5 Ways Brick-and-Mortar Retailers Can Realistically Compete with Ecommerce Stores
The concept of competing with the likes of Amazon is incredibly daunting for modern mom-and-pop shops and big box stores alike.
After all, how do you possibly keep up with perks such as endless inventory, two-day shipping and steep discounts that you can’t find anywhere else?
Bearing in mind that brick-and-mortar commerce still beats out digital retailers in terms of market share, the writing is still the on the wall for traditional retailers: you need to adapt.
The good news? Doing so might actually be a lot easier than you think. Broken down below are five ways that brick-and-mortar retailers can stand a fighting chance against today’s ecommerce giants.
Rethink Your Payment Process
Perhaps one of the most notable ways that old-school stores can compete is through how they accept payments. Although such retailers can obviously accept cash, adapting to welcome the likes of Square or PayPal payments is also a smart move to appeal to buyers of all shapes and sizes.
When doing so, however, make sure that you’re following compliance guidelines. “You could lose customers, money and reputation,” warns Reciprocity Labs on storefronts that aren’t on the up-and-up in terms of their payment processors.
Another additional way retailers can stand out from ecommerce stores with payments is by accepting partial payments (think: setting up six-month or twelve-month plans). Although this might require some keen organization, flexibility is a huge added bonus in the eyes of consumers.
Squeeze More Out of the Holidays
The holiday season represents the bread and butter of all retailers, digital or otherwise. As such, it’s the optimal time to really push your promos and steep sales to get people coming through the door. Although slashing prices might seem a bit backwards, it’s proven to be the best way to get people’s attention both online and off.
Start Up a Loyalty Program
Here’s some food for thought: people at large want to support local businesses over the likes of bigger, corporate competitors. Starting a customer loyalty program is a great way to appeal to customers’ desire to support the “little guy.”
Whether it’s free products or discounts for loyal members, anything you can do to sow the seeds of long-term business is a big point in your favor.
Step Up Your Social Game
Simply setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account for your storefront isn’t enough.
Merchants today are constantly showing off their customers via hashtagged photos and likewise run social deals like crazy. Actively promoting yourself and showing a sense of customer loyalty via social media immediately set yourself apart from big box stores and make you seem like part of the local community.
Offering discounts for social followers and running flash social sales represent actionable ways to engage with customers via social and ultimately encourage them to come through the door.
Consider Price Matching
In a world where so many product searches begin and end on Amazon, the ability to compete on price can be a game-changer. Pricing matching against digital stores can be tricky given just how low ecommerce giants can afford to go. But again, not leaving buyers waiting and that desire to “buy local” are both powerful motivators in your favor if you can manage them.
With a bit of creativity and by understanding what makes modern customers tick, brick-and-mortar retailers can make themselves shine. By sticking to the tips above, the act of competing against ecommerce doesn’t have to seem like such an uphill battle.