Does internet retail really signal the death of brick and mortar stores? If you’re thinking of starting a brick-and-mortar business in 2019, the timing is in your favour. To the surprise of many industry analysts, the past twelve months have brought ramped up forecasts for brick and mortar sales. Including an anticipated rise in sales of 3.04% for 2019.
To be a successful retail business today you’ve got to be authentically engaging with customers. In other words, you need a solid online presence.
This goes hand-in-hand with offering the benefits of a strategically located physical establishment. This flies in the face of assumptions that diminished store traffic meant brick-and-mortar establishments were facing an uncertain future.
We have clear evidence that when businesses correctly manage current consumer expectations, they can stay ahead of the curve and achieve success.
Consumers want more
For the consumer, little can compete with the convenience of armchair ordering—especially when the seller offers free, fast delivery. Yet despite the ease of online shopping, many are now returning to traditional brick-and-mortar retail.
Why? Because it’s the only place where they can see, touch, and experience an actual product. As well as get assistance from a knowledgeable salesperson, particularly when purchasing pricier items.
Planning a new brick-and-mortar establishment
Today’s retail success stories consistently demonstrate a merging of virtual and real-world shopping.
With recent industry emphasis having so strongly favored the all-online experience, it’s time to remind ourselves of how to create the right physical retail space as part of the mix. Here we offer several tips to help owners and managers take advantage of the trend back to in-person purchases.
1. Integrate the experiences you offer
Consumers appreciate assistance from friendly, knowledgeable personnel. They often purchase more if offered help. While a digital focus can drive sales, there is still no substitute for human interaction. With added digital tools, discounts, and offers, you will be better able to meet the expectations of the modern consumer.
Strategies for discouraging showrooming
Showrooming is the practice of examining merchandise in-store. This includes checking a smartphone or other device to see if it can be purchased online at a lower price. Being aware of this practice and managing it correctly can help you make the sale in-store. To encourage a purchase, promote offerings both online and in-store:
• Price-match guarantees – this immediately tells the consumer that they can’t get it for less anywhere else. They might still check the prices for the lowest, but there’s no point in waiting or getting it elsewhere.
• “Buy now” or “today only” pricing or discounts – this can be offered with signage or digital promotions. A consumer who knows they are getting a discount along with the convenience of receiving the product immediately can be a winner. It can also help avoid the hassle of returns, should an online item not meet expectations, arrive damaged or late.
In-store pickup and availability
Promoting in-store pick-up online can work well on multiple levels. It can save the consumer the risk, time and cost of shipping, while also bringing them into the store.
By encouraging in-store traffic, you have the opportunity to present additional offers. With advances in technology, this consumer-generated information can be made available in-store on stationary tablets located near merchandise.
This can encourage shoppers to buy, then and there.
Additionally, in-store consumer engagement can be encouraged with some of the same methods you might use in your online presence. Such as highlighting merchandise displays or offering virtual reality experiences to inspire consumer engagement with specific products.
In-store discounts, free Wi-Fi and use of store technology can allow customers to check prices and gain access to special offers.
Making the physical shopping experience interactive and fun can help drive sales and inspire return business.
2. Make the most of your promotional displays
Creative promotional displays that attract interest continue to inspire purchases.
Today, they should include tactile, visual, and digital experiences whenever possible. It is now possible to track your in-store displays to ensure they are placed correctly and exist for the right period of time.
The various systems on the market for this purpose demonstrate how an optimized in-store display schedule can lead to higher product sales. It can simultaneously satisfy the high percentage of consumers who are said to want immediate access to information about products on display at retail outlets.
3. Create an in-store ambience that appeals to your target demographic
In addition to the merchandise you carry, several elements can significantly impact how much time a shopper spends in given a retail outlet, and whether they come back.
For example, overly loud music, especially of the wrong type, has proven to be a deterrent, whether during the holidays or other times of year. Choose a playlist that appeals across a wider demographic; play it at a comfortable volume.
4. Use easy-to-maintain flooring to support your changing promotions, themes, and displays
Epoxy flooring and other resinous floor coating systems are available in a wide range of colors and textures to suit nearly any space and can be combined with designs and embedded logos for brand support and recognition.
These uniquely decorative, fluid-applied floor coverings offer industrial-grade strength, performance, and long usable life, even in high traffic lanes.
No buffing, waxing or polishing is typically needed, so your floors retain their beauty and luster over the long term while keeping maintenance and downtime to a minimum.
Having good aesthetics incorporated in your retail flooring design can help establish the right store ambiance from the ground up.
At the same time, epoxy flooring offers important customization options, such as additional slip- and stain resistance where you need it most, as well as a choice of gloss levels and light reflectivity.
Selecting the optimal combination of design and performance features can help ensure your retail facility flooring is the ideal, value-based foundation for your unique brick-and-mortar business.
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