E-commerce has taken over the world of retail. That is true. Malls are closing and brick-and-mortar shops have altogether stopped working. It is more convenient to open your phone and go to a brand’s online store to shop. Instead of having toshower, change, and drive to the mall, why not just “add to cart” and wait for the items to arrive at your doorstep? No hassle, right?
Although there is no doubt that e-commerce is the more convenient way to shop, there is also a case to be made for traditional physical stores. Why would e-commerce giant Amazon open a brick-and-mortar store if physical shops are really dead? The old-fashioned in-store experience is still important for customers. They want to physically check out the items, fit them, and see if they’re worth the money. There are other important reasons, too, such as customers hate paying shipping fees, they hate waiting for the items, and they think the product return process is tedious.
But the pandemic hasn’t made the argument easier. E-commerce was the most viable and practical choice during the height of the virus outbreak. Now that things are looking up, how can retailers convince customers it is time to visit the brick-and-mortar stores again?
An Instagrammable store will use design elements and lighting that will make the customers look gorgeous. If you notice, a café being Instagrammable is a big thing among influencers. They wouldn’t put on your feeds anything that does not meet the requirements of being Instagram-worthy. This means nature, Millennial pink, well-plated dishes, OOTDs (outfit of the days), seascapes, landscapes, and cityscapes. If your store does not have this certain elan, then forget about it. Customers won’t just pop in and browse your products.
This is why awesome business signs are absolutely essential. They don’t only reiterate your brand for everyone to see, but good ones also contribute to the overall ambiance of the place. Even the signage on your window display can pass for an Instagram backdrop.
The buy online, pick up in-store option is a great way to “invite” customers to see your store. They don’t like paying for the shipping but that doesn’t mean they don’t love the convenience that e-commerce offers. So, let them buy the items online and then have the option of picking them up on the same day or the next day from the physical store. Of course, this will only work if you have branches all over the country. Otherwise, it will only work for specific areas where you have a physical store.
Match Online Prices
Another reason why customers love to buy online is because of the prices. E-commerce stores are able to pull down the prices because they do not have overhead costs. One of the ways that physical stores can start attracting customers back into the fold is to match the prices they see online. But if it will cut too deeply into your profits, consider providing incentives. So, even though they will spend more on your products, they will get something extra.
Use your storefront to advertise deals in your store. With this, you are not only targeting specific people and demographics, but you are also trying to attract people who simply walk by your store. They’ll look at the windows, see the deals available in-store, and check out what products are available there now. This is a great way to entice them and push them to make decisions on the spot.
That being said, you should have special deals for in-store purchases only. Online, there are already various coupons and discounts that most customers can avail of. But when it comes to in-store purchases, the deals are far and in-between. This is the beauty in an e-commerce store; something that you can apply in your physical store, too. You can attract customers with deals not available online. Although they might not feel comfortable going to physical stores yet, their love for freebies, discounts, and coupons will have them knocking on your door.
Get into partnerships with other local brands. If your business has a weak pull on customers, try to figure out which local brands your target customers support. Partner with them through collaborative items and memorabilia, or sponsor events together. Get your name out there, so customers will be familiar with your brand. Sometimes, the problem is not that they don’t want to visit brick-and-mortar stores, but it’s that they don’t know enough about the brand.
These days, it is such a challenge to get people inside your store. You’re not only competing with e-commerce, but you’re also competing with thoughts of viruses, outbreaks, and deaths. The most important thing is to know what your customers want and to give those to them on a silver platter.
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