It has been said that physical stores have been struggling to keep up with e-commerce in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. With the pandemic closing many businesses and leaving many more to transfer their businesses to online platforms, people have become far more accepting of digital shopping experiences. However, whilst this may appear concerning to those thinking about opening a physical store, there are certainly things that can be done to still stand out and make an impact as a physical store. In this article, we’ll dive into what it takes for physical stores to rock 2023.
Personalised Shopping Experience
To stand out from online retailers, physical stores need to focus on providing a personalised shopping experience. Thanks to technology, retailers can gather customer data to get a better understanding of their preferences and tailor the shopping experience accordingly. Physical stores can use this information to offer more personalised product recommendations and in-store promotions. Plus, customers get the added bonus of actually being able to touch and try on products, which online shopping can never beat. Retailers can even up the ante by offering in-store services like styling advice and workshops.
Innovative and Unique Products
If physical stores want to stay ahead of the competition, they need to offer products that are both innovative and unique. By sourcing products directly from wholesalers, retailers can offer a wide range of products that can’t be found anywhere else. For example, wholesale plush toys from Australia can be a great source for high-quality, unique toys that are sure to catch customers’ eyes. Retailers can also team up with local artists and makers to create exclusive in-store products, supporting local businesses and fostering a sense of community.
Sustainable and Socially Responsible
Sustainability and social responsibility are becoming more and more important to consumers, and physical stores can use this to their advantage. By sourcing products from eco-friendly and socially responsible suppliers, physical stores can appeal to customers who are looking for sustainable and ethical products. And by adopting eco-friendly practices in their own operations, like reducing waste and conserving energy, stores show customers they’re committed to sustainability and social responsibility.
Engaging In-Store Events and Activities
Physical stores can set themselves apart by hosting engaging in-store events and activities. This can include product demonstrations, workshops, and in-store promotions, giving customers a memorable and interactive shopping experience. These events can also help build a sense of community among customers, like hosting a local art show or workshop.
Even though physical stores have their advantages, they still need to have a strong online presence. A well-designed website and active social media accounts can help retailers reach a wider audience and drive traffic to their physical stores. Retailers can use their online presence to offer a more convenient shopping experience, like online ordering for in-store pickup.
Investing in Tech
Technology is key to enhancing the customer experience and making physical store operations more efficient. Retailers can invest in tech like customer relationship management systems, point-of-sale systems, and inventory management systems to gather customer data, streamline transactions, and keep track of inventory. Incorporating augmented and virtual reality into the shopping experience and having a mobile app for customers to browse products and place orders can also help set physical stores apart.
A Strong Customer Focus
Excellent customer service is a must for physical stores to succeed in 2023. Friendly and knowledgeable staff are crucial, and retailers can offer additional services like in-store pickup and returns, gift wrapping, and special delivery options to provide a more convenient shopping experience. Retailers can also gather customer feedback through surveys and online reviews to make improvements and provide a memorable shopping experience that sets them apart from online retailers.
Get Tech Ready
Incorporating tech into the shopping experience is a great tactic to stay relevant as a physical store. For example, retailers can use interactive displays and digital signage to make the customer experience even better and keep them engaged with the products. This is especially handy for showcasing new arrivals, special deals, and other important info. Physical stores can also leverage technology to drive more foot traffic. For instance, they can use geolocation technology to send targeted offers and promotions to customers when they’re nearby, to encourage customers to stop by and check out the products.
To make their physical stores even more accessible and convenient, retailers can offer extended hours, in-store pickup, and same-day delivery options. They can also make the shopping experience better by providing comfortable seating areas, free Wi-Fi, and other amenities for customers.
There are certainly challenges that abound for physical stores in this digital age, but there are also plenty of opportunities; they just need to step up their game and set themselves apart from the online guys. By using some of the techniques we’ve discussed in this article, you’re open to plenty of opportunities for success, here in the land of real life.