Real Talk

How to Compete with Online Retailers: 5 Tips for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

brick and mortar retail

While online heavyweights have made things a bit tougher for offline retailers, brick-and-mortar stores can still compete with e-commerce merchants. With the right mix of people, products, and marketing strategies, you’ll find that competing with them is possible.

Following are some strategies retailers can use to compete with online merchants.

1. Emphasize convenience and speed.

Consumers who shop online typically have to wait at least a couple of days for their purchases to arrive or pay extra for expedited shipping.

As a brick-and-mortar business, you can use this to your benefit by highlighting your ability to provide customers with instant gratification. When communicating with consumers, stress the fact that they can walk out with their items instead of having to wait or pay extra for shipping.

2. Help people find what they need when they need it.

Try introducing in-store services that online merchants can’t offer such as personal styling. Help them define their own personal style, locate items that match their needs and budget, and provide them with stellar customer service.

3. Go beyond common products.

Stock merchandise that customers can’t find anywhere else. Local retailers should focus on stocking more locally-produced or uniquely-distributed items, so they aren’t competing directly on price.

4. Match prices.

Price matching is a tactic that many brick-and-mortar stores utilize to convert customers who would typically shop online. It’s a good strategy, but it can also destroy your profits, so you need to be more creative when crafting promotions and pricing your products and services.

One option you could consider is to communicate with your vendors in an attempt to lower the cost of goods. Question if there are administrative costs or middlemen that you can remove from the process.

You wouldn’t want to offer an exorbitant discount to a shopper who would buy an item at a higher rate. So instead of offering blanket discounts, section off your buyers and offer them promotions based on their shopping behavior.

5. Go online.

Recognize that you need to have an e-commerce presence because the reality is that people are shopping online. Not having some type of digital presence means that you’re missing out on a lot of potential business.

Keeping your store-related data in sync allows for services such as click-and-collect, which adds convenience to the shopping experience and drives traffic to your physical stores.

There are plenty of ways that brick-and-mortar businesses can hold onto their share of the business they’re in and combat the rising e-commerce trend while getting in on the growth instead of falling victim to its projected success.

No matter what industry you’re in, the online competition can be fierce. Mystery shopping helps you compete by providing simple, objective observations of your staff and operations through the eyes of professional mystery shoppers, both in-person and online. Contact Reality Based Group today to find out how our mystery shopping programs can help your business beat out the competition.

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