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7 Lessons For Retail In The Age of E-Commerce

E-Commerce is taking over the retail industry by the minute. It’s making it all the more difficult to keep brick and mortar stores afloat.

For brick-and-mortar stores, it isn’t about stocking up inventory and managing accounts and sales. If you’re running a physical store, then you need to move to the next level. Give the shoppers a compelling reason to spend their time to come down to your store.

1. Provide Experience, Not Just Products

There’s a lot more to a brick and mortar store than just having the physical products on sale. Give them an experience and a reason to come back to your store. That’s why more and more concept stores are getting traction and building a niche for themselves.

Away is one such concept store in Soho. Here you can shop for travel products. The store’s two opposite entrances feel like two different shops that flow into one another.

Change For The Better

Your physical store can’t afford to look the same for years, or even months. Shoppers are being offered a tremendous amount of spontaneous data online. Changing the look and feel of your store periodically gives a good push in footfalls and ultimately sales.

Work on the store’s design and layout, and the products you sell. Your physical store can benefit from a strategy similar to content calendars for digital marketing.

Story is a store based in New York. The store renovates itself and looks new almost every month. A new theme every other month communicates design and brand value. It also lets the customer know what’s on sale and informs about events being held that month. Their sales have increased twofold over the past 2 years.

2. Bring People Together

Organizing events is another way to attract customers. Fitness classes, courses, workshops, book launches and other interactive activities are excellent ways to stir interest.

Chamber is a new boutique in New York that provides exclusive limited editions and unique works of art and design. They hosted a dinner reception in collaboration with PIN-UP magazine during Design Miami.  This helps build a community and leads to customers becoming loyal customers.

3. Creative Teams Are A Must

To provide an experience and not just products takes creativity. Give higher importance to the creative and marketing team. Make sure that you have appealing content. Ensure it’s being harnessed to increase sales. This keeps your brand fresh.

Be Bold And Try New Stuff

Introducing new concepts, and installing creative in-store articles are overhead. Take a calculated risk and make predictions on researched data.

4. Focus On Customer Relations

A unique aspect of brick-n-mortar stores is the advantage to meet and influence the customers directly. What a website struggles to do, with super creative graphics and persuasive writing, can be done with a pleasant smile and helping hand at your store. Training your staff to make the shopping experience very friendly and cheerful for the customer can leverage your sales in a big way. Once you have repetitive customers you could find their preferences and work accordingly.

5. Omnichannel Retail Does The Trick

E-commerce is getting more intense with cutthroat competition. From giants like amazon, eBay, and Alibaba to start-ups like Boxed, Checkr, and Slack, it’s a tough market to compete in.

Retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. are predicted to grow from 396.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 to over 684 billion US dollars in 2020. Although online sales still represent only a small share of all retail sales—about 8.4%. 42% of Internet users in the USA have purchased items online at least once a month.

Books and electronics are the favorites for online shoppers. E-commerce is at a stage where a singular approach doesn’t work. Omnichannel retail is the best approach for it.

Learn To Expand

Mobile shopping is the next trend in e-commerce. In 2016, it’s estimated that around 136 million users bought at least once from their mobile devices. This number is projected to reach 162.8 million by 2019. If you are an e-commerce retailer, get an app soon.

6. Use Your Advantages

Unlike a physical store, e-commerce isn’t restricted by floor-space. So make use of the dynamic and virtual nature of this business model.

The advent of data analytics is a boon to the e-commerce that does wonders to a business in many ways. Data Analytics could propel E-commerce retail in the following domains:

  1. Supply Chain Management: data for products starting from warehouse to the customer.
  2. Merchant/Customer Fraud Detection: There are algorithms that let merchants predict fraud and avoid them.
  3. Merchant Analytics: Online retailers constantly need new avenues to expand. To set the right price in comparison to the market value, this comes in handy.
  4. Price Optimization: Implement price recommendations across multiple online retail platforms. It does this through an automated process that reacts to market and competitor movements with minimal human intervention. Companies like Intelligence Node have developed a technology using big data related to competitive intelligence and price tracking with machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  5. Recommended Systems: Navigating through the store in a virtual environment requires good architecture. Recommended Systems act as the blueprint for that.
  6. Product Specific Analytics: Finding patterns among buying and browsing habits is valuable for e-commerce to improve product catalogs and user experience.
  7. Online Marketing Analytics: This works on bidding for ads on Google. They lead optimization and increase the click-through-rates and conversion rates.

7. Don’t Underestimate Word Of Mouth

Having your customers say good things about you to their friends is incredibly powerful. Ensure that you don’t underestimate it. Give them a good experience and find ways to ensure you keep their opinions about you as positive as possible.

Influencers bloggers and affiliate marketing

Content marketing is the current trend in advertising. Expand your brand through content or it can fall behind.

Using influencers and bloggers is a great way to reach your target audience. It grabs attention without sounding like a sales pitch. Affiliate marketing is another approach to spreading your influence online.

Social Media Marketing

Having an online presence is a necessity if you want to stay ahead in e-commerce. Companies now generate roughly $2.4 million every minute through e-commerce. Out of that, more than $40,000 funnels in from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Millennials are at the top when it comes to age demographics when it comes to online shopping. Look and sound appealing to your target audience on social media

There are many methods you can follow for effective social media marketing. Find out what are the options and what works for you. That’s the best way to get your business flourishing.


© 2016 DK New Media.

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