As a bricks and mortar retailer it’s important to realize the showrooming is not going to go away, so, instead of packing up and heading out of town for the virtual work, focus instead on others ways you can turn your retain store into a place that shoppers actually want to experience as well as make purchases in. In other words, play to your advantages.

Retailing Facts of Life

Remember when you were growing up and someone explained the facts of life to you. Well, now it’s time to accept that Showrooming is her to stay. Consumers are going to compare prices, and they actually always have the Internet has just made it an awful lot easier and consumers are always going to get the best deal they can and the most perceived value possible, out of every single purchase they make.

For those retailers in Australia that think that by introducing GST on overseas goods their businesses are suddenly going to get better, think again those boom years are over and now you have to work, just like every other business to gain customers and make sales and all introducing GST will do is raise taxes for the consumer, which in effect means they will spend less, will more than likely mean other countries will introduce similar taxes and our countries exports will suffer. Again this is another fact of life, in my opinion accept that you now have to work harder than ever before or at least smarter.

Avoid Lines and Queues

Customers hate lines, find a way to make the in store shopping experience have fewer lines. Apple stores have done an awesome job of this by offering in-store visitors a wonder experience with highly trained staff and no lines, since purchases can be made from any location in the store with a point of sale system that each sales person has on their iPad.

Provide First Class Customer Service

Nothing beats excellent custom service, unfortunately many retailers are failing to provide this, so give your sales people and floor staff the power to make each and every customers experience special while they service their needs. Sale people should also be trained to ensure product knowledge is well above average.

Focus on the Experience

People go to stores so that they can experience touching the product, using the product and seeing it in action. Ensure you have plenty of working displays that your store visitors can touch and feel. Offer QR codes and opportunities for your customers to win prizes and discounts and play to your strengths offer free extended warranties instead of selling this as an extra.

Offer Online Ordering

People like to shop at all hours of the day and night, some prefer to shop in the comfort of their home, or even in their car. Give these consumers the option of ordering online by offering special deals and incentives for online shopping. If you have access to items that aren’t stocked in your store, offer a computer terminal in-store so that shoppers can order the item or be put on a wait list for special sales notifications, or even to receive your newsletter if you offer value in your newsletter. Oh and to enable online ordering make sure your website is responsive otherwise you’ll lose more and more sales to your competitors.

Free In-Store Delivery and Pickup

During the shopping process online you can offer free in-store delivery and curbside pickup. Sears does a great job with this. You can order anything online and even put it on layaway. Then once the item is paid for, you simply go curbside, give your receipt or code to the sales person and they bring out your delivery and pack your vehicle.

Offer Free Home Delivery for Larger Items

Sometimes people do not want to worry about how they will get larger purchases to their home. Many stores make a huge mistake by charging a lot of money for delivery even when the locations are close to the store, and then miss out on sales. Keep in mind that places like Overstock offer free or very low-cost delivery even for the largest items. If you can offer free delivery for local purchases, you’re more likely to make the sale.

Become a Shopping Destination of Choice

Make the shopping experience part of the reason shoppers come to your store. Offer an art show, street performers, a band, food, and basically offer a party. How about free Wi-Fi, a lounge area, and coffee? A family may have one person who loves shopping in person but doesn’t want to go alone, bringing along other family members who would love to sit and hang out in your lounge. This is an excellent way to increase in-store shopping and become a destination that people want to come to, and let me tell you I have sat in Myers for hours while my wife shops, so I know from firsthand how well received this is.

Finally, find a way to get shoppers to sign up for your email list. If you can send them specials and notices of sales coming up with discounts, you’ll be more likely to get more in-store shoppers. Don’t forget to add value to your newsletter so that it isn’t just sales offers, this will help with open rates and conversions. The secret to modern retailing is simple, give exceptional customer service, give value and play to your strengths.

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