How Online Competition is Shaping Brick and Mortar Retailers' Strategies
According to Pew Research, 22% of consumers shopped online in the year 2000. Today, 79% of consumers shop online. The impact of this channel on the industry and how consumers shop is undeniable, online competition is shaping brick and mortar retailers' strategies in order to retain their piece of market. Here are a few in-store strategies that business owners should keep in mind for this new era of retail:
While nearly eight in 10 people now use the internet to shop, 64% say that they would prefer to shop in a physical store. The reason they choose online merchants over brick and mortar ones is because prices matter and they find lower ones online. This means that brick and mortar retailers must achieve more competitive prices to compete with internet merchants.
Increase Product Selection
Online shoppers also have a huge selection of items from which to choose. They can jump from website to website, each one with endless space to showcase its products.
To compete with this, physical retailers must expand their product selection. Gone are the days when a store could have just a few items on display. Today, a brick and mortar store must have an extensive selection of items on the floor to entice shoppers and make the trip worth their time and effort.
Improve Customer Service
While online companies might have unlimited inventory and lower prices, they are often lacking in customer service. Buying from a website usually means placing an order, receiving a tracking email and hoping for the best. Brick and mortar stores can easily compete with this by more fully training staff and providing excellent customer service. In fact, according to Business Insider, 66% of consumers are willing to spend more money with a merchant that provides top-notch customer service.
Online shopping is not going away, but brick and mortar companies can compete through pricing, inventory and staff training adjustments. The key is to remember that 64% of consumers would rather shop in a physical store. They just need a reason to do so.