Brick and mortar stores are facing the toughest competition ever in online retailers. In an age where information is power and access is everything, the far-reaching digital empire of online sales is presenting new challenges. So many people shop online every day, it’s virtually impossible to survive as a store without a user-friendly website. Even then, you’re competing with larger e-commerce companies for views and purchases. When it comes to physical stores, attracting droves of paying customers is even more difficult. Luckily, there are strategies designed to help preserve brick and mortar stores. These techniques give them the ability to rise alongside online stores as a second, equally viable option. In the face of retail apocalypse, it’s time for store managers to get busy implementing new digital marketing techniques to make the physical store efficient and exciting once again.
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
There’s something called localized search engine optimization you need to wrap your head around if you work in retail in the 21st-century. This will boost your search engine ranking when mobile users look up information while they’re near your store. Featuring the location of your store is crucial to getting more people in the door to shop. If someone nearby needs an item you carry, make it easy for them to find you and entice them to choose you. It will cost a bit, but this also means making sure your website looks good and is easy to use. Don’t let things stay out of date or out of time. Think of the internet as a first handshake. If you’re firm, confident, and well-presented, people will take notice.
HIGHLIGHT THE BENEFITS OF IN-STORE SHOPPING
Virtual technology is coming close to transforming online shopping into an interactive experience, but it hasn’t matched reality yet. If you want to get a real feel for the size and shape of a physical object, it’s always best to play with it in person. Customers who enjoy trying things out will come and browse at the physical store just for peace of mind. Another fun way to encourage people to shop in person is to tap into modern culture’s “I want what I want when I want it” mentality. Often seen as a product of technology, you can use instant gratification to your advantage if you’re a store manager. Remind shoppers that at physical stores they can have whatever they shop for immediately rather than waiting three to five business days.
MAXIMIZE THAT DATA COLLECTION
Digital marketing techniques focus a lot on data collection, partly because the technology is so good at it. If you omnichannel and combine both in-store and online data you’ll have good information about your regular consumers. Use this data to create incentives for purchasing more items at physical locations. Email campaigns advertising store-only sales will get people out their doors and into stores. Frequent visitor awards also motivate people to take the extra time to visit a store rather than just purchasing online. Knowing who, how, and when to reach your customers can make the difference between a successful business and a dying shop. It’s time to get bold with your digital marketing techniques. Online retail is a valuable tool to furthering your business, but balancing technology with physical reality is important too.
If you feel threatened by the growing retail apocalypse, study digital marketing techniques. You’ll find that as internet-driven as these strategies are, they can be used to help both e-commerce and brick and mortar retail. It’s time for digital and physical to regain their omnichannel balance and move forward as a team.
— Nathan Young