.
Zappos is one of the most dominant eCommerce companies not because their products are exemplary, but because their customer service is. Credited by Forbes with creating “the Ultimate Client Experience,” Zappos will go down in history for doing everything from making returns mindlessly simple to covering tolls for customers driving the Massachusetts Turnpike.
While you don’t have to go quite that far, outstanding customer service is crucial for any brick-and-mortar that wants to make it. For best results, make it easier for customers to engage with and access your brand, and ensure that you’re going the extra mile to fulfill your customer’s needs.
If you’re not collecting feedback from your customers, you’re missing out on opportunities to grow and change. With this in mind, poll your customers on a regular basis about what they’d like to see in your merchandise, offerings and approach. In addition to allowing you to be more competitive in your industry, this will also help your customers feel seen and heard, a tactic used regularly by eCommerce companies.
Two of the many things that have allowed Amazon to dominate the eCommerce world are speed and convenience. Members of the company’s Prime service can select from thousands of products and have them delivered to their door in two days. If they don’t like something, returns are simple and prepaid, and refunds are virtually instant.
Possibly one of the best things brick-and-mortar businesses can do is to take a hint from these companies. When you prioritize speed and convenience, you make your offerings more attractive and give your customers more enticing purchasing options.
While eCommerce has grown significantly in recent years, 94 percent of total sales still come through brick-and-mortar stores. With this in mind, companies who take pains to implement these simple strategies can compete with online retailers and keep their businesses strong.