Annual retail sales continue to climb, and more and more businesses are striving for a piece of the billions of dollars spent every year. In a constantly shifting digital world, where some of the top companies sell products they don't even own (think AirBnB, Uber, and even Amazon), the physical retail store needs to innovate--and now--in order to keep up with the online retail world.
PwC recently outlined six retail strategies to help physical businesses attract and retain customers:
The PwC survey indicated that people shop online largely because of convenience, but low prices drive buying decisions for 64 percent of customers no matter where they're shopping. The challenge to physical retailers is to improve convenience while offering competitive prices. This might include in-store ordering and home delivery.
Building loyalty is key to strong sales.
- Engage with customers on social media.
- Respond immediately to complaints and concerns.
- Offer rewards programs.
- Give people a reason to spend more time in your store (like free WiFi, comfortable seating areas, or snacks).
As a society, we've grown accustomed to quick results. This is one area where a physical store has an advantage, because the customer can pick something out and take it home immediately. Like an online retailer, physical stores can also offer home delivery and same-day shipping in the event that an item isn't in stock.
For speedy fulfillment, location becomes a critical point for a physical retail store. You must choose a location that is convenient and attractive for your shoppers.
A wide selection of options allows customers to test products before buying. Seventy-six percent of survey respondents value a knowledgeable sales associate to help them choose. The pressure here is on online retailers to come up with ways to compete with what a physical store does naturally.
Amazon set the standard for simplicity in shopping, so your online presence as well as your physical checkout counter will need to match that level of ease. PwC mentions mobile payment options as an alternative to the slow and often frustrating ("Can I remove my card now?") chip technology on credit cards.
What adds value to a shopper's experience at your store?
- Add a dog play area to your pet store.
- Offer a complementary beverage to your shoppers.
- Host live music, speakers, and other events.
Brainstorm ideas that can be quickly implemented that will make a visit to your store more of an experience rather than a simple shopping trip.
Now more than ever, innovation is what keeps a store at the top of a shopper's list, which creates exciting opportunities for businesses. Want to stay up to date on the latest retail trends and strategies for success? Sign up for email updates to receive news on retail trends and insight to help your business flourish.