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Brick and mortar stores are not dead, just different

July 10, 2017

By Joanna Arhontis, The New Retail Revolution

There is all this talk on the street that traditional brick and mortar retail stores are dying with many sadly closing their doors in recent months. It is true that retailers are being hit hard throughout the nation, and indeed across the globe, as online sales increase and the internet becomes their biggest competitor. Retailers are having to quickly evolve, and join the new online retail revolution just to survive, as the customer continues to change the way they research, explore and shop – all from the palm of their hands.

So are traditional brick and mortar stores dead? NO! Retailers, as a group we need to embrace the online world, take it by the horns, and deliver the exact same exceptional experience online that we deliver in store. Don’t be afraid, you have the products, the supplier relationships and the stock to make this happen. It’s just a matter of keeping up with the way the customer is choosing to shop. There are many strategies and platforms that can be used to ‘Make Money Even When Your Shop Doors are Closed.’

The biggest challenge many brick and mortar retailers are having is understanding the power of combining an in store experience with a powerful online strategy to enhance their traditional brick and mortar sales. If done correctly a great online platform could make them national, or even international players, all from a local, or even a remote, store space.

Unfortunately a lot of the traditional retailers that have gone online have left out the exceptional experience they deliver in store and so they struggle to engage with their customers online.

If you can bring the online experience to life for the customer, by ensuring they are getting all the information they require to make an informed purchase, by giving them just as much variety as they would have in store, by making it as easy and as quick as possible, and without making them jump through hoops to get to the checkout – It’s Cha Ching! Cha Ching!  Even while you are sleeping!

Online sales will continue to grow and the successful traditional brick and mortar stores will continue to combine the two together ensuring online sales are a funnel for their business. The strategy for them will be their own e-commerce store, social media advertising and marketing, and other online platforms where the foot traffic already exists in the hundreds and thousands, if not millions, of customers both nationally and internationally.

It was revealed in the results of a survey done by KPMG earlier this year that 44 percent of Australians made their last online purchase from a standing traditional brick and mortar store versus 35% from an online store.

A similar study by Galaxy in December 2016 showed that out of 1250 people surveyed 94 per cent of them preferred to shop in traditional brick and mortar stores than online. However, half of the people surveyed said they went online to research their products or services before they purchased in store. (You want your store to be among those being researched!)

Some of the reasons stated for consumers wanting to shop in store were; the convenience of trying items like clothing, shoes and accessories for size to fit, photos online don’t show true colour, sizes vary so much from store to store that it is hard to make a purchase and the quality differed from what they thought they were getting to what they received. As always people like to see, touch and feel before they buy. This my fellow retailers of traditional brick and mortar stores says that there is a real opportunity, and indeed a need, to keep brick and mortar stores alive!

Visit www.TheNewRetailRevolution.com to find out more from Retail Expert, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Author and Founder of the New Retail Revolution Joanna Arhontis.

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