Brick and mortar stores were here and still here. And they will probably thrive for years to come. So they are here to stay.
But what they have, is a fierce competition from online retailers: e-commerce shops that are thriving with evergrowing number of consumers.
For brick and mortar retailers, it has become more difficult for them to compete with the more saturated omnichannel retail market. While most shopping still occurs offline, the pace where consumers are purchasing their goods, are steadily going to online.
To keep the traditional market intact, offline retailers need to change with the evolving market.
Some of the biggest involve adopting technologies to help support business functions and increase customer insights. Others are exploring the use of non-traditional shopping experiences combined with omnichannel strategies.
Getting Customer Insights Using Technology
This means gathering data. Previously data are unattainable for anyone except retail giants. In many cases, even those large retail companies were hesitant to use certain technologies to process consumers' data due to budget risks.
But the thing is, there are cheaper alternatives.
A number of innovators have been working on iterating, improving, and making different data technologies to make the tools available at a cheaper price.
What this means, even small business can use those tools to gain insights about their customers.
Having Local Specialization
Brick and mortar stores are limited to their area, a contrast to e-commerce shop that can reach consumers anywhere they are. In this case, retailers require to have local specialization to give them some advantages.
From product offerings to store and services, they need to create generic products that will appeal local consumers.
In the past, people would go to big retailers because they knew what they sell. Since the internet comes into play, big retailers need to give a different experience to their consumers, like for example, giving consumers something they rarely expect from online shops.
Innovation For In-Store And Online Experience
Previously, retailers kept on increasing the number of their shops just to reach more consumers. But as time goes by, many of them become unsustainable. This is because they were restraining themselves from innovating their in-store experience as well as marketing themselves online.
Lacking these would make their service experience clunky and somehow impersonal.
The strategy that needs to be adopted, is to remain lean. Offline retailers need to test new strategies only to know what works and what fails, fast. Knowing this would revolutionize their business to deliver better outcomes.
Prediction And Experiment
While some people are claiming that brick and mortar stores won't be any different in years to come, they aren't saying that they will be gone altogether.
Just like any businesses, offline stores need to predict the market, and do experiment on various marketing strategies. The survival of a brand depends on the company's culture and leadership, as well as how it can adapt to customers' demand.
With the willing to innovate and experiment, offline retailers take risks for the better goods.
Companies that are enthusiastic about the future of the industry, can create success even with e-commerce shops available everywhere, if they can match their enthusiasm with innovations.