Retailers have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing measures, business shutdowns, and supply chain disruptions have hindered profitability and growth for the time being. Consumer confidence is at record lows as well, though eCommerce is experiencing a boost. To stay afloat, it is important for physical retailers to learn from what is working in eCommerce.
In this regard, physical store owners need to reflect on what works best in a brick and mortar shop and what does not. Some aspects of the physical store experience cannot be replicated, and this is where brick and mortar retailers can shine. However, some changes need to be made to make physical retail more efficient. Upgrading your brick and mortar shop with the latest technology, including a modern POS system, is essential. However, there are other useful tips and advice that physical retailers can glean from the eCommerce experience.
Let’s look at some of the lessons that physical stores can learn from eCommerce businesses.
Physical Stores Offer Lower Shipping Costs
One of the biggest costs for eCommerce retailers can be the price of shipping their goods directly to customers. While many stores transfer this cost onto the consumer, it is often discounted at a certain threshold, which can add up for eCommerce retailers. At a physical store, however, your business does not have to worry about these extra costs.
Engaging With Customers Is Easier In-Store
eCommerce retailing lacks the human element. Online shopping does not have the same degree of face to face interaction that is found in physical stores. Building a loyal and returning customer base is easier with physical stores because you can speak with customers and directly consult with them about their needs, expectations, and concerns. While this is possible through an eCommerce platform, it is less direct and less immediate.
Taking advantage of the opportunities for trust-building and fostering relationships with your customers is something that physical retailers need to reflect on.
Store Provide A Better Customer Experience
In the same vein, having a physical store where customers can come in provides a better overall experience. In terms of clothing retailers, for example, customers can enter a physical store to try on clothing and select appropriate sizes. This reduces the number of returns and provides more efficiency for both retailers and customers.
When your staff is available in-store to discuss your products with your customers, they can field questions and provide valuable face-to-face advice. Speaking to a sales expert is a far better experience than talking in circles with an online chatbot.
Having a physical location also allows you to provide special experiences for your customers. In-store specials or events offer something extra to your customers that cannot be achieved through online retail.
Have The Best Of Both Worlds
eCommerce has tended to dominate against brick and mortar retail over the past decade. However, physical stores clearly offer benefits that eCommerce cannot replicate. Therefore, it is important for retailers to try to get the best of both worlds. Offering a robust eCommerce platform that caters to customers who enjoy the ease of online retail along with the perks of having a physical store is best. This provides your business with a range of opportunities without missing out on anything.
Setting Your Physical Store Up For Success
The retail market is changing more every day. Staying on top of the latest developments and accepting valuable advice from all sources is essential for success. Taking some advice from these lessons from the eCommerce environment will help you move forward effectively.